No declaration until completion of judicial process. Min. Cummings tells OAS.
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday July 21, 2020
The Government of Guyana, through Dr. Hon. Karen Cummings, Minister of Foreign Affairs, has emphatically stated that “No declaration of Guyana’s March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections can be made until the current judicial process has been completed.”
Dr. Cummings told a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) on Tuesday, that the Acting Chief Justice in her judgement delivered on Monday, July 20, 2020, in the Misenga Jones v GECOM case, ruled that Section 22 of the Election Laws (amendment act) is constitutional and further that Order 60 made by the elections commission is valid, and that the result of the national recount must be used to declare the winner of the March elections.
After that judgment, an indication of an appeal against it was made and was filed before the court today. This Minister Cummings noted meant the matter remains with the judiciary, and hence, “No declaration of the March 2nd 2020 process can be made.”
Further, she noted that His Excellency President David Granger has repeatedly stated that the Executive branch of Government does not have a role in managing elections, that role is given by the constitution exclusively and explicitly to the elections commission.
“Let us be clear the electoral process that started on March 2 2020, has not been completed and its completion rests solely in the hands of the only legal entity that can pronounce on electoral matters in Guyana; that is the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).” Minister Cummings stated.
Adding the President has also repeatedly stated that he would abide by any declaration that the GECOM Chairperson makes in keeping with the laws of Guyana.
“To date, the Chairperson of GECOM has not made a declaration on these elections.” Min. Cummings noted.
The Foreign Affairs Minister related that though this is a difficult time for the country and its political leaders, the democratic institutions are all working to resolve the issues arising from the March 2 polls.
“There has been no break down in the rule of law in Guyana. And my delegation wishes to reiterate the following fact; that the electoral process is managed by the elections commission (GECOM).” Minister. Cummings.
Tuesday’s meeting was called to discuss the current elections impasse in Guyana.
In the meantime, in accepting the invitation to participate in the meeting of the OAS Permanent Council, Minister Cummings described as premature, the decision by countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union, and other members of the international community to intervene in Guyana’s electoral process while the matter was still before the Supreme Court. This she said could impact the outcome of the elections.