Guyana: 21 países de la OEA afirman que la oposición ganó las elecciones del 2 de marzo
Twenty-one out of the 35 member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) have made an appeal to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) for it to make a declaration of the March 2, General and Regional Elections using only the results of the national recount. This concluded recount process showed a victory for the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) over the A Partnership For National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC).
During the OAS’ Permanent Council meeting that was held virtually yesterday to address Guyana’s electoral situation, representatives from countries like the United States, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and 14 nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), defended the credibility of the results of the national recount which show a 15,000 votes lead by the PPP/C. Bearing this in mind, these 21 have called for the declaration on the recount results to be announced, thereby paving the way for the peaceful transition of government to ensue.
In her presentation to the Permanent Council, Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Lou-Anne Gaylene Gilchrist, who also represented 14 member states of CARICOM, stated that the regional body has been monitoring with concern, the political tensions in Guyana. Gilchrist reminded the audience that the previous CARICOM Chairman, Barbadian Prime Minister (PM), Mia Mottley, and the current Chairman, PM Ralph Gonsalves, had both called for the declaration of the March 2 elections to be based on the results of national recount.
To give strength to the credibility of the recount results, the representative of the country referenced the report of the CARICOM high-level team. The members of the team which scrutinized the recount noted in their report that they did not witness anything which would render the recount, and by extension, the casting of the ballot on March 2, so deficient to have thwarted the will of the people.
Against this, the representative urged the relevant authorities in Guyana and all stakeholders to respect the rule of law, and to make progress in finalizing the legal processes, by taking account of the rulings of Guyana’s apex court, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). Notably, this court had recently ruled that only the recount results must be used as the basis for the final election results.
Bradley Freden, US representative to the OAS, said that the only democratic way for Guyana at this time is to respect the results of the national recount. The representative reminded that this is fully in keeping with Guyana’s promises with the democratic charter.
“In democracy,” Freden said “leaders step aside when they are voted out of office. That speaks to the importance and strength of institutions, not individuals—and it is the power of the people, not those we would usurp their powers.”
Freden noted that the US is not one to shy away from imposing consequences on those individuals who seek to undermine democracy, as he reminded the audience of the sanctions in the form of visa restrictions, which were foisted on the incumbent President David Granger and executives of the APNU+AFC. These individuals were exposed as perpetrators in weakening the country’s democracy. These actions were not taken lightly, Freden stated, but maintained that the measure was intended to send a clear message of the consequences of subverting democracy and the rule of law.
“It is not too late for Guyana. We call upon the leaders to respect the results of the democratic election… If stalemate continues, however, it will only be the Guyanese people who suffer. APNU+AFC and its leaders face a strong choice; does the party want Guyana to be a leader in the hemisphere and an example of democracy or does it want to be an international pariah?” Freden questioned with concern.
Meanwhile, Hugh Adsett representing Canada expressed his country’s regret in the extended delay in the declaration of election results in Guyana. Adsett stated that Canada firmly maintains that the rule of law and democratic processes must be respected and a declaration of results without any further delay.
“Canada” Adsett said, “supports calls made by CARICOM, the OAS, the Commonwealth and civil society organizations to announce the results based on the national recount, as validated by the OAS and CARICOM observer missions and upheld by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and then again by Guyana’s Chief Justice in dismissing the challenge in the recount results.”
In concluding his presentation, the representative reminded that Canada will consider using all tools at its disposal to demand a swift and transparent conclusion process, and to hold accountable those who prevent it.
Representative of Bolivia, Jaime Alonzo Aparicio Otero, also expressed his disappointment in “very strong indications” that there are attempts to manipulate the electoral process in Guyana, while also noting that it is very unfortunate that this is the second time that the Permanent Council has had to hear a matter relating to a threat in democracy. On October 20, Bolivia was in a similar position which resulted in the overthrowing of the former Bolivian government.
“With this being said,” Otero said, “we call on Guyana to cooperate with the OAS and CARICOM in having a peaceful and democratic transition of government although the process has already caused great damage to their international image.”
Furthermore, Carlos Alberto Játiva, Representative of Ecuador, noted that a recount was held and approved by international observers such as CARICOM, OAS, and the European Union, among others. It is against this background that the Ecuador representative pleaded with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings, and other individuals of the government to allow a peaceful and democratic transition of the government.
Meanwhile, Representative of Brazil, Fernando Simas Magalhães, stated that his country cannot stand by in silence and watch democracy derided, while endorsing the findings of CARICOM and the OAS in their observer missions. Alongside this, the Brazilian representative shared that the country stands by its statement that a declaration must be made soon based on the official recount results.
Both Colombia and Chile shared similar sentiments.
Notably, these 21 countries are just a fraction of the countries, international bodies, observer missions and stakeholders of civil society who have called for a final declaration of the March 2 elections to be announced using the recount results.