With a high-level independent team already on the ground in Guyana to overlook the recount of votes in all ten administrative regions, President David Granger today indicated that the team will have to operate within the framework of the Constitution of Guyana.
The President said he held a teleconference with CARICOM Chairperson and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley today on the issue and indicated to her that “the CARICOM Initiative should operate within the legal framework of the Constitution of Guyana and respect the role of the Elections Commission and the rulings of the Supreme Court”.
He said the CARICOM high-level team will not act independently and he also urged that the Commission be allowed to craft the Terms of Reference governing the relationship between the CARICOM Initiative and the Elections Commission.
“The Organisational Structure which should embody supervisory and technical elements should be determined by the Elections Commission”, the President said.
He added that the Government of Guyana looks forward to a ‘total national recount’ being completed as soon as possible under the auspices of the Elections Commission.
The Government nominated Commissioners on the Elections Commission raised concern yesterday that the agreement reached between the President and the Opposition Leader was done without the knowledge or input of the Guyana Elections Commission, which remains an independent and constitutional body.
Commissioners Vincent Alexander and Charles Corbin also made it clear that the electoral process for Region Four remains in the hands of the Returning Officer and the President and the Opposition Leader have no statutory functions over that officer or the Commission.
In his address this afternoon, President Granger agreed that he has no role to play in the work of the Guyana Elections Commission.
“I have no role to play in the work of the Elections Commission. I cannot bring the process to an end; the Elections Commission must be allowed to do its work. I am committed to the rule of law and the Constitution. I respect the integrity and autonomous nature of the Elections Commission. I will abide by the declarations of the Elections Commission as I have abided by the rulings of the Court”, Mr. Granger said.
The Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission, Retired Justice Claudette Singh is expected to summon a meeting of the full Commission to examine the issue.
Already the Commission has started to move those containers with the ballot boxes to its central location at its headquarters.