The campaign for elections is over now, the results are known and the evidence is written on Statements of Poll (SOPs) and contained in well-secured ballot boxes. The legal, honest and decent way forward is clear; a Returning Officer from GECOM has to work with party agents in the presence of observers to tabulate a credible result for District/Region Four.
I suggest that all the containers with ballot boxes be transported to a central, secure location, such as the TSU tarmac at Eve Leary; in the (now likely) event of a discrepancy between GECOM and party SOPs, the relevant ballot boxes can be retrieved and counted on the spot, in the presence of party agents, observers and media operatives. This is what is meant by verification.
This process must be followed meticulously before any declaration of results can be made; a bona fide report written by the Chief Election Officer made for the GECOM Commission to consider and then make a final pronouncement, then and only then, can any legitimate Government be installed and a President sworn to serve. All else is noise.
Guyana’s elections must be deemed credible by the international observers present and our next Government be recognised as legitimate.
Today, the world enters the third day of an economic meltdown attributed to the COVID-19 outbreak and Saudi Arabia and Russia have begun a vicious war of oil sales which have sent oil prices plummeting hourly, US$32 at the time of writing for Brent crude with analysts predicting US$15 as the final price for the rest of the year, Guyana is about to face financial hardships not seen in a generation. The bet on oil has backfired and it cannot be relied on as the pillar upon which we can stand much less build our future upon.
Guyana’s reserves of foreign currency are seriously depleted and our gold reserves are now minimal following the Granger Administration sell-off. Utterances from senior United States State Department figures leave no doubt that any Government installed without a transparent verification of the District/Region Four votes will not be recognised as legitimate.
I urge all Guyanese to support this verification process (even if it means a full recount) in the interest of our safety, security, and place among the legitimate nations of the world.
The road ahead for our nation will be difficult and cannot be done as a rogue state; should we become a pariah, we the citizens will endure untold suffering. Guyanese have been down this road before and survived but it is not the one we ever wanted to see our children trod. There is still time to get the verification started, there is no need for GECOM to be fighting a court case at this time; all that is required is the integrity of persons and political maturity to accept the verified count. The Ides of March are upon us.