US-based Guyanese want US Govt to intervene, restore democracy in Guyana

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Members of the Guyanese American Rights Association (GARA) have written United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo concerning the looming political crisis in Guyana, calling for the North American powerhouse nation to intervene and restore democratic practices here.

The letter dated March 4, 2019, reminded the Department of State official of Vice President Mike Pence’s statement while addressing the Lima Group of nations in Colombia on February 25, 2019, that “a new day is coming in Latin America… liberty, prosperity and democracy are being reborn”.

Reference was also made to the Vice President’s commitment to the people of Venezuela, assuring them that America stands with them “until democracy…. is restored”.

GARA expressed deep appreciation for these principles by the US Government, drawing its attention to the political developments in Guyana.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

“As your Georgetown-based diplomatic team may have briefed your office, Guyana’s National Assembly successfully voted on a No-confidence Motion against the Government of Guyana on December 21, 2018. Article 106 (7) of Guyana’s Constitution states that elections must be held within 90 days thereafter. The deadline for the holding of these elections is March 21, 2019. If elections are not held within this timeframe, Guyana will slip into unchartered political waters and unconstitutional rule,” GARA said in the missive to the US Secretary of State.

The Association of Guyana-born Americans further highlighted the potential Guyana has as an important player in the oil and gas industry within the next year; using the expertise and capital of ExxonMobil.

Against this backdrop, the members of GARA emphasised that it is imperative that a legitimately elected Government administer the country, noting that Guyana’s history of rigged elections must be avoided at all cost.

“We are, therefore, seeking the use of your good office to ensure that Guyana returns to the fold of democratic rule as wished for by the Government of the United States. We plead with you to help the Guyanese people fulfil their democratic ambitions by helping them to further empower their independent institutions in order to better promote democracy as a means to collectively achieving stability, and prosperity across the Hemisphere,” the Association asserted.

It went on to point out that if Guyana continues to regress, the entire Hemisphere will suffer.

“We therefore seek your diplomatic intervention to reinforce the full implementation of democratic practices which can be denied to our people by way of unconstitutional rule after March 21, 2019. Ultimately, without the support of the United States, Guyana can become another failed State as it again steps away from timely and constitutionally due free and fair elections. The founding father of these United States fought for that sacrosanct right of the people to choose their leaders. We wish the same for Guyana,” Association said in the letter.

In fact, the GARA members indicated to Secretary Pompeo that they are committed to meeting with him or a representative to further discuss this matter.

Despite Articles 106 (6) and (7) outlining that the President and his Cabinet should resign and call elections following the passage of a No-confidence Motion, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change coalition refused to resign, saying that there is no provisions for a caretaker Government.

In fact, the Administration has challenged the validity of the resolution in the courts. Last month, acting Chief Justice Roxane George found that the No-confidence Motion was validly passed, and that Cabinet should have resigned.

However, Government has since appealed the High Court’s decisions. Those matters are set for hearing next week at the Appeal Court.

In the meantime, the Guyana Elections Commission has already indicated that it cannot hold elections before the constitutional March deadline. The Commission’s officials are meeting with President David Granger today.

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