CARICOM Prime Ministers to Visit Guyana in Effort to Ease Tension

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Mia Amor Mottley, CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of Barbados. (Mohamed A. Hassim image)

(CARICOM / CMC) — Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley will lead a delegation of regional Prime Ministers on a special two-day mission to Guyana, starting tomorrow March 11, in an effort to ease tension in the country, following last week’s elections.

The chairman of CARICOM will be joined by Prime Ministers Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Keith Mitchell of Grenada.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said, “In an effort to ease tension in the country and assist in arriving at a resolution to the impasse that resulted from last Monday’s general elections, the delegation will meet with the leadership of all parties that contested the poll.”

Additionally, the CARICOM heads will meet with representatives of the Commonwealth, Organisation of American States, European Union and Carter Centre observer missions that were in the country to monitor the conduct of the elections.

Prime Minister Mitchell confirmed that he will part of the team. “I am one of those asked to lead a delegation of leaders to Guyana tomorrow (Wednesday) to attempt to bring some semblance of peace and order to Guyana and this particular time,” he said while reminding reporters in 1997 he was part of the similar undertaken while he was chairman of Caricom.

“We had a similar situation in Guyana where the result of the election was accepted by the opposition and there was upheaval in the country at the time and I had to go in there and try to bring peace and we were able to resolve the issue as CARICOM,” he recalled.

Guyana’s Opposition leader, Bharrat Jagdeo was reported as telling the Stabroek News that the delegation has already contacted his party and will be meeting with him sometime tomorrow (Wednesday).

Mottley last Saturday called on Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) officials and the political leadership to work together to ensure that the tabulation of the results from Monday’s polling is done according to the law in order for a peaceful and legal completion of the process.

“We are very clear, every vote must be made to count; and transparently so,” Mottley had said in a statement as she emphasized that the preservation of law and order is paramount. “It is critical that good sense prevail.”

Guyana held elections on March 2 to vote for a 65-member National Assembly.

Before the official results were out, both of the major parties claimed a victory, but the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) announced results in which the incumbent president, David Granger, received a narrow win. The ongoing controversy surrounds a declaration of “unverified” results for the elections in Region 4.

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