Sir Shridath Ramphal applauds GECOM Chair, hails CARICOM report

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Sir Shridath Ramphal, one of the “Three Wisemen” who brokered the Herdmanston Accord in 1998 to end a political impasse in Guyana, has hailed Justice Claudette Singh for her decision not to annul the elections and to move ahead with the declaration based on the results of the national vote recount.

Please see his statement below:

As one who pleaded that we, Guyanese, “do not descend into the pit of lawlessness”, I applaud the Chairman of GECOM, Claudette Singh, for elevating the rule of law above all other considerations.

The CARICOM Report on the recount of the votes in the March 2nd general elections is more than a milestone in democracy in Guyana; it is a landmark in democratic ethics throughout CARICOM.

President Granger emphatically said that “CARICOM was the most legitimate interlocutor” in the Guyana electoral crisis. And he was right. So it is. As long ago as 2001, CARICOM Heads of Government (including Guyana’s) have stressed that the Region had a long-standing tradition of respect for the will of the people expressed through free and fair elections on a regular basis and pledged to work together to maintain and strengthen the institution and processes essential to democratic Governance.

The CARICOM scrutineers have gilded that pledge, and the Chairman of GECOM, in respecting the legalities their Report ordained, has married law to democracy.

The outcome of the Guyana General Election 2020 must be an example – not only in Guyana but regionally and world-wide – of the strength of law and democracy.

(Sir Shridath is a former Attorney-General and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guyana; Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chairman of the West Indian Commission, Chancellor of three Universities –  the University of the West Indies, the University of Guyana and the University of Warwick (UK), Head of the CARICOM Regional Negotiating Machinery.   He is a celebrated international lawyer and member of Guyana’s legal team at the International Court of Justice in the contention with Venezuela which opens on June 30th.)

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