Former Commonwealth Secretary-General Sir Shridath Ramphal, has backed CARICOM’s supervisory role in a national recount of votes cast in the March 02 general and regional elections, saying their role should not be smothered under any pretext whatsoever. Sir Shridath was one of CARICOM’s “Three Wise Men” that brokered the 1998 Herdmanston Agreement after the impasse of the December 1997 General Elections in Guyana. He is also a former Minister of Justice of Guyana, Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and the University of Guyana and Chairman of the West Indian Commission.
Please see below statement from Sir Shridath:
In the darkness of disagreement, CARICOM’s helpful intervention in trying to resolve the general elections process at the request of both President Granger and Opposition Leader, Bharat Jagdeo, was a ray of light.
All Guyana should have welcomed it, as most Guyanese did. It is a wholly legitimate role of community that must not be smothered under any pretext whatever.
It is utterly regrettable that, despite the highest-level agreement between the political leaders of Guyana and five CARICOM Heads of Government acting for the Community, the invited CARICOM team to oversee the recount of the votes has had to withdraw.
Guyana is being deprived of regional and international approval and the opportunity for global respect at a time when it matters most.
CARICOM has not closed the door to proving the preciousness of its familial ties with Guyana; it can still play the role Guyana’s two political leaders agreed it should.
What is required now is for all to place the interest of the nation above other narrow considerations that could mar the country’s prospects and retard the strides that the people of Guyana have made collectively.
I urge that peace and progress be pursued lawfully and transparently.