APNU/AFC now rejects OAS eyewitness reports as ‘foreign interference’
…says only Caricom team credible for Guyana
General Secretary for the coalition A Partnership for National Unity, (APNU), Joseph Harmon on Friday called the Organisation of American States’ (OAS) most recent statement on Guyana’s electoral process ‘foreign interference.’
Harmon was at the time speaking with reporters in the makeshift media centre erected at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) and was asked to respond to the OAS’s damming report in light of faith placed in the scrutineers from the Caribbean Community (Caricom).
Those observers are still to make a pronouncement on the recount process and according to Harmon, their report is expected to be persuasive to the outcome of the process.
The APNU/AFC Executive was at the time speaking to the litany of allegations being raised by the party and purportedly now being probed by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
He told reporters “they [Caricom team] having been here for the entire period, they like us would have seen on a daily basis the genie that is emerging out of these boxes when they are opened.”
According to Harmon, APNU/AFC trusts that the Caricom team “will make an honest assessment of what they saw” and that they would submit a report to GECOM that speaks to the credibility of the process.
Asked to respond to the OAS report since those observers would have also been on the ground at the ACCC venue witnessing the activity from day one, Harmon suggested this not to be the case.
Lambasting the OAS, Harmon indicated to reporters that the OAS observers were not as involved in the recount process as the Caricom team, but declined responding to the specifics raised, saying, “I don’t know where they got that from.”
According to Harmon, GECOM has, in fact, begun deliberating on the concerns raised by the party, saying, “We recognise the Elections Commission as being the competent authority, we recognise the Caricom mission that is here as a credible interlocutor in the affairs of Guyana and, therefore, we would rely on those processes.”
Referencing the OAS, he told media operatives “other persons who are sitting on the outskirts observing things and making declarations even while the process is still going; to preempt a ruling of a Chairman of the Elections Commission is in my view stepping beyond just international relations and is stepping into the bounds, in my view of interference.”
That body in its report on the Guyana elections and subsequent recount of votes cast had called for a peaceful transition of power.
According to the OAS in its report earlier this week, “the people of Guyana have been patient and they now deserve a peaceful transition of Government based on the majority vote as reflected in the recount and in support of democracy and the rule of law, which all OAS member states expect to be upheld.”
The 33-member bloc of nations which has maintained a local presence at the ongoing National Recount said it has no reason to doubt that the results that will come out of the process will be credible.
In a statement on Thursday, the OAS, of which Guyana is a member, concluded that “despite some inconsistencies in the electoral materials reviewed during the recount, as is normally the case in any electoral process, the OAS Mission has no reason to doubt that the results emanating from the recount will be credible.”
As such, it said, “a declaration based on these results would lead to the installation of a legitimate Government.”