US Democratic Congressman attacks Trump Administration on behalf of APNU/AFC
The comments of Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries about Guyana’s politics has raised eyebrows, particularly as his statements have put him at odds with United States (US) policy regarding the state of Guyana’s elections.
In a correspondence directed at the Congressman, who is Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, two New York-based organisations were highly critical of the way the interview was conducted. According to one of them – the International Center for Democracy (ICD) – Jeffries’ failure to objectively analyse the protracted delay in concluding the election is troubling.
ICD noted that it strongly condemned the statements made by United States Congressman Hakeem Jeffries on May 8, 2020, in an online interview with Rickford Burke, a known APNU activist who resides New York.
It added that the “blatant fraud by Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) in cahoots with prominent members of the APNU/AFC regime to fraudulently declare the Region Four tabulation results in favour of APNU/AFC by using falsified data from an Excel spreadsheet instead of the actual Statement of Poll (SoPs) was witnessed first-hand and condemned by representative from the ABCE countries, EU, OAS, Caricom, international and local observers, representative from all competing parties and the world at large.”
According to the ICD, Jeffries turned a blind eye to a number of issues, including the Guyana Government’s refusal to allow The Carter Center into the country. They also urged that Jeffries publicly denounce electoral fraud and express support for free and fair elections.
Meanwhile, the New York Guyana Democracy Project (NYGDP) in a letter to the Congressman informed him that he should have done due diligence before appearing on Burke’s interview.
“We believe that it’s important that you fact-check the relevant information as some of the contents are very misleading, mischievous, and propagandistic. This could put you on a collision course with pro-democracy activists and international observers as well as with US and other western diplomats in Guyana.”
NYGDP in its letter noted that “you indicated a readiness to assail the US Administration for advocating credible and transparent elections and for warning that a departure could lead to serious consequences against those engaged in electoral fraud in Guyana. We thought you, like other democratic colleagues in Congress, are a defender of democracy and would adopt a strong position to protect electoral rights of the Guyanese as well as other peoples elsewhere.”
They recalled that it is APNU/AFC that has put Guyana in political crisis after political crisis, first by not holding elections three months after the no-confidence vote and now the current political imbroglio.
The letter added that the western diplomats, including the US Ambassador, international observers including The Carter Center, Caricom, the European Union, the Commonwealth and the OAS condemned the fraud in the tabulation process.
“This universal condemnation has irked Burke, who sought you out for an interview with the expectation for you to issue a statement, criticising the statements of the US Ambassador and the State Department about their warning of sanctions should the process continue to be tainted with fraud,” the letter stated.
It added that the people of Guyana welcome the involvement of the diplomats, the US Administration, international organisations and governments in the protection of democracy, including the people’s voting rights. “Surely, you would have no problem with the people’s right to their votes and to choose a Government of their choice in free and fair elections,” the letter noted, urging the Congressman not to allow his reputation to be tarnished.
Jeffries is a high-ranking US Congressman who has also previously been linked to A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC), having attended their victory party in New York back in 2015.
Jeffries had written the then US administration to intervene in Guyana’s political affairs after President Donald Ramotar had constitutionally prorogued Parliament. Note also the letter was released by Burke’s outfit.
A few days ago, he criticised the US Government for what he called “foreign interference” in Guyana’s affairs. This is despite widely documented complaints of rigged tabulations on the part of the Guyana Elections Commission.