I had high hopes for a free, fair and credible elections following a decision by CARICOM to supervise the recounting of the Region Four votes. Needless to state, my hopes are now dashed after the withdrawal of the Caricom team that was assembled to oversee the anticipated recount.
Guyana is now at the crossroads. It can move forward as a democratic state or be pushed in the backwater of pariah states, which from all indications will face severe international sanctions. This will be a recipe for disaster and economic retrogression.
I take this opportunity to call on all at the Guyana Elections Commission to let good sense prevail and allow for a recount of the Region Four ballots, which is mired in controversy. There is absolutely no need for a recount in all of the electoral districts. This will be a complete waste of valuable time, since it is highly unlikely that such an exercise would reveal any material deficiencies given the transparent manner of the count.
I believe there is still a window of opportunity to salvage the damage done to the electoral process by GECOM. The Region Four recount can re-commence under the watchful eyes of all stakeholders, which should include all the contesting political parties, accredited observer groups and other civil society groups, including representatives of the private sector, labour and religious organisations.
Too much is at stake. Guyana simply cannot move forward if the new government to be sworn in lacks legitimacy and credibility on the basis of a flawed electoral process.
As the saying goes, a word to the wise is enough.