After viewing the events on Thursday, March 5th, 2020 as reported by the media houses covering the verification process of Electoral District No 4 (Region 4) at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Centre, High and Hadfield Streets,
Georgetown, I am respectfully appealing to the Chair and Commissioners of GECOM and to the leadership of the contesting political parties to ensure that verification of the Statements of Poll and the Declaration of the Results by the Returning Officer District 4, and the Official Declaration of Results of the 2020 National and Regional Elections by the Chief Elections Officer, be in compliance with the relevant Act and the Constitution of Guyana.
To deviate in District 4, from a process that was reportedly applied relatively smoothly in the nine other districts, and to treat apparently dismissively with the genuine concerns raised by the contesting parties, as well as those raised by local and international accredited observers, is to court disaster.
I hold no brief for any political party but am an advocate for the right of every citizen to have his or her vote accurately attributed to the political party of choice and for the accurate tabulation, verification and declaration of the results. To do otherwise is to taint the democratic process with allegations of fraud, to insult the intelligence of Guyanese, and to incur the criticism and sanctions of the international community.
Such a scenario will exacerbate the lack of confidence in national institutions, betray the inviolability of the constitution and set a poor example to the younger generations of Guyanese. More immediately, it will fuel tensions among supporters of the political parties whose expectations have been raised and those who will feel cheated. Arbitrary decisions that are based on self-interest and which are patently inconsistent with the constitution, will take us down a slippery slope of confusion and chaos that will have far-reaching consequences for our plural society and for Guyana’s future.
I appeal to all for good sense to prevail, to pull back from the precipice and in a mature, responsible and patriotic manner seek to urgently resolve the current crisis facing our democracy.
Joseph G Singh
Major General (retd)
Former Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (1990-2000) and former Chairman GECOM (2000-2001)