‘Do the right thing and demit office’ – Caribbean scholars urge Granger
Well-known and respected Barbadian Professor Andy Knight has added his voice to those in the international community who have issued unrelenting and firm calls for the APNU+AFC coalition to concede defeat in the March 02, 2020 elections.
Knight, with a distinguished career as an academic and scholar in Canada, believes the election impasse in Guyana has gone on for much too long and it is time for caretaker President David Granger to concede.
Knight has written on Guyana’s election situation but his oral comments were offered during an appearance on a show on CNC 3 television in Trinidad on Thursday Night, “Roadmap to Recovery – Guyana’s Political Deadlock.”
“I’m hoping that the President does the right thing and demits office and respect the will of the Guyanese people… If that doesn’t happen, I suspect that Guyana can face serious challenges in the future,” he said.
He says Guyana’s recovery from all that has happened politically over the last four months as Guyanese await a declaration of the results of the election, including reports of electoral fraud committed by Clairmont Mingo, will be a major task.
Knight also made it clear that should an illegitimate government remain in office Guyana, its people will be subject to sanctions, both from inside the region and further afield.
“Guyana… can lose its membership in CARICOM… the Commonwealth may disallow membership of Guyana.
“…with the United States also not happy it could be very serious,” he added.
But even amid the domestic troubles, Knight says the impact of fraud goes beyond Guyana and stands to tarnish the region as a body.
He endorsed the CARICOM report on Guyana’s election and the recount which recognizes the opposition People’s Progressive Party as the clear winner with a lead of over 15,000 votes.
Knight said he has personally spoken with observers from the European Union and the Organization of American States and they all came to the same conclusion that fraud occurred when the District 4 Returning Officer attempted to change the numbers in favor of the incumbent APNU+AFC coalition.
“Everyone said the same thing that the vote was fair and square… then things changed at Region 4 and this is fraudulent to change the numbers,” he added.
In a sperate written piece with Winston Dookeran, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago and a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Knight offered more criticism for the Granger coalition.
The two Caribbean scholars said the election itself was “perhaps one of the most outstanding, credible and well-run elections” ever witnessed by most of the election observers.
Knight and Dookeran said based on all the facts of the election, including the eventual recount and the latest Court of Appeal decisions, it is evident that the democratic process in Guyana was undermined.
“We urge the coalition government of the APNU + AFC to do the right and honourable thing and concede defeat in this election. We urge President Granger and Prime Minister Nagamootoo to promptly recognize the PPP/C as the winner in this hard-fought and tightly contested election, and congratulate Dr. Irfaan Ali as the new President, and Brigadier Gen. (Ret’d) Mark A. Phillips as the new Prime Minister in a PPP/C government. It is in the interest of all Guyanese that the APNU-AFC facilitate a smooth transition without further delay in order to uphold and preserve democratic governance.”
They further stated “There is no reason to doubt the consensus opinion and veracity of the CARICOM Observer Team, the OAS, the Commonwealth Observation Mission, the Carter Center, the embassies and Ambassadors of European Union, and the United States, the High Commissioners from Canada and the United Kingdom, representatives from Norway, the Elders Group, and the ABCE foreign powers. Several independent bodies in Guyana, including the Guyana Human Rights Association, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, the Private Sector Commission, and even partners within the APNU + AFC coalition itself have determined that the 2020 election was free and fair, and that the recount was credible. All of these observers can’t be wrong.”