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Washington – A bi-partisan group of United States lawmakers Tuesday expressed support for the recount exercise in Guyana and urged the authorities in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to allow the US-based Carter Centre to observe the event.
“We welcome the decision to initiate a vote recount in Guyana and reiterate our bipartisan commitment to supporting a fully transparent election process that reflects the will of the Guyanese people,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement.
Democrats Albio Sires, Gregory W. Meeks, and Sanford Bishop, joined Republicans Francis Rooney, Jeff Duncan and Jenniffer González-Colón in urging that the Carter Centre, which was among regional and international groups that observed the disputed March 2 regional and general elections polls, be allowed back into the country to observe the recount.
A three-member CARICOM team is observing the recount of the ballots, which is into its seventh day. The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) had agreed to the recount after both the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) claimed they were victorious in securing control of the 65-member National Assembly.
In their statement, the US lawmakers said they appreciated “the vital role that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has played in advancing democratic principles in Guyana.
“At the same time, we urge the government of Guyana to allow the observation team from the Carter Centre and technical advisory team from the International Republican Institute to return to the country to join CARICOM in observing the recount process.
“We remain dedicated to ensuring that the Guyanese people are free to exercise their right to vote, that their votes are counted accurately, and that they are able to shape a democratic and prosperous future for their country,” they added.
Last week, Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Karen Cummings wrote the US Ambassador here, informing the diplomat that the airports would remain closed to incoming passenger traffic as part of Guyana’s national coronavirus COVID-19 emergency measures.
She said the government requests that its measures to protect its citizens from disease are respected.
President David Granger has said he is committed to the recount process and will accept the declaration that will be made by GECOM at the end of the exercise. (CMC)