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Former ACP boss decries lack of official result in Guyana’s elections


GEORGTOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Former secretary general of the African Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP), Dr Patrick I Gomes says it is “shameful” that four months after a regional and general election, voters in Guyana are yet to know the official results.

Gomes, a Guyanese-born diplomat who ended his five year stint as head of the Brussels-based ACP Secretariat in February, said he was urging the leaders of the political parties in the country, as well as those holding the highest office in any institution of governance to pay attention to the words of the late Nelson Mandela, who warned that acting alone cannot achieve success.

“Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all,” he quoted Mandela as saying, adding “Guyana deserves the truth and honesty of Mandela to save our beloved country becoming a ‘failed state’ that benefits no one but punishes most, the poor and vulnerable.”

Gomes said that it is “shameful to our sister countries in the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and internationally, that Guyana, held in such high regard, is failing to complete in a fair and credible manner, the recount of votes cast in an election some four months ago”.

He said that all Guyanese must do all that they can “to turn away from violence in any form of verbal abuse or physical harm” as the country awaits the results of the elections.

“That is not a path that will lead to the unity, justice and a future for all to equally share the promised wealth of our country’s resources.

“The remarkable restraint and calm of the great majority is an outstanding tribute to the people of Guyana, despite the incitement, provocation, condoning and failure to openly condemn, verbal assaults of some against fellow Guyanese on basis of political party affiliation or ethnic origin.

“Let that be of the past. Our youth deserve a multiracial society built on ‘respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law’, as in the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement to which Guyana is a signatory,” the former ACP secretary general added.

A planned meeting of the seven-member Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to accept a report from Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield failed to come off on Thursday because of a lack of quorum.

GECOM was due to announce the results after deliberating on the report, paving the way for what political observers said would be the formal announcement of the elections which the main Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) said that it won based on the national recount of votes that ended on June 9.

But the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has said that the polls were filled with irregularities and anomalies and wants it annulled.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal was due to hear an injunction filed by a private citizen, Eslyn David, seeking to prevent Lowenfield from submitting a report to the GECOM chairperson, retired justice Claudette Singh.

Apart from GECOM, David has also included Singh, Lowenfield and the attorney general, Basil Williams, in the injunction she field with the court.

In her affidavit, David, who said she lives in the capital Georgetown, said that “during the recount, the Guyana Elections Commission were written letters by the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change election agent Joseph Harmon in which he pointed out numerous discrepancies and anomalies which impacted on the credibility of the elections”.

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