US reiterates need for “quick and credible” end to elections process
With the recount and tabulation of the votes cast at the March 2 polls finally completed, the United States (US) Government is urging that the exercise process be completely quickly and credibly.
This position was articulated by US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, during a press briefing on Wednesday. During the briefing, Pompeo spoke about the state of democracy in the hemisphere, and particularly Guyana.
“The United States continues to stand for democratic values in the hemisphere. We look forward to a quick and credible conclusion to the vote recount in Guyana,” Pompeo said during the press briefing.
Pompeo has been vocal in urging for the credible conduct of the recount, and for President David Granger not to be sworn in on results that were not credible; namely, the results that include Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo’s fraudulent figures.
The Secretary of State, who once served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), has also been on record calling for the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) caretaker Government to respect the will of Guyanese voters.
“Your anniversary is especially meaningful this year, as Guyana stands on the brink of a new and more prosperous era. We urge the Government to respect the wishes of the voters, as peacefully expressed in the March 2 election. Any recount should be conducted in a free, fair, transparent, and credible manner,” Pompeo had said on the occasion of Guyana’s Independence Day.
Since the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections, the US has expressed its commitment to ensuring that the process is transparent and credible.
Following the two fraudulent tabulations by Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, the US Government warned election authorities “to follow accepted procedures and allow international observers to verify the results”.
Only recently, US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, reminded that the threat of sanctions still hangs over Guyana’s head should a President be sworn in based on electoral fraud. Lynch had explained that sanctions ranged in seriousness from targeted measures, such as individual visa restrictions, to financial measures that could impact the economy.
“You’ve seen some of the statements coming out of Washington. Secretary (of State Mike) Pompeo. Assistant Secretary (Michael) Kozak. The National Security Council. They have been very strong. And Secretary Pompeo did point to serious consequences if the democratic process, the rule of law and the principles of democracy, are not followed in Guyana,” Lynch had said.
The recount results for Region Four were certified only Tuesday, showing the PPP/C with 80,920 general votes versus APNU/AFC, which gained 116,941 votes.
Collectively, the certified results mean PPP gained 233,336 votes versus 217,920 for APNU/AFC.
The process is not over, as Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield has to now prepare a report on the results, as well as a summary of the observations. These have to be submitted by Saturday to the Commission. In addition, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Scrutinizing Team has to submit a report of its own.