Under intense pressure from the United States (US) and other member-nations of the Organisation of American States (OAS) to concede defeat in the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections, the Ministry of the Presidency Saturday night released a statement saying that President David Granger is strongly committed to Western Hemispheric values.
No mention was made of the political impasse over the polls, which the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield says Granger’s A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) won by a one-seat majority
“President David Granger has reaffirmed Guyana’s commitment to Western Hemispheric values and to the furtherance of mutual goals and ideals,” the Ministry of he Presidency said a day after the Chairman of the United States Foreign Relations Committee, Jim Rush and other senators called on Granger to admit he lost the election and make way for a smooth transition of power to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
In calling for Guyana to use the recount data to declare the results, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this month said his country stands for “democratic values elsewhere in the hemisphere.” The OAS Charter also repeatedly refers to “representative democracy.”
President Granger, in a recent interview, emphasised that the US is a friend and has worked closely with Guyana over several decades through several organisations such as The Carter Center, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Agency for International Development (USAID), among others.
“Guyana is part of the Western Hemisphere. We have very cordial relations with the United States from defence, economy and security points of view,” the President was quoted as saying. The Presidency said Guyana, together with other Caribbean states, cooperates with the US Southern Command through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), which is aimed at combating drug trafficking and other transnational crimes that threaten regional security.
President Granger, according to the statement, made it clear that Guyana’s strategic interests in the Western Hemisphere were not in jeopardy. He said Guyana and the USA have enjoyed mutually beneficial defence, economic, political and social relations since Independence. He noted that relations between the two states have deepened through cooperation in the fields of defence, public health, public security, the economy and youth empowerment.
Granger is said to have emphasised that Guyana remains committed to strengthening its relations with the US to overcome challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and to continue to build the groundwork for a peaceful and prosperous Western Hemisphere.
The OAS and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have separately called for an end to the “gamesmanship” and give up power based on the recount data that shows that APNU+AFC has lost.
The Chief Elections Officer last week removed 115,000 votes and submitted a report to GECOM showing that APNU+AFC won. He has said the votes he used were “valid and credible” based on the Guyana Court of Appeal’s interpretation and order that it be read in conjunction with the gazetted recount order.