CARICOM facilitates meeting between President, Opposition Leader

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Amidst post-elections tension, President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo met on Wednesday night at the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown with five regional leaders to discuss the way forward.

It was the first meeting between the leaders since the March 2 general and regional elections.

President Granger in an interview with his Press and Publicity Unit said the two sides agreed that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) should meet and decide on how it will implement the Chief Justice’s ruling on the tallying of votes in Region Four.

“I think that was the high point of the CARICOM engagement that the two sides…arrived at an agreement that the process should remain in the Elections Commission. The Elections Commission should meet and decide how it will implement the Chief Justice’s ruling. I think that was the main achievement,” the President said in the video interview.

But it is unclear whether this meeting of the Elections Commission took place before the process of tabulating the ballots of Region Four took place Thursday.

Prime Ministers Mia Mottley of Barbados who is also the Chairperson of CARICOM, Dr Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago, Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, Keith Mitchell of Grenada and Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines visited Guyana to quell post-elections tension.

The President said, “the engagement of the five Prime Ministers was a successful one, it was a necessary one.”

He reiterated that GECOM should be able to conduct its work free of interference.

The leaders earlier Wednesday met with the President and Opposition Leader separately at their offices.

After the initial meeting, Jagdeo told the media that his party assured the leaders that everything will be done to ensure the ongoing elections process is free and transparent. He said the CARICOM leaders were enlightened on issues surrounding the elections process.

“CARICOM has made it clear that every vote must count,” Jagdeo said.

The Opposition Leader believes that CARICOM has a part to play in ensuring a fair process.

“We made it clear that any result from a fraudulent process will not be accepted…CARICOM can help to ensure that there is a proper verification,” he noted.

The Opposition Leader also stated that the PPP is willing to allow a full recount of ballots in Region Four if the prevailing issues persist.

The CARICOM Chairman, Mottley, following the visit to Guyana called on all stakeholders to respect the court ruling and condemned any move to further delay the process.

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