The United States government has dismissed claims by the opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic that the May 11 elections in Guyana were fraudulent.
The PPP has been protesting and calling for a recount. The Opposition party that lost power in government after 23 years has also been chiding the international community for declaring that the elections were “free, fair and credible”.
But in a morning radio interview with journalist Gordon Moseley on 94.1, the Chargé d’ Affaires at the U.S Embassy in Georgetown said the U.S stands by its assessment of the elections and he also shot down the claims by the PPP of the process being fraudulent.
The US Embassy official said the Observer groups overlooked all aspects of the elections and stand by their assessment.
“Contrary to what is being reported in some media outlets, the Observer were present throughout the process, both prior to the elections during the campaign, on the voting day itself, both the Disciplined Services vote and the regular vote, they were present during the counting period that evening, they were present during the tabulation and verification process that took place both at the GECOM central office and at the returning offices in the regions.”
He added that “there were observers throughout the process watching to make sure that there were no irregularities that occurred. We did not find any irregularities that were material to the outcome of the vote and the international Observer Groups all stand by the assessment that these were free fair and credible elections based on everything that we saw”.
The People’s Progressive Party which has been protesting the outcome of the elections across the country dispatched a number of documents to the observers and the international community, that it considered as “evidence of elections fraud”.
Chargé Hunt said the embassy has received the documents which contain more allegations of elections fraud than evidence.
“They provided a number of allegations which they all provided to the news media. The allegations seem to centre around their claim that 21 of their statements of polls differ from the statements of polls in the possession of the Guyana Elections Commission. We have actually, myself included, and many other members of Observer groups, have actually reviewed the statements of polls provided by the People’s Progressive Party Civic and the statements of polls in the possession of the Guyana Elections and I can tell you that there is no difference between the two documents. They are identical. The numbers that the PPPC provided us on their statements of polls match identically with what is in the possession of GECOM and that was used during the count”, Hunt explained.
Mr. Hunt also dismissed claims that there might have been some collusion between the international community and the elections commission when it comes to the outcome of the polls. He said the only interest of the US government and the Observer groups was to ensure that the elections were free, fair and credible.
He said “it made no difference to us what the outcome of the elections was. We only wanted to ensure that the people of Guyana’s voice, whatever that voice was, was ultimately heard and counted. We’re confident that is in fact what we got and the Guyana Elections did a very, very, very credible job at organizing these polls.”
The People’s Progressive Party has dismissed the assessment of the elections by the international community and the Observer missions and intends to move ahead with a petition in the court to challenge the outcome of the polls.
Mr. Hunt noted that he expects to see the PPP in the national assembly representing many of the national issues that came up on the campaign trail since 49% of the electors offered their support to the party.
The United States government provided assistance to the electoral process and also lent financial assistance to ensure the Observer groups were in place and were properly accommodated.
LISTEN to Full Interview with Chargé Bryan Hunt: Click HERE