GEORGETOWN – The US-based Carter Centre, one of the many international groups that monitored the March 2 regional and general elections here, Friday announced its withdrawal from Guyana “after careful consideration”.
The decision comes even as the latest attempt to have the results of the elections known to the voters here is being played out in the High Court. An an interim injunction granted to a private citizen blocking the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from ordering a recount of the ballots is being challenged.
In a statement, the Carter Centre said it had decided to withdraw its electoral experts and international observers even as it “remains committed to promoting democracy and constitutional reform in Guyana and is willing to return when the electoral process resumes, assuming international travel is feasible.
“The Carter Centre made the difficult decision to have the team leave Guyana earlier today after weighing a combination of factors, including the absence of an ongoing electoral process, increasing restrictions on international travel because of COVID-19, and the decline in the security environment in Guyana.”
It said that in light of the current injunction and subsequent legal process, there is not currently electoral activity for it to observe and that “the security environment in Georgetown has declined in the wake of the impasse created by the non-transparent tabulation process in Region 4.
“International observers have been harassed, and protestors supportive of the APNU+AFC coalition have at times blocked international observers from doing their work. Specific threats have also been made against the international community that are unacceptable and further undermine the credibility of the electoral process.”
Justice Franklyn Holder last week granted the injunction to the private citizen, Ulita Moore, restraining GECOM from setting aside or varying the declarations already made by the 10 electoral districts with any other documents or declarations until the hearing and determination of the judicial review of the application.
The respondents to the Court matter are the Guyana Elections Commission, the Chairman of the Commission and the Chief Elections Officer. (CMC)