EEUU ofrece asistencia a Guyana para “fortalecer la democracia”
US offers assistance to strengthen democracy
During a meeting with Attorney General Anil Nandlall and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Gail Teixeira on Wednesday, US Ambassador to Guyana Sarah Ann Lynch recommitted her government’s intention to help strengthen the country’s institutional democracy to avoid any reoccurrence of the 2020 elections debacle.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Legal Affairs, the US Diplomat expressed her admiration for the legal team that defended the rule of law, constitutionality and democracy during the multiplicity of proceedings that were filed before the declaration of the March 2, 2020 elections.
For his part, the Attorney General thanked the Ambassador for her, the US Embassy and the US Government’s critical role in ensuring the results of the elections were not derailed.
Meanwhile, the US Ambassador used the opportunity to commit the US Government intention to assist and collaborate with the Guyana Government in a number of areas, including but not limited to security, security training and enhancement, human services, legislative reforms and strengthening Guyana’s institutional democracy to avoid a reoccurrence of the 2nd March 2020 elections debacle.
Guyana’s March 2 General and Regional Elections ended up lasting five months – largely due to attempts by political operatives and comprised electoral officials to deny the will of the people.
Dubbed the “Mother of all Elections”, this year’s electoral process saw blatant attempts by electoral officials to alter the results of the elections, with Returning Officer for Region Four Clairmont Mingo giving to the then incumbent APNU/AFC Coalition more votes than they had gained at the polls.
With countless stakeholders raising concerns about those discrepancies, a national recount ensued – but despite agreeing to the exercise, APNU’s Leader David Granger sought to have the process frustrated through a number of legal battles filed by the party’s supporters.
There were more challenges at the end of the countrywide recount, with the APNU/AFC refusing to accept the certified results which showed that the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) had won the election.
More legal battles ensued, pressure from the international community mounted, and eventually sanctions were imposed by the US against certain officials.
Eventually, Granger and his regime conceded defeat and Dr Irfaan Ali was sworn in as president.
Harmon must apologise to Guyana over attempts to derail democracy – President Ali
Por Devina Samaroo
President Dr Irfaan Ali has called on Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon to apologise to Guyanese for the role he played in the attempts to derail democracy in Guyana following the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
During an exclusive interview with Guyana Times at the Office of the President on Thursday, the Head of State made his position pellucid, on how he intends to engage with the main parliamentary Opposition, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition.
“This is a legitimate government and my position is: Mr Harmon needs to get it right. He has a moral and ethical responsibility to correct the misleading narrative that he shared on the ground; he has a moral and ethical responsibility to correct the falsehood he shared on the ground. For a matter of fact, he has a moral and ethical responsibility to apologise to Guyana for all the things he [Harmon] did in those five months to derail democracy,” President Ali affirmed.
“The PPP/Civic is the elected government. I am the elected president by the will of the people and no one will try to derail the will of the people again…[no one will] try to derail the democratic outcome of the elections, by pushing a narrative to fulfil their selfish, political desire; to fulfil their greed, and selfish actions – that the world has exposed – and trying to justify that narrative by saying to the Guyanese population that the Government is illegitimate,” Ali contended.
Harmon is among several top coalition members who have been pushing the narrative that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is an illegitimate Administration and that the APNU/AFC coalition is the winner of the March 2 polls. This is evident in the two petitions the coalition has filed, contesting the results of the elections as well as the certified recount results.
In fact, as recently as last month, Harmon issued a press statement in which he referred to the PPP/C Government as illegal and illegitimate.
He was at the time responding to Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira who had condemned the fact that the APNU/AFC has been deeming the PPP/C Administration as “illegitimate” but still wanted to be on State Boards.
Harmon, in response, stated: “I wish to advise Ms Teixeira that there is a difference between the State and the Government. The State of Guyana is a legal entity that operates in perpetuity. Governments come and go. A government can be illegal and illegitimate as is the one she is a part of.”
But at the same time, Harmon wants to have dialogue with the President on a number of issues of national importance.
President Ali had previously argued that: “You can’t speak to someone you don’t recognise; you can’t have a serious discussion with me if you don’t recognise me.”
Dr Ali’s assumption to the presidency came after a long hard-fought battle to restore democracy to Guyana.
The battle began in December 2018, when the David Granger-led APNU/AFC coalition Administration fell to a no-confidence motion sponsored by the Bharrat Jagdeo-led Opposition PPP/C.
The Granger Administration violated the Guyana Constitution by refusing to concede defeat and call elections within three months as constitutionally stipulated.
Instead, it mounted a legal challenge that reached all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which upheld the validity of the motion of no-confidence and ruled that elections in Guyana ought to have been held since March 2019.
Fast-forward to the March 2, 2020 elections, and what was already deemed a free, fair, credible and transparent electoral process by all international and domestic observers and the diplomatic corps, descended into chaos in light of a number of events which eventually led to Returning Officer for Region Four Clairmont Mingo blatantly attempting to alter the results of the elections – much to the objection of every stakeholder except the APNU/AFC coalition. In fact, in his alterations, Mingo added more votes to the APNU/AFC and subtracted votes from the PPP/C, in a bid to give the then incumbent a false victory.
A recount exercise was eventually embarked upon, and despite attempts by political operatives and compromised electoral officials to frustrate the process, the activity confirmed that the PPP/C had won the elections with a commanding 233,336 votes, a remarkable lead of 15,416 over its nearest political rival, the APNU/AFC.
But despite the announcement of these certified results, Harmon’s coalition party refused to concede defeat and mounted more challenges in a bid to further deny the will of the people.
Following the imposition of sanctions by the US Government against several top officials who were attempting to undermine democracy, the David Granger regime eventually conceded defeat, paving the way for Ali to be sworn in.
Notwithstanding, the coalition continued to peddle the inaccurate narrative that the APNU/AFC coalition had won the elections.