The Atlanta based, Carter Center today expressed its deep “disappointment” over the Guyana Government’s decision not to approve its recent requests to allow two observers to return to Guyana to observe the ongoing vote recount.
In a statement, the Carter Center said the Elections Commission has consistently confirmed that the accreditation for The Carter Center and other international observers remains valid as the electoral process is still ongoing.
The Center said it acknowledges the important role being played during the recount by the three-person CARICOM team, as well as that of Guyanese national observers, political party scrutineers, the Organization of American States, and the Commonwealth’s technical advisor.
However, it said while noting the positive contribution that each of those groups is making to foster transparency, the Center is disappointed that the government of Guyana chose “not to demonstrate a genuine commitment to transparency by ensuring that all duly accredited organizations, including The Carter Center, be allowed to conduct their work.”
The Center said it fully respects Guyana’s national sovereignty and its efforts to strictly implement its COVID-19 emergency measures as a matter of utmost urgency. It noted that in its formal requests, it has indicated that it would abide by all of the government’s COVID-19 protocols including those that were applied to the CARICOM team.
According to the Carter Center, its overall assessment of Guyana’s electoral process cannot be complete until the votes cast on March 2 have been counted, tabulated, and announced – and any subsequent dispute-resolution process completed.
It noted that an accurate and honest counting of votes is essential to ensuring that the election reflects the will of the people.
The Center said it is now hopeful that the recount and tabulation process currently underway will be completed with full transparency so that it yields a result that can be recognized as credible and reflecting the will of the people as expressed on March 2.
The statement added that the Carter Center remains committed to its mandate to observe Guyana’s electoral process and extends its hope that Guyanese can work together in the days ahead to build a future that benefits all citizens.
The Government of Guyana has pointed to the closure of the airports to incoming passenger flights and its COVID-19 measures as reasons for not allowing the Carter Center back in.
The Government has said its decision to protect its citizens from disease should be respected.
President David Granger has expressed his full confidence in the high-level CARICOM team that is scrutinizing the vote recount.