The Caribbean Community is bracing for yet another tense general elections in the region with voters in resource-rich Trinidad and Tobago being next in line to face the polls in the wake of those held in Guyana, Suriname, St. Kitts and Anguilla so far this year.
The lifeline commuter service had been ailing for years, with regional governments shelling out millions to keep it in the air, but the strain of weeks of downtime from the COVID-19 lockdown has proven to be too much to bear for its already cash-strapped regional shareholding governments.
With the Black Lives Matter movement sparking a spirited reform movement throughout the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world, some Caribbean Community governments and prominent citizens are leading a growing call to rid the region of colonial-era statues that glorify slavery and symbolize oppression.
Guyana’s elections commission (Gecom) at the weekend dropped a bombshell on the country by ruling that the Caribbean Community nation’s March 2 general elections had contained so many irregularities, including dead and migrated people voting, that it has not met the basic threshold to be deemed free, fair and credible.
The third of six major general elections in the 15-nation Caribbean single trading bloc this year was held last Friday.
It is almost now a certainty that a brand new government will run the Caribbean Community nation of Suriname for the next five years following general elections on May 25th that saw voters denying former military strongman Desi Bouterse a third consecutive term.
Dutch-speaking Suriname, the second largest and one of the richest countries in the Caribbean Community, voted for a new government amidst coronavirus restrictions, but it could take several weeks before a new president is elected by the 51-member national assembly.
Locked down because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a number of Caribbean Community nations this week announced plans for a phased restart of economic activities and a reopening of borders in the coming weeks.
Authorities in The Bahamas have suspended repatriation flights for citizens to the regional tourist paradise after an arriving passenger from the U.S. tested positive for the coronavirus.
A recount and audit of ballots and documents of Guyana’s highly disputed March 2 general election was scheduled to get underway on Wednesday, May 6, nearly 10 weeks after the first ballot was cast.