We in the CARICOM Must Never Avoid the Truth and Our Principles: Mia Mottley

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Mia Mottley

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jun 26, CMC – Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley Friday remained non-impressed at the criticisms levelled at her following remarks she made earlier last week regarding the disputed March 2 regional and general election in Guyana.

“The truth hurts,” Mottley told a news conference here, in response to the criticisms levelled at here from certain sections of Guyana, including Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.

“The truth hurts, I have nothing more to say. But what we must never do in CARICOM is avoid the truth and avoid our principles, thank you very much and have a pleasant day,” Mottley told reporters.

Mottley, who is also the chair of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping, had in a statement on Wednesday, said “many of us have observed with great sadness what has been transpiring in Guyana.

“It is more than 100 days since the people of Guyana went to the polls. And yet there is no declared result. From the very beginning we have been clear and said consistently that every vote must count and every vote must be made to count in a fair and transparent way,” she said.

But she noted that “regrettably we have seen a level of gamesmanship that has left much to be desired and has definitely not portrayed our Caribbean region in the best light.”

“This is definitely NOT our finest hour and we must not shy away from that reality,” she said, adding that CARICOM “is concerned at reports that the Chief Elections Officer has submitted a Report to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) which is contrary to the directions given by the Commission and which does not reflect the results of the recount process as certified by the very staff of the Guyana Elections Commission and witnessed by representatives of the political parties.

The Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Guyana’s highest court, Wednesday issued an order that would continue to put on hold the Court of Appeal ruling regarding the disputed elections.

The CCJ will on Wednesday begin hearing arguments as to whether it has jurisdiction to hear the appeal filed by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and the party’s presidential candidate, Irfaan Ali in relation to a Court of Appeal ruling.

Prime Minister Nagamootoo said he was disappointed with Motley’s statement, adding that the CARICOM Observer team in its report had also highlighted several anomalies unearthed during the recount process.

He said the statement by Prime Minister Mottley relied on the recount without the figures produced being reviewed despite the CARICOM team’s report indicating that “it was not just a mere recount but an audit, like a forensic audit looking at everything.”

He noted that while Mottley is entitled to her opinion as Chair of CARICOM, “it is unfortunate that her statement comes on the eve of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) being engaged in a matter of appeal.”

The main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) claimed it has won the elections based on the recount that ended on June 9, but the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) says there were too many anomalies and irregularities and wants the polls annulled. – CMC

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