‘Don’t do anything that could lead to Guyana’s isolation’
Pressure continued to mount yesterday as western diplomats walked out of the election tabulation process for Region Four, subsequently warning via a strongly worded missive that “all parties” should not do anything that could lead to Guyana’s isolation.
Shortly after the start of the court-ordered tabulation of the Statements of Poll (SoPs), there were objections and angry words being hurled.
At that point, Ambassador of the United States of America, Sarah-Ann Lynch, British High Commissioner, Greg Quinn, Canadian High Commissioner, Lilian Chatterjee, and the Ambassador of the European Union, Fernando Ponz-Canto, all decided to leave the Region 4 tabulation process at the Ashmin’s building, High and Hadfield Streets.
In a joint statement issued by the four missions shortly after, it was clear to the envoys that a transparent and credible process was not put in place by the responsible officials.
In fact, it was noted that some party officials seemed to have been intimidated.
“Further, we are concerned about intimidation tactics we observed against those seeking to ensure that a credible process is followed. We must be clear that in the absence of a credible process, as directed by the Honorable Chief Justice, it is our view that any results for Region 4 which will impact the overall results of the 2 March elections will not be credible and a President sworn in on the basis of those results will not be considered legitimate.”
In recent days, statements from the observers and the international community have been increasingly strong in its words.
This one warned that Guyana can face “isolation”.
“We are all long-standing friends of Guyana whose countries have supported its development over many decades. The betterment of Guyana and its people has always been our interest. In that spirit we urge all parties to not do anything which could lead to Guyana’s isolation.”
Opposition parties have raised concerns that the statements of poll presented by returning officer, Clairmont Mingo, display discrepancies.
The elections have been characterized by walkouts, withdrawals, police presences, an arrest, court sessions and delays even as investors and citizens remain tense and nervous.