According to U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, there are only five international observers at the recount exercise- three from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and two from the Organization of American States (OAS).
During a recent interview on ‘Context’, a programme produced by the National Communications Network (NCN), Ambassador Lynch reasoned that considering that there are 10 workstations at the recount venue, there is a need for more international observers.
Already, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), has indicated that it will be adding more counting stations to speed up the recount process, which began on Wednesday, May 06, 2020, and is expected to continue for 25 days, inclusive of weekends and holidays.
Ambassador Lynch said that even with just the 10 counting stations, the observers can only be observing five of those at any one time.
In this regard, she added that the United States of America has been trying to get a small number of observers to return to Guyana to add to the wonder efforts of CARICOM and the OAS.
“But they have small efforts. A more robust international effort would certainly give the citizens confidence that there are eyes and ears on the process,” the U.S. envoy said on the programme.
The Embassy of the United States of America in Guyana has written to government several times requesting the permission of a small number of observers from the Carter Centre,which has been coming here since 1992, and the International Republican Institute (IRI), to return to Guyana to observe the national recount of all ballots.
However, the government, through Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings has again and again rejected the requests, citing among other things the international travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the very COVID-19 Task Force has granted special permission for not one, but around six flights transporting oil workers from Europe, U.S.A, the U.K, Canada, and other countries, to land here.
As recently as yesterday, the COVID-19 Task Force granted permission for the return of 19 law students in Trinidad and Tobago, 70 Guyanese cruise ship workers attached to Royal Caribbean, four Guyanese in St Vincent and another 10 in St Maarten to return home.
President Granger has insisted that the high-level CARICOM team is best suited to scrutinise the recount exercise as their work meets international standards.
Against this backdrop, President Granger has requested of the Carter Centre and IRI to respect government’s legitimate decisions.