Today marks 18 days since we all cast our ballots at the 2nd March 2020 General and Regional Elections. Everyone anticipated that this electoral process would have been completed by this time.
Our democracy has allowed for interested parties to approach the Supreme Court of Judicature for judicial review of our electoral laws. This legal process is ongoing, and we must await the ruling of the Court.
The electoral process is incomplete.
I call upon the members of the public to respect the role of the Elections Commission and to desist from attacks on the Chairman, Commissioners and members of the Commission. The Elections Commission has the sole authority for the conduct of General and Regional elections and must be allowed to function independent of political interference, instruction and influence.
I have iterated, always, my commitment to respect the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, to protect the integrity of the Chairman and members of the Elections Commission and to obey the rulings of the Courts. I am confident that these institutions, once allowed to function without interference, will provide a solution to the present situation.
I have maintained that the electoral process must be credible. Free and fair elections are essential to representative democracy.
I welcomed the initiative of the Chairperson of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Right Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, to assist Guyana by sending a High-Level delegation of regional professionals to oversee the recount of ballots cast at the 2nd March 2020 General and Regional Elections.
I am disappointed that the High-Level team of five departed Guyana this week after efforts towards a ‘total national recount’ were stymied following the granting of an injunction by the Supreme Court. This matter remains before the Court.
Elections are as much about the totality of votes as about the quality of relations among citizens. I urge all Guyanese, therefore, to respect each other as we work together to build a cohesive nation. Violence in any form, at any time and in any place, particularly against innocent school children, must be condemned strongly. The violent attacks on innocent children and law enforcement officers in the Mahaica-Berbice Region (Region Five) were hateful acts of hostility.
I urge all citizens to be calm and patient as we await the ruling of the Supreme Court and the final declaration of results by the Elections Commission.