Local business community will take every lawful measure to resist, condemn illegitimate governance – GCCI, GGDMA

Local business community will take every lawful measure to resist, condemn illegitimate governance – GCCI, GGDMA

In a strong call for a credible electoral process, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners’ Association (GGDMA) have jointly declared that the local business community will do everything that it lawfully is empowered to do, to resist and condemn the swearing in of a government on the basis of flawed elections results. Furthermore, the associations said that they would not recognise the legitimacy of such a government.

The organisations said that they are calling for the transition of government to take place only if it is in line with transparent and democratic principles.
In one of the more critical statements made against the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), GCCI and GGDMA said that the management and staff of GECOM have proven themselves to be incompetent, compromised, biased and untrustworthy.

Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI)
Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI)

This comes after two attempts to produce a credible election result for Region Four, the largest and most contentious district, failed due to a lack of transparency and accusations of electoral fraud from observers and the international community. An attempt to facilitate a CARICOM-supervised recount has also been blocked by a candidate of the governing coalition.

GGDMA and GCCI submit that the only solution would be to ensure that all ballots go through a national recount, verified by independent local and international observers, and supervised by a trusted independent arbiter like CARICOM.

If this doesn’t happen, they worry that Guyana could be plunged into illegitimate rule and economic despair.
Noting the calls both locally and internationally for a swift and transparent solution to the current political crisis, the two organisations illuminated the gravity of sanctions as a consequence of straying from the “democratic path”.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry has said, in response to international threats of sanctions, that Guyana is a Sovereign State, governed by the rule of law.

To that, GCCI and GGDMA jointly state that “in this globalized world, no country is an economic island; Guyana’s financial and social prosperity is inextricably interlinked to its relationship with international trading partners. We do not wish for Guyana to become a pariah state, thereby facing sanctions that would cripple our fledgling economy and squander any gains that we have made over the many years of struggle. Guyana cannot afford to face sanctions; we do not have the financial or manufacturing capability to support our largely import dependent economy. Our exports of oil, gold, sugar, rice, timber, liquor, among others, will all suffer as we will be unable to access the level of trade that we presently enjoy.”

Also pointed out is Guyana’s desperate need for international support and funding, as the country battles the Coronavirus pandemic. Guyana has already approached the World Bank for assistance in this regard.
“All Guyanese will face harsh consequences if access to such support from the World Bank, the IDB, the United Nations and other global partners is withheld from us.”

With all being said, the GCCI and GGDMA called for all parties to heed the statements made by the international community, but more specifically by the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the European Union, the Commonwealth, India and CARICOM, which have all expressed the desire of those governments for Guyana’s electoral process to conclude credibly.

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