Opposition-affiliated politician, Anil Nandlall is up in arms at the incumbent regime’s denial to grant approval to the Carter Center to come to Guyana to observe the ongoing recount of the votes cast in the March General and Regional Elections.

He told media operatives yesterday afternoon outside the recount venue, the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), that the government’s refusal is “unreasonable” given that the center remains accredited, and its mission incomplete.

A Guyana Standard report yesterday, referred to a letter in which the Government of Guyana (GoG) responded to the embassy’s weeks’ old request for the Carter Center and a representative of the International Republican Institute (IRI) to observe the recount.

As its reason for the denial, the government cited travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus. Also, the government was keen to note its full confidence in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) team of observers.

The letter signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Karen Cummings, stated, “I take this opportunity to inform you and to iterate that the Caribbean Community remains the most legitimate interlocutors in the Guyana situation and that Guyana is equally confident in the legitimacy, credibility, and competence of the CARICOM team to perform its task.”

She asked that the decision be respected.

But Nandlall is saying that the refusal is a violation of international norms; Guyana’s obligations to treaties and international protocols governing free and democratic elections.

“Everyday that passes, this government succeeds in destroying, irreparably, Guyana’s democratic credentials as a nation. Today, again, we have witnessed a further nail in the democratic coffin of Guyana by the government’s unreasonable and unlawful rejection of the Carter Center’s request to return,” Nandlall said.

The former Attorney-General said that the Carter Center was accredited under the National Elections Observers Act, and therefore, the organisation has “a legal duty and a legal right to be here and to conclude the mission for which they have been accredited”.

“Those accreditation[s] have not been revoked, and therefore, the Carter Center has every right – every right to be here. And that [refusal] is a violation of Guyana’s law by the Government of Guyana. The reasons proffered by the government is preposterous,” Nandlall said.

The government, in its missive, said that the CARICOM team is adequately monitoring and observing the process. While noting his party’s full confidence in that high-level team, the politician said that “the more observers available, the better it would be for the process”.


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