Guyana has opportunity to stave off sanctions if recount is credible – EU

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EU Ambassador Fernando Ponz

As Guyana continues to face mounting pressure and threats from the international community regarding the questionable results of the March 2 elections, the Delegation of the European Union here says that there is still an opportunity for the country to come out of this situation without having to face any sanctions.

During an interview on a local radio programme on Monday, EU Ambassador Fernando Ponz Canto posited that there is still hope for Guyana to get out of its current political impasse without facing any sanctions from the international community.

According to the diplomat, while the EU is obligated to suspend cooperation if there is a breach of democracy, which is one of the shared common principles in the Cotonou Agreement – of which Guyana is a party – he would not like to see this happen.

Nevertheless, Ambassador Canto contended that cooperation with not only the EU but other international organisations as well as countries will be better if Guyana has a stable and democratically elected government.

The EU diplomat advises that as a friend of Guyana, the recount of the March 2 votes should commence immediately and be done credibly, transparently and rapidly.

The EU had fielded a 50 plus member elections observation mission for the March polls.

While the team has since left, Ambassador Canto noted that they are still working and monitoring Guyana’s situation from abroad.

The Guyana Elections Commission in a media release on Tuesday said a date for the commencement of the countrywide recount will be announced once “all the details have been finalised”, particularly as it relates to the arrival of a team from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to observe the process.

It has already been over six weeks of controversies and a credible winner for the 2020 General and Regional Elections is yet to be declared. After two declarations from Region Four’s (Demerara-Mahaica) Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, which lacked transparency, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and caretaker President David Granger had agreed to have Caricom oversee the recount.

The CARICOM team

That agreement was derailed when A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) candidate, Ulita Moore, moved to the courts and secured an injunction against the exercise.

That injunction was discharged by the Full Court and later, the Full Court’s decision was upheld by the Appeals Court.

GECOM has since re-invited Caricom to observe the recount process.