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…Anglican Bishop says amid international pressure on GECOM to declare elections
Charles Davidson the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese here said he is not surprised by the intervention of the international community in Guyana’s affairs.
But he quickly reminded that Guyana is an independent nation and that we do not have to pay attention to their utterances.
“I was 12 years old when we became Independent. I am not surprised the ambassadors are saying what they are saying. We are an Independent nation and we do not have to pay any attention to their utterances. Que sera, sera,” Bishop Davidson said in a Facebook post that has gained considerable social media traction.
Charles Davidson has been the Bishop of Guyana since 2015. Davidson was educated at the United Theological College of the West Indies and Codrington College.
Since the holiding of elections the Western powers have virtually ganged up on the coalition government in tring to get the Guyana Elections Commission declare results that are mired in controversy and alleged fraud.
On Wesnesday the Ambassador of the United States of America, H.E. Sarah-Ann Lynch, the British High Commissioner, H.E. Greg Quinn, the Canadian High Commissioner, H.E. Lilian Chatterjee, and the Ambassador of the European Union, H.E. Fernando Ponz-Canto said they were concerned that 114 days after the 2 March elections the people of Guyana continue to await the declaration of an election result.
In a statement on the diplomats said it is important “in our view that every vote, cast by every voter, be reflected in that declaration, in order to ensure that the will of the people of Guyana is respected. That respect includes an election declaration of results that mirrors the order and integrity displayed by the people of Guyana, GECOM and party officials, as witnessed by domestic and international observers during the 2 March general and regional elections.”
They added: “We also note that the CARICOM observer mission, referred to as “the most legitimate interlocutor” by President Granger, concluded on 15 June that “nothing we witnessed, warrants a challenge to the inescapable conclusion that the recount results are acceptable and should constitute the basis of the declaration of results of the March 2, 2020 elections.” We believe election results are long overdue and, in that regard, we applaud the patience and peacefulness displayed by the people of Guyana. Pending the outcome of the appeal to the CCJ, we trust GECOM to meet its constitutional duty to issue a Declaration on the basis of the results of the Recount as confirmed by CARICOM, to ensure the democratic choice of the people is fulfilled,” the statement concluded.
‘Premature and prejudicial’
However, Prominent Washington DC Attorney Bart Fisher has criticised the statements emanating from diplomats stationed in Guyana which he said seek to influence the outcome of the national recount of the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections.
In an appearance on 107.1FM Benschop Radio, the US attorney listed a series of grave issues with Wednesday’s joint statement by the ABCE foreign missions. Categorising the statement as premature, Fischer stated, “one would have thought that the signatories would have respected the process and comment on it only at the conclusion.”
According to DC Attorney, the statement is also harmful as matters pertaining to the elections are under judicial review. “That’s a prejudicial statement even before the matter has been heard by the CCJ.” The attorney further criticised the statement for its perceived lack of authorisation by the top foreign affairs officials from the respective countries the ABCE diplomats represent.
“I would like to know if these statements were sanctioned by the appropriate ranking,” Fischer said. Additionally, the attorney noted the joint statement not only flies in the face of Guyana’s laws by showing disregard for the recent Appeal Court ruling but it was a narrow show of support for the next major contender in the elections.
“It is clear they were trying to prejudge this […] it is interference with the internal affairs of Guyana,” he reiterated. Questioning the rationale for the perceived support displayed in the statement for deeming invalid votes credible, Bart conveyed, “obviously you want to count valid votes. Why would you want to count invalid votes?”
Meanwhile, weighing in on the issue Prime Minister Nagamootoo in reminded that following the country’s General and Regional Elections on March 2, 2020, the Chair and other CARICOM heads of government intervened to ensure there was a recount of the total votes cast. He noted that an order was gazetted and a CARICOM observer team was facilitated to oversee the recount. “There was a three-member scrutineer team in Guyana, they had conducted limited scrutiny of the ballots and submitted a report,” he remarked and further pointed out that the report also highlighted several anomalies unearthed during the recount.
The Prime Minister said that the statement by Prime Minister Mottley relied on the recount without the figures produced being reviewed despite the CARICOM team’s report indicating that “it was not just a mere recount but an audit, like a forensic audit looking at everything.”
He alluded to statements made by Caricom Chairman, Mia Mottley noting that she is entitled to her opinion as Chair of CARICOM, “it is unfortunate that her statement comes on the eve of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) being engaged in a matter of appeal.” On Tuesday, PPP approached the CCJ to appeal the decision handed down by Guyana’s Appellate Court. The CCJ on Tuesday evening granted an injunction delaying GECOM from issuing a declaration of the results of the election until it hands down final orders relating to the application.