OAS says Guyana being held hostage, urges end to court trials seeking to block results
Guyana is being held hostage by those who want to change the results of the March 02 elections, Luis Almagro, the Secretary-General of the powerful Organisation of American States (OAS) said on Tuesday, as the world again called on President David Granger to leave office and allow the swearing-in of Dr Irfaan Ali and the lawfully elected President.
“This needs to end. It is not serving the institutions, it is not serving the democracy, it is not serving President (David) Granger,” Almagro said as the Permanent Council of the OAS met to discuss the electoral crisis in Guyana; action against Guyana could be taken if the situation does not change.
Mr Almagro said the solution to the crisis lies in the acceptance of the results of the recount and the orderly, peaceful transition to the new government in accordance with the will of the people.
“This is a historic turning point for Guyana. Without a doubt this will define its future,” he declared.
Mr Almagro said it is a moment to find great leaders – those who can leave aside their specific interests and inter-party disputes in order to safeguard the system as a whole.
The meeting came as one of President Granger’s agent Misenga Jones filed an appeal to Monday’s High Court ruling that clearly validated the national vote recount and the results from it as the only basis upon which a declaration can be made. The case could go all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Guyana’s final court of appeal, further prolonging the declaration.
President Granger’s party agents and supporters have repeatedly used the Court’s to block the declaration of the results of the recount which showed a win for Dr Ali’s PPP.
“I would request that the court not be resorted to anymore,” Mr Almagro stated, saying now is the time for the political leaders to save Guyana’s democracy.
Mr Almagro said the electoral crisis has persisted much too long and noted that the delay has been because there is an attempt to impede the majority decision of Guyanese who voted on March 2.
He said the voting was well organised and peaceful, but it was when Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo deviated from the lawful tabulation of the District Four votes that there was the “beginning of a chain of actions aimed at altering the results and confusing the citizenry.”
As a result of the manipulation of the process, the full OAS Observer team withdrew from the process. Mr Almagro said has happened only “once or twice” in the history of the OAS observing elections.
He said that when it because clear who the winner of the elections was, there was an attack on the credibility of the recount exercise with unfounded allegations. Those unfounded allegations were made by agents of President Granger’s Coalition APNU+AFC.
But despite all that has happened, Almagro was clear that the world knows who won the March 02 elections.
“Today we know the results of the vote of March 2,” Almagro stated.
Almagro repeated an earlier statement by the OAS that those involved in undermining the democratic process be removed from the process.
There have been multiple calls for Chief Elections Officer to be fired after he repeatedly refused to comply with directions given to him by Justice Claudette Singh, to produce a report based on the recount so that there could be a declaration of the results.