Press Releases

Chairman of the Caribbean Community, Dr. the Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, announces the seven-member team who will undertake the Independent Audit of the December 1997 elections in Guyana

The Chairman of the Caribbean Community, Dr the Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, today (13 February,1998) announced the members of the Caribbean team who will undertake the independent audit of the December 1997 elections in Guyana. Over the past several weeks consultations on the make-up of the team have been held with the various political parties which contested the December elections. These consultations involved the Alliance for Guyana, The United Force, A Good and Green Guyana, Justice for All and the Guyana Democratic Party. Following these consultations, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic and the People’s National Congress confirmed their approval of the team’s members.

The seven-member team will be led by the Hon. Ulric Cross, former Head of the Court of Appeal of Trinidad and Tobago and former High Commissioner for Tobago to London. Other members of the independent audit team are Ms Carol Jerome-Horsford, Assistant Supervisor of Elections, Grenada; Mr. Noel Lee, former Director of Elections, Jamaica; Mr. Frank Phillips, Consultant, Trinidad and Tobago; Mr. Dennis Smith, former Chief Elections Officer, Barbados; Mr Justin Daniel, Chief Elections Officer, St. Lucia and Dr Dinanath Gajadhar, former Deputy Chief Elections Officer, Elections and Boundaries Commission, Trinidad and Tobago.

The first stage of the audit will be a review of the due process of the count on and after 15 December 1997, including a review of the role of the Elections Commission. The first stage of the audit will have as its primary purposes an examination of the processes of the count from the close of poll to the declaration of final results of the election by the Elections Commission. The validity and authenticity of all relevant documents and the ascertainment of the votes that were duly cast for the respective political parties. The team is expected to shortly commence its work in Guyana and the exercise is expected to be completed by the agreed deadline of 16 April 1998.

The Audit team will have authority to enquire into all matters they consider pertinent to the conduct of their enquiry and will expect the facilitation of their efforts by the members and staff of the Elections Commission to the extent and in the manner they consider appropriate. The audit will encompass all electoral Regions of Guyana but will give priority to Regions 4 and 6. The team will have access to additional technical consulting skills in the fields of computer programming and accounting. The United Nations Development Programme and the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown are coordinating both domestic and external financial donor and other support for the work of the Audit team. These efforts are being assisted by Mr. Hugh Cholmondeley who has been appointed as the CARICOM facilitator of the Herdmanston Accord.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mitchell, in his capacity as CARICOM Chairman, is finalising arrangements for an early visit to Georgetown by Caribbean Heads of Government who serve as members of the Bureau of the Caribbean Community. It will be recalled that the Caribbean Community Mission to Guyana led by Sir Henry Ford and including Sir Alister McIntyre and Sir Shridath Ramphal resulted in the Herdmanston Accord which described the Measures for Resolving Current Problems in Guyana after the recent elections. The Accord was signed in Georgetown on 17 January 1998 by President Janet Jagan representing the People’s Progressive Party/Civic and Mr. Desmond Hoyte, Leader of the People’s National Congress.

St.George’s Grenada
13 February 1998

Show More
Back to top button