Home Top Stories US Secretary of State, Canada discuss “democratic transition in Guyana”
…as attempt to hijack election results reaches highest level of US Govt
The crisis precipitated by the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) power grab through manipulating the elections has reached the highest level of the United States Government.
On Monday the United States (US) Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo announced that he discussed the matter along with the Coronavirus and Venezuelan crises with the Canadian Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland.
“Spoke today [Monday] with Canadian Deputy Prime Minister @CAFreeland [Chrystia Freeland] to discuss the crisis in #Venezuela, the COVID-19 outbreak, support for democratic transition in Guyana, and the importance of continued strong @OAS_Official leadership on democracy and human rights,” Pompeo said on his Twitter account.
Pompeo’s statements come on the heels of increased pressure from the international community to have the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) completely verify the Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) results before any declaration.
The ABCE diplomatic representatives of the international community have made it clear in a joint statement issued by British High Commissioner Gregory Quinn, United States Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch, Canadian High Commissioner Lilian Chatterjee and European Union Ambassador Fernando Ponz-Canto that GECOM must complete the process.
In their statement, the group noted that based on their observation of GECOM proceedings at the Region Four office and the fact that the full count was not completed, they questioned the credibility of the Region Four results.
“We urge the Guyana Elections Commission and all relevant actors to expeditiously complete the tabulation on the basis of the Statement of Polls. We call on all Guyanese to remain calm and patient and for all leaders to exercise responsibility and restraint,” the envoys representing the most powerful countries in the world said.
The western democracies’ sentiments were in sync with the local business community which insisted that the electoral process that undergirds democratic governance should not be subverted. Caricom, Organisation of American States, Commonwealth, France and Norway were among numerous groupings which called for the complete verification of Region Four results.
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) also made it clear that they are appalled at GECOM’s attempts to trample on the statutory process. The Commission also noted that GECOM’s actions are occurring under the watch of the Chairperson, retired Justice Claudette Singh.
“The tabulation process has certainly raised doubts about the integrity of the GECOM Chair, the Chief Elections Officer and some of their staffers. The threats to withdraw accreditation from the international observers further erodes confidence in the process.”
During an interview with this publication, PSC Chairman, retired Captain Gerry Gouveia made clear the implications if President Granger is elected through a rigged process. According to him, the international community could come down on Guyana “like a ton of bricks”.
On the evening of March 5, Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield had committed to having the verification process run throughout the night until completion. However, this was never done, which was a clear violation of the law.
An injunction was sought and granted to former Attorney General Anil Nandlall after the Returning Officer for Region Four, Clairmont Mingo attempted to declare unverified results for district four from the General and Regional Elections.
Mingo, however, secretly declared the results – to the surprise of the main political Opposition, smaller political parties, elections observer missions, and the wider international community. The matter is currently before the court and will continue today.