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Guyana: Irfaan Ali sworn in as President -Mark Phillips as PM, Jagdeo as Vice President

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(Stabroek News) Mohamed Irfaan Ali, 40, was today declared the 9th Executive President of Guyana by GECOM Chairperson, Claudette Singh.

He was later sworn in as President at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre after a series of fast-moving events. Former GDF Chief of Staff Mark Phillips was sworn in as Prime Minister and former President Bharrat Jagdeo was sworn in as Vice President. Anil Nandlall was sworn in as Attorney General and Gail Teixeira as Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.

Other Cabinet appointments are to be made later.

The announcement of the new President came this afternoon after Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield submitted the results of the March 2nd general elections using the recount figure which shows a victory for the PPP/C.

The Chair has then wrote Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings advising of the result and requesting that arrangements be made to facilitate the swearing in. These arrangements were then swiftly put in place for the swearing in.

Lowenfield made the submission this afternoon to the GECOM Chair paving the way for the long-awaited declaration of the result and potentially ending a five-month-old crisis.

Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward issued the following terse statement this afternoon on a day of dramatic developments:

CEO submits report to Chairperson using results of the recount of ballots cast at the General and Regional Elections.

On the submission of the report by Lowenfield, the government-appointed commissioners Vincent Alexander, Charles Corbin and Desmond Trotman walked out.

Keith Lowenfield
Lowenfield had previously defied the GECOM Chair’s instruction for the recount result and has since had private criminal charges brought against him.

The following press release was issued today by GECOM

GECOM Declares Mohamed Irfaan Ali President

August 2, 2020, GEORGETOWN–Following the unanimous decision of the Court of Appeal on 30th July, 2020, the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission, Justice Claudette Singh wrote to the Chief Election Officer, Mr. Keith Lowenfield requesting that he presents his report using the results of the recount of the ballots cast in the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections. The CEO complied with the Chairperson’s request and submitted the report as requested.

Subsequently, a meeting of the Commission was convened on August 2, 2020 to deliberate on the report and to discuss ‘the way forward’. It was during that meeting that the Commissioners representing the APNU/AFC Coalition recommended that the GECOM Chairperson, Justice Claudette Singh should consult with the leaders of the APNU/AFC and the PPP/C to initiate talks between the two in an effort to resolve the ongoing election disputes.

Justice Singh agreed and spoke with Mr. David Granger and Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo. However, Mr. Jagdeo opted not engage in any talks with Mr. Granger prior to a declaration by the Guyana Elections Commission. He has committed to talks on a governance model after the declaration.

Consequent to the foregoing, the meeting was adjourned and reconvened at 14:00hrs to deliberate on the CEO’s report. After careful examination of the report, Justice Claudette Singh declared Mohamed Irfaan Ali as President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.

Meanwhile, now former President David Granger signalled respect for the `declaration’ and urged supporters to conduct themselves in a lawful and peaceful manner.

Statement by His Excellency Brigadier David Granger

President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana

2020.08.02

Guyanese,

I have seen the ‘declaration’ issued by the Chairman of the Elections Commission, Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh, SC, CCH, in accordance with the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (at Article 177 (2)), on 2nd August 2020.

I have stated, repeatedly, from the start of the electoral process, that the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition would respect the lawful ‘declaration’ of the Elections Commission. I have never altered this position and I do now acknowledge the ‘declaration.’

The APNU+AFC Coalition respects the lawful consequences of the ‘declaration’ as announced by the Chairman of the Elections Commission. I maintain that the Report ordered by the Court and presented to the Commission contains significant anomalies and irregularities.

The APNU+AFC Coalition cannot endorse a flawed Report and will continue its campaign to ensure that the votes of all Guyanese are accurately recorded, tallied and reported.

The APNU+AFC Coalition will challenge the declared results lawfully, peacefully and purposefully. The Coalition asks its members, supporters and friends – who have been patient throughout our campaign and a prolonged legal process in our Courts – to continue to conduct themselves in a lawful and peaceful manner.

I express my appreciation to all Guyanese who have participated in the General and Regional Elections 2020. I thank every member of the Alliance For Change, Guyana Action Party, Justice For All Party, National Front Alliance, People’s National Congress Reform and Working People’s Alliance and everyone else who supported the APNU+AFC Coalition. They brought passion and patriotism to bear on the conduct of this important democratic exercise.

May God bless the people of Guyana.

JOINT STATEMENT by the Representatives of the US, the UK, Canada and the EU

The Ambassador of the United States of America, H.E. Sarah-Ann Lynch, the British High Commissioner, H.E. Greg Quinn, the Canadian High Commissioner, H.E. Lilian Chatterjee, and the Ambassador of the European Union, H.E. Fernando Ponz-Canto, congratulate the people of Guyana and the Guyana Elections Commission for bringing to a peaceful and orderly conclusion the 2020 elections.

We congratulate the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) on its electoral success and Mohamed Irfaan Ali on his swearing in as President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. We thank President David Granger for accepting the results as befits the dignity of his office. We thank all the political parties, technical advisors and all observers – international and domestic – who participated in the electoral process. We thank GECOM Chairwoman Claudette Singh for having the courage of her convictions to uphold Guyana’s Constitution.

We look forward to working with President Ali and his government as it confronts many immediate challenges, including the need to address the social and economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and the development needs of Guyana’s people. We also look forward to seeing this government at its outset reach across political divisions to unite Guyanese of all ethnicities, races, and regions, around meaningful progress on constitutional reform and reconciliation.

As friends of Guyana, we look forward to working with all to continue to support Guyana’s development for the benefit of all its people.

2 August 2020

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