UK reassures Guyana of commitment to democracy, good governance

Baroness Elizabeth Sugg
Baroness Elizabeth Sugg

The Government of the United Kingdom has responded to the Guyanese business community over concerns it raised with that country’s Foreign Secretary and said: “it remains fully engaged in seeking a resolution to events in Guyana which upholds our fundamental commitment to democracy, good governance, and the rule of law.”

The official correspondence was dispatched on Monday by UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and sent to Private Sector Commission (PSC) Chairman, Captain Gerry Gouveia.

The missive was signed by UK’s Minister for Sustainable Development and Overseas Territory, Baroness Elizabeth Sugg, who indicated that “I am replying as Minister for the Caribbean.”

“It is the UK’s view, and that of other diplomatic colleagues and international observers, that it is impossible for results to be announced in the absence of a credible verification and tabulation process,” Sugg said to the PSC.

Gouveia had earlier this month lambasted the protracted delays over the declaration of credible elections results—now seven weeks since the March 2 polls.

He had contended the situation is further compounded by the fact that “business activity and, indeed, the country’s economic and social life as a whole [are] rapidly being paralysed by the COVID-19 virus pandemic under an unelected Administration which has demonstrated a less than satisfactory ability to manage the challenge of the virus.”

The Business Support Organisation (BSO) noted further that because the incumbent A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) “does not command the respect nor recognition of the international community from whom the country desperately needs financial support to fight the virus, the longer this untenable situation prevails, the worse for the people of Guyana.”

Gouveia at the time had said the local Business Support Organisation has absolutely no interest in which of the contesting political parties is elected to govern Guyana.

The PSC is, however, “as one of the accredited local observers, totally committed and duty-bound to ensure that a free, fair and credible election result is declared in the shortest possible time by GECOM.”

The diplomatic community in Guyana has warned against leading Guyana into isolation as a result of the swearing-in of a President based on results that were not credible that emanated from a process that was not transparent.

There have also been repeated threats of international sanctions against the country and individuals guilty of or beneficiaries of electoral fraud.