Jagdeo raps coalition over “duplicitous” stance on int’l sanctions
Opposition Leader and People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday called out the caretaker A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition over its recent stance on mounting calls for international sanctions to be brought against the political grouping.
While the coalition claims that the calls for international sanctions were anti-national, Jagdeo reminded that prior to the 2015 elections, both the APNU and AFC were vociferous in making similar demands.
“[President David] Granger himself had requested sanctions in the past. A long diatribe in 2014 about the country must face sanctions from abroad if [then President] Donald Ramotar didn’t… [go through with] the prorogation of Parliament… Now he doesn’t want sanctions when he is trying to steal a whole election. And that is the duplicity of Granger and the cabal,” Jagdeo stated at a press conference on Thursday.
Many of Guyana’s bilateral partners, including international organisations as well as countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, have warned of sanctions and serious consequences should a new government be formed here from an electoral process that lacks credibility and transparency.
This comes on the heels of results declared by the Returning Officer of Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Clairmont Mingo, from a tabulation process that has been marred with controversy and “credible allegations” of fraud.
But APNU/AFC Campaign Manager Joseph Harmon on Thursday morning expressed concerns over these calls for international sanctions.
“I think that’s very anti-national, very anti-national and I don’t see any country in the world that actually want to invite that level of sanction on its country knowing fully well the developmental path in which we are,” he told reporters at a press conference when asked about the warnings from the US and UK about those who seek to benefit from electoral fraud.
In response to Harmon, however, Jagdeo argued that neither the PPP/Civic or the small parties were anti-national. In fact, he noted that it was the caretaker coalition that was anti-national by putting the entire country and its people at risk for sanctions because of its “lust for power”.
“They are the ones who are anti-national. The civil society organisations, the small parties, etc, we are still trying to avoid the sanctions by asking them to do the right thing, which is to have a recount done that would allow the rightful President to be sworn in, and then we can avoid all of the sanctions, personal as well as national sanctions that would affect all of our people and then we can move forward with the business of governing the country, dealing with the coronavirus and dealing with everything else,” he noted.
Jagdeo, a former Head of State, further noted that while they were trying to avoid sanctions that could affect the country, they were simultaneously asking the international community to be resolute and bring sanctions upon those individuals who are putting the entire country and its democracy at risk.
“APNU just wants to hang onto to power at all costs … somehow in their heads, they think this will all go away. It will not go away. We will seek the toughest sanctions on these individuals and their families, and … they will not be able to run the country. They will have no access to money from bilateral or multi-lateral sources, they not gonna get access to the oil money, they will face individual sanctions, we’ll have restrictions from our exports and a whole range of stuffs that will harm Guyana [because of their actions], but it will also hopefully make them see the folly of their ways,” the Opposition Leader noted.
Moreover, Jagdeo went on to outline that the caretaker Government has recently been trying to change the narrative in Washington on the current situation in Guyana regarding its election results, which are yet to be credibly delivered more than three weeks after Guyanese cast their votes.
“I know that they’ve been actively working there to try to get people to move away, particularly in the US Government, the Congress and in some other countries, from the entire narrative about fraudulent elections, that the results of Region Four is not credible to one that this is something that has to do with the court and secondly, it has to do with some ethnic problem we have in Guyana. So, they’ve been busy putting people to work in trying to create that narrative,” he stated.
But Jagdeo noted that the coalition was only deluding itself since the entire world has seen what took place following the March 2 polling day and specifically, during the Region Four tabulation process.
“…no matter what they do, they’re not gonna change that within the circles in Washington or elsewhere. So, they are fighting a losing battle in that regard. People see this as an attempt to grab power,” the Opposition Leader stressed.
Only on Thursday, the US reiterated an almost weekly call for every vote from the March 2 elections to be counted accurately, further asserting that any government sworn in from flawed election results would not be recognised as a legitimate administration.