line set for completion at an incredible 25 days.
This of course comes after the ludicrous proposal by one member from the country’s elections commission for this exercise to take place over a period of 256 days.
The stain already blemishing the conduct of what transpired after the voting was concluded is bad enough. A host of international observer missions packed up and left in the midst of the controversy surrounding the attempt to declare the elections over, but with clear concerns surrounding the returns from one region. This is the critical Region 4, which includes the heavily populated districts in and around the capital city of Georgetown.
Current Caricom Chairman, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, supported a decision by the Caricom team of observers to high-tail it out of the country in the midst of the potentially dangerous situation which arose at that time. She is on record as having expressed disappointment over what she described as dark forces intent on frustrating the will of the Guyanese people.
After much deliberations across the region, a Caricom team is back on the ground to conduct an exercise that will last 25 days. Also on the ground in Georgetown for the second time around for the same exercise is an OAS team headed by former Jamaica prime minister Bruce Golding.
Now, however, the leading opposition figure, former president Bharrat Jagdeo, is this week postulating a possibility that the exercise could take longer than 25 days.
Without any certainty as to how much longer he expects it to take, Mr Jagdeo is proposing an arrangement under which he will co-sign an appeal to the Caricom Secretariat for the observers to be allowed remain for however long this supposed extension will be. He has proposed that the country’s sitting President, David Granger, join in this new effort at revising the re-started recount exercise. He said such an extension appears likely, given what he claimed is an arrangement in which the elections commission has agreed to have only two work stations in operation for its exercise.
As if to suggest that this is already a foregone conclusion, Mr Jagdeo disclosed that he has already broached the subject with the Caricom Secretary General whose Secretariat is located in Georgetown.
Mr Jagdeo argues that the continued presence of the Caricom team, and presumably that of the others, represents “a major safeguard” for the fair conduct of this exercise, and the eventual declaration of the long-delayed results.
This situation has by itself pressed pause on the ambitions of Guyanese nationals themselves, as well as the international investors who wish to get ahead with the tremendous prospects for the economic advancement of the country in oil and gas and other related activities.
It is worth repeating the latest reminders from the US Ambassador in Georgetown that “serious consequences” remain to materialise if this already tainted process fails to meet the widespread expectations centred around democratic principles and the rule of law.