Guyana was brought before the Organisation of American States (OAS) Permanent Council on Tuesday, where all Member States present took a unified position that the democratic will of the people must be respected and A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) ran a gauntlet of rebukes for denying the will of the people.
In fact, Bradley Freden – who spoke on behalf of United States representative to the OAS, Carlos Trujillo – made a direct appeal to APNU/AFC leaders to do the right thing. Freden questioned whether APNU/AFC wants Guyana to be a leader in the hemisphere or an international disgrace. He urged that they make the right choice.
“There’s no way to minimise how flagrant the actions of Guyana’s leaders have been… if the stalemate continues, it will only be the Guyanese people who suffer. APNU and its leaders face a stark choice. Does the party, does Guyana want to be a leader in the hemisphere and an example of democracy? Or does it want to be an international pariah?” he told the Council.
“Does it want Guyana to have a functioning Executive and legislature so it can pass the laws it needs to encourage the development of its people? Or does it want to remain a country whose leaders cannot travel and are subject to sanctions? These are the choices facing Guyana. Our meeting reflects the severity of Guyana’s predicament,” Freden also said.
For Guyana to be a democratic country, Freden noted that it was important that the country’s leaders demit office when voted out. According to the Ambassador, it is important for Guyana to leave behind its history of political strife if it wants to develop.
“In democracies, leaders step aside when voted out of office. That speaks to the importance and strength of institutions and the power of the people, not those who usurp that power,” Freden also informed the Council.
Meanwhile, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the OAS, Hugh Adsett on Tuesday insisted that a declaration of the March 2 polls must be made without further delay, using the certified figures coming out the National Recount process.
During the meeting, held virtually in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ambassador Adsett also restated his Government’s intention to hold accountable all those responsible for preventing the will of the people from being respected.
The Ambassador said Canada strongly regrets the extended delay in declaring the election results in Guyana, a delay that has now lasted more than four months since the elections were held on March 2.
“In light of the obligation of Governments to promote and defend democracy as set out in the Inter American Democratic Charter, Canada firmly maintains that the rule of law and democratic processes must be respected and a declaration be announced without further delay”.
“Canada supports calls by the OAS, Caricom, Commonwealth and civil society organisations to announce the results based on the National Recount as validated by the OAS and the Caricom Observer Missions, and upheld by the Caribbean Court of Justice, and again yesterday by Guyana’s Chief Justice in dismissing the latest challenge to the recount results.,” Ambassador Adsett added.
The Ambassador said that Canada is committed to working with all partners and will consider “using all tools at our disposal to demand a swift and transparent conclusion to the election process and to hold accountable those who prevent it.”