Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Barbados Prime Minister, Hon. Mia Amor Mottley in response to the Chief Elections Officer’s report, published a statement that questions the grounds of which the CEO determined the valid votes of the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
Mottley stated that the CARICOM Observer team was of the “unshakeable” belief that Guyanese expressed their will at the ballot box. She also noted that the staff of the Guyana Elections Commission certified all the votes deriving from the recount as valid.
However, in a statement provided by GECOM dated June 16, 2020, the Chair, Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh noted that some of the allegations raised regarding the numerous anomalies such as dead persons voting, are of serious nature and must be addressed.
Justice Singh further mentioned that the “Commission does not have the powers of a Court of Law to examine and re-examine witnesses or to procure official documents to determine the truth of the allegations contained therein.” Therefore, GECOM staff cannot certify all votes as being valid only to ascertain the numerical figure without a qualitative assessment coming out of the recount process.
Further, in her address, Mottley continued by stating that the events occurring in Guyana do not portray the Caribbean in the best light. She also said if there be any evidence of fraud there is a right course of action to address these matters.
“We must remind all that if there is any evidence of fraudulent or improper conduct then there is a clear and well-accepted route to deal with these matters. It is through an Election Petition to an Election Court,” Mottley mentioned.
On the contrary, Barbados Prime Minister offered a course of action to deal with allegations of fraud raised about the Region 4 declaration. Mottley led a team of five CARICOM prime ministers to scrutinize a recount of all ballots following the claims of fraud.
Mottley noted that from the beginning of the recount it was clearly mentioned that every vote must count in a fair and transparent way.
“The Community holds the strong view that no voter must be disenfranchised in determining the credibility of this or any election,” she said.