Major powers up pressure on Guyana Govt to approve return of Carter Center Observers

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Acting Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Michael G. Kozak

Pressure is mounting from the international community following the denial of the Carter Center observer mission’s re-entry into Guyana to observe the national recount which is expected to commence on Wednesday, May 6.

On Sunday evening, the United States called on the Guyana Government to approve the entry of the Carter Center and the International Republican Institute Global (IRI Global) in order to ensure a transparent electoral recount.

According to Acting Assistant Secretary for the US Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Michael G Kozak, a credible recount requires robust international participation.

Deputy Director and Senior Analyst at Global Affairs Canada, Michael Grant

Assistant Deputy Minister for the Americas at Global Affairs Canada, Michael Grant in a tweet on Sunday evening also issued similar calls: “We continue to watch the situation in Guyana. Glad the Caricom mission has returned but President Granger should also immediately approve return of the Carter Center. They are duly accredited and want to complete their observation mission.”

His statement followed a similar statement by Canada’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Lilian Chatterjee, who tweeted that the Carter Center team be allowed entry. “[Canada] funded the Carter Center Election Observer Team in Guyana. I hope Guyana will allow them to return to complete their task. The Carter Center has earned the respect of Guyanese citizens & political parties for decades,” she had stated.

These calls mirror the sentiments from the United Nations Resident Representative in Guyana, Mikiko Tanaka, who on Sunday also took to her Twitter platform to express similar concerns. In her tweet, Tanaka stated, “The @UN hopes for the timely return of the Carter Center @CarterGuyanaEOM to #Guyana to fully participate in the observation of the national recount and to help bring speedy and credible closure to the 2 March #GuyanaElections.”

On Sunday, the United States Embassy issued a statement disclosing that permission was sought from the COVID-19 Task Force, headed by Chairman Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Director Joseph Harmon, and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) for a flight to land today, May 4, and for the observers from the Carter Center to be allowed entry into Guyana on that flight.

However, the Task Force in response approved the arrival of the flight and not the observers.