OAS congratulates Guyana's Dr Ali


OAS congratulates Guyana's Dr Ali

Monday, August 03, 2020

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The secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS) Luis Almagro has congratulated the new President of Guyana Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali on his election and swearing in.

“We are happy that the multiple calls by the general secretariat, national stakeholders, and bilateral and multilateral partners for the genuine results of the elections to be respected were heard by GECOM [Guyana Elections Commission],” Almagro said in a statement to the press.

Ali, 40, took the oath of office at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre yesterday before acting chancellor of the judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings Edwards, less than three hours after GECOM declared him winner of the country's disputed elections.

“The OAS congratulates the people of Guyana for their patience. We also congratulate the GECOM chair, Justice (Ret'd) Claudette Singh, for remaining true to her convictions and standing firm against the many efforts to undermine the will of the people,” Almagro continued.

Guyana has been in the throes of an election impasse since the snap general elections of March 2.

The main Opposition party, the People's Progressive Party (PPP/C) was leading in the polls until the final region to declare gave a significant boost to the ruling A Partnership for National Unit (APNU) alliance.

Allegations of electoral fraud and a court injunction blocked APNU-AFC and David Granger from taking the win. A national recount ensued, which found that PPP/C had garnered the majority of votes. However, the chief elections officer's report relied on the results obtained before the recount — a move which GECOM and the regional and international communities rejected.

Dr Ali is the ninth president of Guyana.

At yesterday's swearing in, he promised a government that is accessible and transparent and urged Guyanese to put aside their differences for the betterment of the country.

Yesterday, GECOM declared that PPP/C had won 32 seats in the 65-member Parliament, with the outgoing APNU receiving 31 seats, and the other political parties, one seat, under Guyana's proportional representation electoral system.

Ali promised Guyana that his Administration would “not disappoint” and thanked the population “sincerely for your confidence and your trust, but you will know that in voting for the PPP you've elected a Government to serve all the people of Guyana, and that is what we will be doing”.

“Democracy in Guyana was put to the test in this process,” the OAS said yesterday. “Although it ultimately prevailed, it is clear there are weaknesses in Guyana's electoral system that must be addressed. In the coming months we will issue our final report on the 2020 process with recommendations that can assist in addressing these weaknesses and avoiding a similar situation in the future.”

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