Presidential Candidate of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Dr Irfaan Ali, has called out incumbent President David Granger for failing to uphold the agreement he signed onto for the conduct of a regionally-supervised national recount of the March 2, 2020 polls.
In a statement on social media about the latest delay tactics by the APNU/AFC Coalition, Ali pointed out on Wednesday that it was expected that the agreement would have been implemented without any delays, so that Guyana is not “held hostage to selfish” actions and desires.
He noted that since Tuesday’s events, he has been bombarded with questions as to why the President would have his party subvert the very process he signed onto.
On Monday, President Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo signed an ‘aide memoire’ to facilitate a national recount, for which the Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley, had fielded an independent, high-level, regional team to supervise.
However, without commencing the process, the CARICOM team was forced to withdraw their services three days after arriving in Guyana, following a High Court injunction that was obtained on Tuesday by an APNU/AFC candidate – Ulita Grace Moore – blocking the recount.
On this note, Ali posited that “we in the PPP/C continue to call on all right-thinking Guyanese to ensure that our democracy is secured, and the way to securing this is to ensure that the recount is done, completed without any further delays. Whatever the result of the recount is, we have to all live by (it). We cannot continue to hold up an entire nation with selfish action. So, it’s time for us to move forward with this recount – a recount that every stakeholder has committed themselves to.”
The PPP/C Presidential Candidate further noted that Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh; the Elections Commission itself, the international community, CARICOM, and the key political players have all committed themselves to this recount. As such, he questioned the motive behind the further delaying tactic.
“What do they hope to achieve with these delays? What is in the best interest of Guyana today? The best interest of Guyana today is our democracy. We all as Guyanese have a right to stand up and protect our democracy, our freedom, the rule of law, respect, dignity, being part of the international community and regional bodies, the rights of our people, our economy, our health, the future of our country, avoiding sanctions. These are things that are key to us as Guyanese and Guyana as a country,” he stressed.
According to Ali, all of these issues can be fixed by ensuring that the recount is done and a legitimate government is sworn in. This, he noted, is all the PPP/C, along with the international community, regional bodies and local stakeholders, including majority of Guyanese, are calling for.
“This is not the time for us to play with our future. This is not the time for us to have selfish desires, this is not the time for divisive politics. After the recount is completed, whoever receive the seat of government have an important responsibility… These issues are destroying our international reputation, these issues that are making us the laughing stock for the rest of the world,” he posited.
On this note, the PPP/C Presidential Candidate outlined the importance of fixing these issues, particularly in the interest of every Guyanese, and ensuring that they are part of the future of a transformed Guyana – something which all stakeholders should be included in.
“We have to be able to build trust among each other. We have to bring down the barriers of division. We have to find a common ground in which we can work to empower our people to ensure all our people feel as if they have a stake in our country, in our future – a common ground in which threats and high-handed behaviour will not be tolerated; a common ground in which all our people can live in a free society in which they can look forward to a future in a democratic platform, where their rights are protected and their votes are respected. These are the things that are key, and to do this, we have to move this process forward and get the legitimate government sworn-in,” Ali asserted.
Fight for democracy
Jagdeo, who is also the General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), also took to his social media page on Wednesday to call out the forces seeking to derail the electoral process. Among those he cited were figures in the Police Force.
“I want to assure Guyanese that we are fighting tirelessly against the attempted coup by the APNU+AFC, GECOM operatives, and elements of the Police Force. We are not alone in this struggle for decency and freedom,” he contended.
Jagdeo further added that, “The international community and many Guyanese organisations and individuals are part of the fight. At some point in time, you too may have to join this fight. Stay calm and await guidance. And please take all the necessary measures to stay safe from the Coronavirus.”