PM NAGAMOOTOO DISAPPOINTED BY CARICOM CHAIR’S STATEMENT

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Prime Minister, Hon. Moses Nagamootoo

Prime Minister Hon. Moses Nagamootoo said he is disappointed with the statement made by Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon. Mia Amor Mottley.

Hon. Nagamootoo said the three-member team submitted a report based on “limited scrutiny” of the total ballot boxes.

“It is unfortunate that her statement comes on the eve of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) being engaged in a matter of appeal,” Prime Minister noted.

Appearing on the Straight Up radio programme on Wednesday, the Hon. Nagamootoo reminded that following the country’s General and Regional Elections, it was the Chair herself and other CARICOM heads of government that intervened to ensure there was a recount of the total votes cast. An order was gazetted and a CARICOM observer team was facilitated to oversee the recount.

According to the Prime Minister, the statement made by Hon. Mottley only relied on the figures produced without a review.

Hon. 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 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.

Meanwhile, executive member and counting agent of APNU, Aubrey Norton, previously described the report submitted by the three-member CARICOM team as being riddled with contradictions

Norton questioned, “how can it be reasonably credible when thousands of votes were impacted by the absence of documentation.” Norton who played a critical role in the recount process said that the report by CARICOM is claiming that the recount was merely a numerical one when in fact that the gazetted Order states it is an audit of votes cast

The CCJ on Tuesday evening granted an injunction filed by the People’s Progressive Party, delaying GECOM from issuing a declaration of the results of the election until it hands down final orders relating to the application. Hearing is scheduled for July 1, 2020.

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