Home Top Stories Opposition writes Int’l bodies to not recognise Govt after March 21
With just six days remaining before the 90-day deadline expires to host national elections, the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has written several international bodies requesting that they do not recognise the Coalition Government after March 21.
Speaking at his weekly press briefing on Thursday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo disclosed that letters have been written to the Commonwealth, the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (Caricom).
“In all three cases, we are requesting that these agencies not recognise the Government of Guyana after March 21. There are other issues we’ve raised in the letters; we give them a detailed briefing as to how the Government has deliberately been slowing down the process of complying with the Constitution; how they’ve acted in bad faith throughout, even at the engagements we’ve had; and so we’ve brought the international organisations up to speed on those things, and we’ve requested non-recognition of the Government,” Jagdeo asserted.
He noted that these international bodies have acknowledged receipt of the letters but did not indicate their positions on how they will treat the Government post March 21.
Nevertheless, Jagdeo said, they will be following-up with these bodies. In fact, he disclosed that he had already contacted the Secretary General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin La Rocque, and plans to do the same with the heads of the other organisations.
In addition, the Opposition Leader pointed out that over the coming days the Opposition will also be re-engaging the diplomatic community to discuss, among other issues, non-recognition of the Coalition Government. The first meeting is expected to be held sometime today.
But even as the PPP Opposition continues to lobby the international community, questions were raised about the party’s past attacks on diplomats here.
Referring to the controversial ‘feral blast’ delivered by the PPP administration against the United States (U.S.) envoy back in 2014, Jagdeo explained that “It was not the concern about a statement on local government elections that triggered what may seem as a harsh response from the Government at that time. It was the personal comments in relation to (former) President Donald Ramotar, and that we take strongly… The international community has always been involved in Guyana on the democracy front…so urging them to be involved now is nothing new.”
Further, he reminded that back in 2016, President David Granger, as Opposition Leader then, had called for international sanctions against Guyana if the PPP administration did not reconvene Parliament after the prorogation, to face the no-confidence motion.
“He called for sanctions against Guyana (in 2014), and today he’s saying, when the external forces say that you have to have elections and you have to respect the constitution… he’s lecturing about “mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs”,” Jagdeo noted, while referring to the Head of State’s comments during the accreditation ceremony of new U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah Ann Lynch, who said on Wednesday that her country will continue to support “genuinely free and fair” elections in Guyana.
The Opposition Leader further spoke about the “non-interference” versus the “non-indifference” concept adopted in the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
“They have a new principle of non-indifference as opposed to the non-interference in the domestic affairs of member states… When there is a serious threat to legitimate order… the world and the African Union will not have an indifferent approach… and we all recognise that in Guyana there is a threat to legitimate order; that the Government will become unconstitutional…” he asserted.
Meanwhile, during the media briefing, Jagdeo disclosed that last week he received a telephone call from former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and took the opportunity to update him on the looming political crisis.
“I did not mention it last week that we had a conversation because President Carter said to me he was trying to get onto President Granger, and did not want, as soon as I get the call, go in the media and talk about. So I give him enough time for that, and I thought it was necessary for Guyanese to know that I received a call and I spoke with him, but I prefer to keep a little quite on the content at this point in time, until I hear back from him as to whether he had spoken to President Granger,” the Opposition Leader noted.
While it is still unclear whether the former U.S. President had since contacted the Guyanese Leader, the Government, in a statement on Thursday, said that Jagdeo’s interpretation of the Constitution is flawed, and that President David Granger will remain President until the new president is sworn in. More so, the release stated that the members of the Coalition Government have not resigned.
“There is no provision in the Constitution of Guyana which requires the President to resign or demit office following the passage of a no-confidence motion… [Jagdeo’s] statement is patently flawed and must be rejected outrightly,” the missive from the Government stated.
Since the December 21, 2018 passage of the motion of no- confidence against the APNU+AFC Coalition, calls have been made by various stakeholders, including foreign diplomats here, for the Government to abide by the Constitution and set a date for elections.
In fact, earlier this week, British High Commissioner Greg Quinn, in an exclusive interview with Guyana Times, reminded that the clock is ticking on the constitutional three months’ deadline for holding elections. This deadline expires next Thursday.
Representatives from the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) have also echoed similar calls in February for the Guyana Government to adhere to the Constitution.