CARICOM team heads to Guyana for full recount of votes

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Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, Chairman of the regional bloc CARICOM

A team from regional body CARICOM is expected to arrive in Guyana on Sunday to supervise a full recount of votes in coming days. Following the March 2 election, the tabulation of votes by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) for a key district has been marred by controversy.

Local and international observers maintain that the tabulation of votes for Region 4 was not done in a transparent manner and could not be verified. As such, they say the declaration of results of this district, which would ultimately impact who wins the election, would not be credible.

Parties contesting the elections, led by the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), have said tabulation of the region four results have been subject to fraud in favour of the incumbent A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition party.

On Saturday Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, Chairman of the regional bloc CARICOM, said she had spoken directly to both Guyana’s President and the Leader of the Opposition “and they have both committed to abide by the results of a fair and transparent recount of each and every ballot, as supervised by the CARICOM team. We also agreed that there needs to be steps taken to secure the integrity of the ballot boxes until the recount takes place.”

A CARICOM delegation visited Guyana last week for a series of meetings with different parties.

The international community led by the United States has issued strong statements on the political impasse in the new oil producing country, warning that any government sworn in as a result of a non-transparent process would be deemed illegitimate.

Guyana’s President David Granger has maintained that GECOM is an independent constitutional body which the executive cannot interfere with. Mr. Granger has said he remains committed to upholding the constitution and abiding by the laws.