US Senators remind Granger special authorised flights allowed

Former President David Granger and Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon
Caretaker President David Granger and CEO of the COVID-19 Task Force

Five top-tanking Senators from both the Republican and Democratic in the United States of America have called on caretaker President David Granger to allow International Observers from the Carter Center and the International Republican Institute (IRI) to return to Guyana to observe the ongoing national recount.

The caretaker Government has come under fire recently for not granting the necessary approval for the Observers to return, citing COVID-19 concerns. But it has granted approval for some six to eight flights since the airport was closed to international traffic, to oil giant, ExxonMobil, to fly in its workers.

In a letter to caretaker President Granger, which was also signed by the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen James E. Risch, the Senators called directly on Granger to allow the Carter Center and other international observers to monitor the recount exercise of the March 2 Regional and General Elections to confirm the integrity of the process.

“While we recognize that Guyana has closed its international airport as part of its efforts to address COVID-19, we understand that your government is providing special authorization in important cases”.

“With full respect for Guyana’s public health measures, we are hopeful that you will consider the presence of additional international observers an essential step to strengthening the credibility of the recount,” the Senators added.

The Washington-based Carter Center, had confirmed that it had deployed an Observer to Miami who was prepared to travel to Georgetown, on May 4, to observe the national recount, but the official was prevented from joining the flight due to the Guyana government officials not granting the necessary clearance for travel.

In a brief statement, the Carter Center had said it continues to reach out to Guyana Government officials to understand what is required to allow its team to return to Guyana.

The Center had said that it remains committed to providing an independent assessment of Guyana’s electoral process, including the ongoing recount exercise.

It should be noted that the Carter Center is among the group of international observers that have been publicly critical of the lack of credibility of the highly contentious Region Four count that is at the centre of Guyana’s current political turmoil.

The Center, in addition to other international observer missions, had subsequently denounced the declaration of unverified results, saying they lacked credibility.