President of Guyana David Granger. (GP)
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GEORGETOWN – President David Granger has called on the international community to respect the institutions of a sovereign Guyana as the country awaits the results of the disputed March 2 regional and general elections.
Speaking on a radio programme here, Granger made it clear that he would not breach international relations, protocols, nor disrespect any sovereign state and neither would he allow Guyana’s representatives in countries abroad to interfere in the internal affairs of countries.
“As I said, I will not instruct my ambassadors in Washington or my High Commission in Ottawa or High Commission in London or South Africa, Ambassador in Brasilia to do anything in those capitals which would be a breach of the international relations on which our country has been founded,” Granger said as he responded to a question from the programme host of diplomatic interference in Guyana’s affairs, during and after the elections.
He said Guyana, which is observing its 54th anniversary of political independence from Britain on Tuesday, had developed diplomatic relations with other countries based on respect and that Georgetown is entitled to the same respect.
“I only ask that people are respectful to us and that we allow the present process, which may be slow, but it is lawful, to come to an end,” he said in regard to the declaration of a winner for the elections.
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is undertaking a recount of the ballots cast in the polls after both the ruling coalition, a Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) claimed victory. The re-count is being observed by a three-member team from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Granger said he resented allegations of rigging and hypocrisy, and unlawful behaviour, which have been levelled against him personally and against his government
“As far as I know the process from the 2nd of March, even prior, remains uninterruptedly within the domain and the authority of the elections commission … I have also insisted that to the extent that the court makes its rulings, we will respect the rulings of the court.
“I have insisted that under the constitution, only the Elections Commission has the authority to manage or conduct the election. I don’t interfere, I don’t manage the way the elections commission does its work and I assured the population of Guyana that if they are any challenges, I have every confidence in the ability of the Caribbean Community.”
He reiterated that as a community of 15 nation states, CARICOM can help in bringing the current situation to a favourable and lawful conclusion.
“That is what I call the Four Cs; the Constitution, the Court, the Commission and CARICOM,” he told radio listeners.
Granger said that while he will not criticise any foreign diplomat, he reiterated that mutual respect was needed.
“Beneath international relations there is the principle of reciprocity, the principle of respect, and I urge people to respect Guyana, respect our government, respect the decisions of our institutions, our commissions.
“To my knowledge I have not committed any crime, my government has not committed any crime, from the start of the controversy which erupted after the 2nd March and even throughout last year 2019, I insisted that my government would be guided at all times by the constitution, that’s our supreme law.”
Granger said Guyana has diligently built cordial relations all over the world, particularly with neighbours; Venezuela, Brazil and Suriname and, more importantly, with CARICOM.
“We were one of the original signatories to the Caribbean Community, I have profound respect for the Caribbean Community and I really take umbrage to people who feel that the Caribbean Community is not qualified to perform credibly in the work it is now doing in Guyana.” (CMC)