La Corte bloquea el recuento de votos de Caricom y ya van 16 días sin resultados

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High Court blocks CARICOM-supervised recount of Guyana’s general election votes

Even as the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) finetuned legal issues to kick-start the Caribbean Community (Caricom)-supervised recount of votes cast in general elections more than two weeks ago, the High Court on Tuesday granted an injunction blocking that exercise.

High Court Judge Franklyn Holder granted a mandatory order to restrain the Chief Elections Officer from embarking upon the recount agreement between President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.

“An interim injunction is hereby granted restraining the Guyana Elections Commission from permitting or authorising any person or persons to any agreement between the President of Guyana and the Leader of the Opposition and or any agreement between the Guyana Elections Commission and the Caribbean Community or at all to count or recount any ballots cast by the electors at the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections until the hearing and review of the judicial application review filed herein,” the court document states.

Orders were also granted restraining the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield from setting aside or varying the declaration of the ten Returning Officers of the ten administrative districts and from substituting or replacing those declarations with any other documents or declarations until the judicial review is heard.

Unless the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) gets the High Court to discharge the order, the Chief Elections Officer will declare all the results and issue a report to GECOM for certification. That process will pave the way for the swearing in of David Granger for a second term.

The Chief Justice, Roxane George-Wiltshire had previously blocked the Chief Elections Officer and GECOM from declaring the results unless they were properly tabulated.

Attorney-at-Law, Sanjeev Datadin said the PPP would file papers to get the High Court to discharge those orders before Friday’s hearing.

Datadin noted that the Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo violated the judge’s orders and so he is facing contempt of court proceedings. Datadin said someone named Ulita Grace Moore secured an ex parte injunction from the High Court.

“The political process is being undermined. The same people who are in APNU or there are two factions in APNU or the President is schizophrenic. He has multiple personality disorder. Why would he make an agreement, let Caricom people come here and then go to court and get an order?” Datadin queried.

A small number of protesters began gathering outside the commission’s headquarters demanding that David Granger be sworn in for a second term.

“No president, no recount,” and “We want we president swear in now,” were among the chants by supporters of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC).

GECOM, meanwhile, issued a statement saying the seven-member decision-making body was examining the constitutional implications of an agreement between President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo for the recount to be conducted. “The Commission is currently examining the legal ramifications of this agreement in accordance with the Constitution of Guyana,” GECOM said in a statement.

The Caricom high-level team that is expected to supervise the recount, according to GECOM, says it “is necessary for all the legal issues to be properly addressed including the gazetting of the process as requested by the high level Caricom delegation. Once finalized, the counting would commence immediately.”

The recount should have begun at 9:30am Tuesday but up until 3pm the process had not begun.

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, four shipping containers of ballot boxes were transported from Corentyne to GECOM’s headquarters.

The March 2, 2020 general and regional elections have been mired in deep controversy especially over the results of Region Four. The international community and regional and international observers have all criticised the tabulation process, saying it lacked credibility and transparency.

Demerara Waves


Detenida tabulación de votos en región cuatro de Guyana

La tabulación de votos en el distrito electoral Demerara-Mahaica (Región Cuatro) de Guyana, continúa detenida y dificulta el resultado final de los comicios generales del 2 de marzo pasado.

El recuento de las boletas emitidas en esta región está estancado tras la convocatoria a una reunión de emergencia de todos los comisionados, el presidente en ejercicio, David Granger, y el líder de la oposición, Bharrat Jagdeo, informó el diario News Guyana.

De acuerdo con el rotativo, Granger, a nombre de la Asociación para la Unidad Nacional y la Alianza para el Cambio (APNU-AFC), y Jagdeo, del Partido Progresista del Pueblo (PPP), acordaron un recuento nacional bajo la supervisión de un equipo de alto nivel de la Comunidad del Caribe (Caricom).

Funcionarios de varias misiones de observación electoral y agentes del partido, se reunieron en el Centro de Conferencias Arthur Chung en Georgetown para comenzar a contar las boletas de las urnas de la Región Cuatro que llegaron bajo una fuerte escolta policial, destacó el sitio digital.

Las partes interesadas quedaron afuera y esperaron durante horas mientras la Comisión Electoral de Guyana (Gecom) hizo los arreglos logísticos para comenzar el proceso, pero esto nunca se puso en marcha, resaltó el medio.

Según News Guyana, la Gecom cuenta con todos los sistemas para iniciar el conteo, pero espera a la rúbrica de un Memorando de Entendimiento entre los dirigentes de APNU?AFC y PPP.

La declaración de los resultados de la Región Cuatro es objeto de fuertes críticas por parte de las naciones occidentales, los observadores internacionales y locales y los partidos políticos de la oposición que lamentan la falta de transparencia y credibilidad, subrayó el medio News Room.

Gecom está decidida a garantizar que el proceso se realice a satisfacción de todas las partes interesadas y en el menor tiempo posible, puntualizó el Departamento de Información Pública.

El sistema político administrativo de Guyana es unicameral y establece que el Presidente es el jefe de Estado electo por voto popular y este a su vez designa al primer ministro, en funciones de jefe de gobierno.

Prensa Latina


STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM) THE HONOURABLE MIA AMOR MOTTLEY, PRIME MINISTER OF BARBADOS ON THE WITHDRAWAL OF CARICOM HIGH LEVEL TEAM

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) deeply regrets that it has been forced to withdraw the independent High Level Team it fielded on Saturday, 14 March 2020, to supervise the re-counting of the ballots in Region 4 of the General and Regional Elections of 2 March 2020 in Guyana.

The fielding of the Team had been at the request of His Excellency David Granger, President of Guyana, on Saturday 14 March 2020. In response, and given the urgency of the task, the Team was mobilised immediately and arrived in Guyana in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Given that the tabulation process had been widely viewed as not being transparent or credible, President Granger and Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, Leader of the Opposition, agreed that the only possible resolution was by way of a recount supervised by an independent team. This was seen as a significant contribution to bolstering the transparency and legitimacy of the electoral process.

This step forward had been anchored by an Aide Memoire signed by both leaders on 16 March 2020, and the Terms of Reference prepared by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to govern the role of the High Level Team on Sunday, 15 March 2020, for the supervision of the recounting of the ballots, not only in Region 4, but in all 10 electoral districts.

A court order issued on 17 March 2020, granted an injunction restraining GECOM from recounting any ballots of the General and Regional Elections of 2 March 2020, and set aside “any agreement between the President of Guyana and the Leader of the Opposition and or any agreement between the Guyana Elections Commission and the Caribbean Community”.

The Caribbean Community has no other choice but to withdraw the High Level Team.

It is clear that there are forces that do not want to see the votes recounted for whatever reason. Any Government which is sworn in without a credible and fully transparent vote count process would lack legitimacy.

I would like to thank the High Level Team for offering to serve at such short notice and for displaying the patience they have displayed over the last three days. The Team was led by Ms Francine Baron, former Attorney-General and Foreign Minister of Dominica, and included Mr Anthony Boatswain, former Minister of Finance of Grenada and Ms Cynthia Barrow-Giles, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of the West Indies. They were accompanied by Ms Angela Taylor and Ms Fern Narcis-Scope, the Chief Elections Officers of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.

As I said in an earlier statement it is critical that good sense prevail. The preservation of law and order is paramount and all parties must work hard to ensure that there is peace on the roads and in the communities across Guyana.

The Community remains committed to the people of Guyana.

Caricom

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