US Congressman: Let people of Guyana decide
New York – A high-ranking United States Democratic Congressman has strongly urged US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah Ann Lynch, and Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the US Department of State, Michael Kozak, not to interfere in Guyana’s disputed March 2 elections.
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is currently conducting a countrywide recount of all ballots in the presence of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) scrutineers.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Democratic Casus, accused the US State Department officials of interfering in the elections to benefit Guyana’s main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
“Traditionally, we can monitor how democracy is playing itself out in different parts of the world, but to interfere in such an extraordinary way and in a manner which favours one party, the opposition party, potentially to the detriment of the ruling party, is deeply troubling to a lot of us in Washington, DC,” said Jeffries, who represents the 8th US Congressional District in New York.
Jeffries, whose district encompasses large parts of Brooklyn and Queens, New York, with a significant concentration of Caribbean immigrants, made thcomment on a television show hosted by Rickford Burke, president of the Brooklyn, New York-based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID).
Burke claimed that the US government officials have also made several threatening statements against officials of President David Granger’s ruling APNU+AFC coalition government, as well as against GECOM officials.
“I do find it somewhat ironic that, at the same time, when the US government may be trying to direct Guyana as to how it should conduct itself in the form of an election, that we’ve been so irresponsible in many parts of the country, . . .,” said Jeffries.
“At the same time, if we are alarmed at foreign interference in our electoral process, why in the world is the United States Government engaging in foreign interference in the affairs of an independent nation in Guyana?” queried the congressman.
He called on US government officials to allow the Guyanese people to freely elect its government without interference from the US government.
“It is appropriate to broadly ensure that there is a free and fair election in Guyana and in other parts of the world that is carried out independently and in a manner that does not result in the United States trying to sway or alter the results, one way or the other,” Jeffries said. (CMC)