COI into attempts to rig elections ‘soon’ – President Ali
President Irfaan Ali this week said that the Commission of Inquiry into the events that unfolded in the five months after the March 02 general and regional elections will come soon.
“It is going to come and it will come soon,” Dr Ali told reporters on the sidelines of an event at his Shiv Chanderpaul Drive, Georgetown Office earlier this week.
Just after he was declared President on August 2, and in subsequent statements, President Ali promised the inquiry into the attempts to rig the elections to keep the retired Brigadier David Granger and his Coalition APNU+AFC in office and deny Ali and the PPP victory.
The President said key figures in his government are working to ensure that the COI happens, although it was taking longer than expected.
Offering an explanation for the delay, he said, “a lot has occurred over the last seven months… national issues that we had to deal with.”
He assured that he was not shying away from the commitment which thousands of Guyanese now rely on for closure into the events of the highly contested elections from which Dr. Ali and the PPP/C emerged the winners.
“It is not us moving away from that commitment,” he said during brief comments.
Dr. Ali had promised the COI back in August 2020, shortly after being sworn in; he recommitted several times after, assuring that his government is committed to ensuring the will of the people is secure.
He also outlined that the COI will be an international one to independently investigate what occurred and where the weaknesses in Guyana’s electoral systems are.
While the CoI will produce recommendations for reforms to fix the electoral system, it will not interfere with the election petition filed by the APNU+AFC Coalition and other ongoing Court matters linked to the elections.
The President has, however, indicated that through the CoI persons who attempted to obstruct democracy and the will of the people will be held accountable.
On August 2, 2020, Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh has officially declared Irfaan Ali of the People’s Progress Party as the President of Guyana
The declaration of the results of the election came exactly five months after Guyanese went to the polls. A national vote recount showed the PPP winning the elections by over 15,000 votes but the now-ousted APNU+AFC had refused to accept the results and embarked on a campaign alleging fraud.
There were also several elections case that reached all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice.
The last case sponsored by the APNU+AFC challenged the recount figures but the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of Chief Justice Roxane George that the national vote recount is valid and that the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield, as an employee of GECOM, must do as he is told.
Lowenfield along with several other staff of the GECOM Secretariat and members of the APNU+AFC Coalition are currently before the Courts charged with matters relating to electoral fraud.