Court to Rule on Vote Recount in Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Friday March 20, 2020 – The Supreme Court will today hear arguments related to an injunction filed by a citizen blocking a total national recount of votes from the March 2 general and regional elections.

An interim injunction was granted as an independent high-level Caribbean Community (CARICOM) team was on the ground to oversee the recount.

It prevented the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from executing the agreed upon aide-memoire between President David Granger, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and CARICOM that requested the regional body supervise the recount.

The CARICOM team – chaired by the former Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Dominica Francine Baron and including Minister of Finance of Grenada Anthony Boatswain, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government of UWI Cynthia Barrow-Giles, Barbados’ Chief Electoral Officer Angela Taylor; and Chief Elections Officer of Trinidad and Tobago Fern Narcis-Scope – subsequently left the country.

President Granger says the court action “has curtailed further our thrust towards reaching a transparent conclusion to the 2020 General and Regional Elections”.

But he said he would abide by the decisions of the court and GECOM.

“I iterate my commitment to the due completion of all electoral requirements and the conclusion of the process under the auspices of the Commission and in the interest of all Guyanese,” Granger said.

The Guyanese leader had sought the intervention of CARICOM’s Chairman Mia Mottley to bring an end to the questions by both local and international observers about the legitimacy of the election results. The tabulation process, in particular in Region 4 – the country’s largest electoral district – had been widely viewed as not being transparent or credible.

Mottley said CARICOM was forced to withdraw the team that arrived last Saturday, since the injunction granted by the court 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”.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Click here to receive news via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)