Local Business Community Calls for Credible Electoral Process

March 28, 2020 – The following statement is released on behalf of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and the Guyana Gold & Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA):

The local business community joins the international community and the leadership of our key international trading partners in repeating the call for the transition of government to only take place in line with transparent and democratic principles that lead to credible results. Any government that is sworn in on the basis of non-credible results will NOT be recognized by the local business community, and we will take every lawful measure to resist and condemn it.

Every vote must count and transparency and democratic values must at all times remain sacrosanct in our country. Over recent days, much of the management and staff of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) have proven themselves to be incompetent, compromised, biased and untrustworthy in their handling of our very precious national elections. For this reason, we believe that the only immediately available panacea to this impasse that would bring a credible conclusion to our election process is the national recount of all ballots, verified by independent local and international observers, and supervised by a trusted independent arbiter, such as CARICOM, which has already been committed to by the Chair of GECOM. If such a recount does not come to pass, the egregious intentions of the “forces”, as referred to by the Hon. Miss Mia Mottley, will be
realized, plunging our country into illegitimate rule and economic despair.

Local business, civil society organizations and other groups have continuously pleaded for all and sundry to be wary of the grave ramifications that sanctions will have on Guyana and that such a bleak eventuality should be taken seriously. Over the recent weeks, we have also noted the stepping up of calls by certain powerful trading partners with whom we rely on to not only purchase our exports, but also to provide us with essential imports, indicating that should an illegitimate government be installed in Guyana, there will be severe repercussions. This therefore leads us to conclude that
such sanctions are imminent if such a government is installed. The local business community notes that all political parties have expressed concern regarding the prospect of the imposition of sanctions on Guyana. We remind all that sanctions are consequential and would only apply if Guyana refuses to follow the democratic path and swear in a candidate based on flawed election results. Any government sworn in via this
process would not be legitimate and will not be recognised.

In this globalized world, no country is an economic island; Guyana’s financial and social prosperity is inextricably interlinked to its relationship with international trading partners. We do not wish for Guyana to become a pariah state, thereby facing sanctions that would cripple our fledgling conomy and squander any gains that we have made over the many years of struggle. Guyana cannot afford to face sanctions; we do not have the financial or manufacturing capability to support our largely import dependent economy. Our exports of oil, gold, sugar, rice, timber, liquor, among others, will all suffer as we will be unable to access the level of trade that we presently enjoy.

At this time when the current global pandemic has placed our country in an even more precarious position, we desperately need international support and funding. It is unclear whether or not funding for Guyana’s fight against the COVID-19 disease will be given to an illegitimate regime. All Guyanese will face harsh consequences if access to such support from the World Bank, The IDB, the United Nations and other global partners is withheld from us.

We appeal to all parties concerned to heed the stream of statements emanating from the United States of America, The United Kingdom, The European Union, The Commonwealth, India, CARICOM and many other international partners and echo the call for a credible electoral process that provides the democratic outcome that the Guyanese people deserve.