Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (File photo)

By *Dr. Ralph Gonsalves

On July 8, 2020, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) delivered its judgement on the long-running saga touching and concerning the election of the President and members of the national assembly of Guyana — the general and regional elections — held as long ago on March 2, 2020.

The CCJ’s judgement was lucid in every material particular. And as Guyana’s highest, and final, appellate court, it is authoritative. Thus, any attempt, however ingeniously clothed, to litigate all over again this or that matter upon which there has been a final determination or upon which the CCJ has pronounced authoritatively, is tantamount to an abuse of the process of the court or is frivolous and vexatious.

Since the delivery of the judgment of the CCJ, the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), retired Justice Claudette Singh, has been seeking to bring finality to the elections through relevant decisions, declarations, and directives in accordance with the Laws of Guyana and the judgement of the CCJ. Her central focus has been to get the valid votes, as identified or defined by the CCJ, counted. At every turn, GECOM has been frustrated by a recalcitrant chief elections officer.

In a normal democracy what should a straightforward matter of counting votes, has become the equivalent of a long-running soap opera, pregnant with real danger for the people of Guyana and the Caribbean Community. This charade ought to be brought to an end immediately and a just declaration made by GECOM in keeping with the clear mandate delivered by the voters of Guyana and in accord with the Laws of Guyana and the CCJ’s judgement.

The entire world realizes that a small group of persons, in and out of Guyana, are seeking to hijack, in plain sight, the elections, and thus the country. Competitive elections deliver, necessarily, winners and losers. When you lose, you take your loss like a grown man or woman, and you move on peaceably to the role which the voters, in their collective wisdom, have assigned you. CARICOM, the Organisation of American States, the European Union the Carter Centre and other independent observers including those from CARICOM, the governments of Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States have pronounced on this matter, essentially with one voice. Yet, the dangerous games continue to be placed by a minority of persons associated with the political entity which has plainly lost the election. They are literally playing with fire, commotion, disorder, and civil war.

The leaders of CARICOM, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines, cannot and must not appear to be indifferent to, and detached from, what is happening in Guyana. That magnificent country, Guyana, and its industrious people of the highest quality, are dear to us in CARICOM. We are in solidarity with the people of Guyana; we defend on an ongoing basis the territorial integrity of Guyana. Today, CARICOM defends democracy in Guyana; we defend the voters of Guyana; we are on the side of the angels in the stand-off between those who reject the people’s verdict and those who insist, properly, on its observance, recognition, formal declaration, and implementation. Guyana, as the host to the headquarters of CARICOM, as a signatory to the Charter of Civil Society, the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, and other fundamental documents of relevance, has certain fundamental obligations to CARICOM. A rogue clique within Guyana cannot be allowed to disrespect or disregard, with impunity, the clear, unambiguous ruling of the CCJ. The time for decisive action is shortly upon us.

I am deeply disturbed at the credible reports that persons, purportedly allied to certain political forces in Guyana, have been threatening, defaming, and verbally abusing leading personalities in the CARICOM Secretariat, including the secretary general, His Excellency Irwin La Rocque. This is wholly unacceptable! Accordingly, I publicly call upon His Excellency President David Granger, an honourable man, to denounce those who have been engaged in such threats, defamation, and verbal abuse. The voices of all decent men and women of democratic temper must join in the denunciation and condemnation of those whose nefarious agenda is antithetical to every thing that is good and honourable in our Caribbean civilisation.

These self-same vile and vulgar persons, having failed in their attempts to curse and bully Prime Minister Mia Mottley and former Prime Minister of Barbados Owen Arthur, and me, have now turned their demonic attention to senior staff members of CARICOM and other reputable persons in Guyana and the Caribbean Community. We must continue, fearlessly, to do the right thing. The evil of the anti-democratic brigands must not be allowed any space to triumph.

I await, soonest, the declaration by the Chair of GECOM of the results of the elections. It is long over-due!

*Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Chair of CARICOM

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

13 replies on “A personal editorial on Guyana”

  1. Excellent analysis and presentation. Power hungry men will do anything to stay in power. Those in glass houses must not throw stones, though.

  2. Is this a joke? Can satan correct sin? Look who is talking. He knows how to meddle in other countries affairs when he is ruling over a full fledge. dictatorship. Man shut your mouth and call the election.

  3. C. ben-David says:

    I agree with everything in this piece by our Honourable Prime Minister except his assertion that […]Guyana President David Granger is “an honourable man,” which he certainly is not.

    […]

  4. Just look at who’s seeking to school us Vincentians about the democratic process and good behaviour in government when the last SVG election’s outcome is yet to be resolved through the Court system, even as the next Election is now due. Ah wah?

    As Granny would say, is this a case of the pot calling the kettle black? Im bold face to boot!
    https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/07/07/venezuela-rulings-threaten-free-and-fair-elections

    Does this man have the necessary credentials to school anyone in the Caribbean or elsewhere in probity, our knowing the friends that he keep? We also know their attitude towards elections and his own insincere policies towards us, here in SVG and which are leading to our ruin.

    To Ralph Gonsalves’s shame, the world and all peoples with a modicum of scruple, they are able to see how he snuggles up to Maduro in Venezuela, a man without any political legitimacy whatsoever.

    Would Ralph Gonsalves not be better off addressing his remarks to the Cubans or the Venezuelan people? We can only judge Ralph Gonsalves by his own behaviour and the friends he keeps and support.
    https://www.economist.com/the-americas/2020/06/27/how-venezuelas-regime-plans-to-win-this-years-legislative-election

  5. Dr. Rukiya Livan says:

    Are you serious about bullying Mr. Gonzalves? You are a big joke….look at LIAT!!! Antigua and Barbuda can say the same thing about you. Give me a break!!!!

  6. The vote rigging situation in SVG has never been satisfactorily finalized and here we find Gonsalves giving advice in a matter which he failed the Vincentian people in at home.

    Nasty, really nasty

  7. Call Them Out says:

    Boyz, oh Boyz, I am can’t believe this is coming from our Prime Minister. I wonder if he is reflecting on the 2015 elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines? Look, Guyana problem is not one of GECOM and Guyana actions Chief Election Officer or CCJ rulings. Guyana problem is borne out of the shenanigans that take place during the time of polling. As far as I understand this was the same situation that followed our 2015 election here, that ended up in court.
    Guyana Chief elections officer does not wants to follow the law because he is saying the shenanigans that took place during the elections cause the elections to fall into dis-repute. Therefore, those issues must be addressed before the elections results can be declared. The Attorney General right stated the issues that marred the election results during the CCJ hearing.
    Now, everyone is fanning the flames of fire instead of addressing the real issue, which is the endemic and systemic treating that goes on in the Guyana elections. The same treating that it is alleged to caused ULP to be in power now – so that Prime Minister Gonsalves can run off his hypocritical mouth. Only people like you and those that listen to you and the other hypocrites like you will listen to your hypocrisy.
    I hope you will work to insure that we ain’t have civil war this time in St. Vincent after the polls.

    Hypocrite, you better watch out.

  8. There were thousands of illegal ballots casts ; people who died, people who are not eligible to vote, people voted twice, nationals of other county etc. those were the thousands of votes cast for the PPP. Why isn’t Caricom addressing that. Those are the discrepancies that the Guyanese people are fighting about. Ralph you need to tell the people theTruth.

  9. Amos Greaves. says:

    C-Ben David, with respect to the commentyou made about President Granger being an dishonorable man who.about you? Can you meet the treshold? The assessment is in the eyes of the beholder. You must not chastise someone when you have skeletona in your own closet.

  10. I think the readers might be missing the point of this editorial: The PM wants to cozy up to Guyana … smells oil money. Here is what he wrote:
    “That magnificent country, Guyana, and its industrious people of the highest quality, are dear to us in CARICOM. We are in solidarity with the people of Guyana; we defend on an ongoing basis the territorial integrity of Guyana.”

    Could anyone tell me when the PM stood up for Guyana’s “territorial Integrity” against Venezuelan aggression/attempted oil properties grab?

  11. The CCJ is the source of the problem and is influenced by the Socialist ideology. Its a situation where one socialist buddy protecting his comrade. That is why we are underdeveloped because we failed build clean institutions that are free from political bias and corruption.

  12. C Ben, yes five in a row with the help of lumber, galvlanize, cement and what else, every five years, and hunger for the other four years __ pure bribery.. It is written, that Woe unto us that call evil good and good evil. and many that go down to hell will be numberless as the sand on the sea shore, the fire quencher not and the worms diet not.

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