Any gov’t sworn in from ‘flawed’ March 2 poll results wouldn’t be legitimate

Any gov’t sworn in from ‘flawed’ March 2 poll results wouldn’t be legitimate

The United States State Department yesterday warned that any government sworn in on the basis of the flawed tabulation of results from last Monday’s polls “would not be legitimate,” as international calls grew for the disputed Region Four results to be verified before the swearing-in of a president.

Acting Assistant Secretary for the United States. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Michael G. Kozak made the declaration on Saturday, one day after cautioning against any declaration of victory or swearing in as a result of Monday’s polls while questions remain about the credibility of the process.

Kozak tweeted that vote tabulation irregularities “marred” the March 2 elections as the US Ambassador along with other observers saw “flawed vote tabulation.” “Irrespective of today’s legal proceedings, any government sworn in on the basis of that result would not be legitimate,” he added before further tweeting, “the people of #Guyana deserve a credible election and transfer of power that reflects their will.”

On Friday he had noted that the Department of State joined with the Organization of American States and others regarding the elections. “No candidate should declare victory or be sworn in while serious questions remain about credibility of March 2 elections and whether procedures were followed,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, the Ambassador of Norway Nils Martin Gunneng also tweeted Norway’s concerns regarding the recent electoral developments in Guyana. “The final #election results needs to be credible and transparent,” he wrote.

Similarly, on behalf of France, the French Ambassador to Guyana, Antoine Joly, released a statement expressing concern at the announcing of Region Four’s election results without completing the tabulation process and warned against any hasty initiative aiming for the president to be sworn in before the verified count is completed.

“It calls on behalf of excellent bilateral relations, for a spirit of conciliation and a sense of general interest in favor of all Guyanese. It supports the unanimous request of the electoral observation missions including EU (European Union), which request a resumption of the counting process verified from the statements of poll. Only this procedure will ensure a legitimate, democratically acceptable process and avoid clashes which unfortunately have already started in different places in Guyana,” the statement said.

Western envoys  including the United States Ambassador Sarah Ann-Lynch, British High Commissioner Greg Guinn, the Canadian High Commissioner Lilian Chatterjee, and the European Union Delegation Ambassador Fernando Ponz-Canto, have voiced deep concern at “credible allegations of electoral fraud,” and urged President David Granger to avoid transition of government and voiced their concern over “credible allegations of electoral fraud” which could influence the results of Monday’s general and regional elections.

Observer missions from the Commonwealth, the Organization of American States (OAS), the EU and The Carter Center, as well as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Friday said the results of the general and regional elections cannot be credibly declared unless the count for Region Four is lawfully completed.

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