‘GECOM being negatively influenced by President, APNU’ – Int’l Center for Democracy

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Following is a press statement from the International Center for Democracy (ICD) on the current national recount: 

The International Center for Democracy (ICD) along with the ABCE countries, EU, CARICOM, International and Local Observer groups continues to monitor the sequence of events from the Guyana’s General and Regional Elections that was held on March 2, 2020.  The recount of the ballots that are currently being conducted at the Arthur Chung Conference Center (ACCC) has drawn the attention of many of the politicians from the competing parties and government officials including David Granger, the caretaker President for the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

The ICD denounces the rejection by the Guyana Government to not allow the Carter Center to return to complete their mission to observe the recount of the ballots at the ACCC. The ICD fully understands the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on Guyana and the world at large. The health, safety and well-being of all Guyanese is paramount. The ICD condemns the Guyana government for using the COVID19 restrictions as the main reason for their rejection. The ICD is appalled that the Guyana Government would deny a request from the highest United States of America representative in Guyana; the Honorable US Ambassador Sarah Lynch who have painstakingly outlined in her diplomatic note her assurance that the Carter Center Observers will comply with all necessary screening and health clearance requirements before the observers depart from the United States to Guyana.

The ABCE countries, EU, CARICOM, International and Local Observer groups have all declared that the electoral process at the polling stations on March 2, 2020 were free, fair and transparent. The same was acknowledged by President Granger when he declared that his party the APNU had won the elections. The tabulation process and declaration for Regional 4 was condemned as fraudulent by all the international diplomats, observer groups and representative from all competing parties.

On May 17, 2020 President Granger visited the ACCC where the recount is being conducted. While on his visit at the ACCC President Granger conducted a private meeting with Chairwoman for GECOM Claudette Singh, senior GECOM staff and prominent APNU representatives. Excluded from this meeting were the GECOM commissioners. The people of Guyana and the political parties do not have confidence in the Guyana Elections Commission and senior GECOM staff that they will be impartial in overseeing the recount process in a free, fair and transparent manner and are not influenced by any political party. The private meeting that President Granger held with the GECOM Chairwoman, senior GECOM staff and APNU representative  further undermines GECOM credibility and supports the notion of the ABCE countries, International  and Local Observers EU, competing political parties and Guyanese as a whole that GECOM is not operating as an independent body and are indeed being negatively influenced by the President and the APNU.

The ICD strongly denounces the GECOM Chairwoman Claudette Singh and GECOM senior staff for meeting privately with President Granger. The ICD demands that all parties must direct their representative to stop spreading propaganda information to tarnish or discredit the validity of the electoral recount progress, that GECOM staff be allowed to do their job without being negatively influenced by any political party and or their representatives, that the Guyana government reconsider and permit the Carter Center and other International Observer Groups to return, that the Chairwoman for GECOM perform her duties and responsibilities without biased or prejudice and that all GECOM staff and party representative confer with the established electoral guidelines and protocols for the recount process to be free, fair and transparent.

The ICD, ABCE countries, CARICOM, EU, International and Local Observer groups will continue to monitor the recount process to the end, to ensure the final recount tabulation of the ballots is transparent and that the final declaration of the Elections by GECOM  is free,  fair  and is based solely  on the actual voters recount numbers.  The people of Guyana constitutional voting rights must be respected and adhere to.

Respectively prepared by:

The International Center for Democracy (ICD)

May 18, 2020