Representatives from the US-based Carter Center who are in Guyana to determine the country’s level of preparedness to host General and Regional Elections, following the passage of the no confidence motion on December 21, on Monday, met with members of the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C).
The Carter Center team included Associate Director, Brett Lacy, and Legal and Electoral Advisor, Anne Marlborough.
In an interview with Inews following the meeting, the Opposition Leader said he briefed the visiting officials on his party’s perspective on the elections.
“We welcomed the meeting and we’re pleased that they’ve shown continued interest in the governance issues in Guyana, particularly free and fair elections. We also used to the opportunity to outline our perspective on how the matters are evolving,” he stated.
According to the Opposition Leader, he made it clear that the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition seems “hell bent” on violating the Constitution.
“I told them that there is almost no respect for the [High] Court’s decision and that Government is operating in a manner and have made public pronouncements that it is ‘business as usual’. There has been no good faith effort made by this Government to meet the constitutional deadline and that they are pushing us into a constitutional crisis once the March 19 deadline expires,” Jagdeo said he told the Carter Center representatives.
Since the passage of the No-confidence motion, the Opposition has been reaching out to a number of international organisations to update them on the political situation in Guyana.
As such, Jagdeo said this visit by the Carter Center demonstrates that Guyana and the events happening here are being watched closely.
Already international pressure on the country has mounted. Only recently, United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator, Mikiko Tanaka urged the government to demonstrate its integrity and respect the Constitution as she reminded that building a peaceful and just society requires respect for the rule of law and confidence in national institutions.
While the length of the Carter Center officials’ visit is unknown, the team has already met with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
During that meeting, they engaged Chairman, Justice (rtd) James Patterson; Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield; and the three Opposition Commissioners. The three Government Commissions did not show for the meeting on Monday.
Later that day, the Carter Center representatives also met with Minister of State Joseph Harmon; Social Protection Minister Amna Ally; and Political Advisor, Dr Mark Kirton at the Ministry of the Presidency.