US Congressman and Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries has expressed worry and concern over what he considers the US government’s “foreign interference in the affairs of an independent nation in Guyana”.
Mr. Jeffries made the fiery comment during an online interview with President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy, Rickford Burke.
The US Congressman was asked directly about recent tweets and statements from the US Government through its State Department about the recent elections in Guyana.
Jeffries said the US has had to deal with interference in its own elections and therefore it is difficult to understand the statements made by the US government.
“If we are alarmed at foreign interference in our electoral process, why in the world is the United States government engaging in foreign interference in the affairs of an independent nation in Guyana. It is outrageous”, the Congressman declared.
He said while he understands the US government playing a role in the monitoring and observing of the electoral process in Guyana, some of the statements made by US officials are “deeply troubling”.
According to the Congressman, “traditionally, we can monitor how democracy is playing itself out in different parts of the world, but to interfere in such an extraordinary way and the manner in which it favours one party, the opposition party, potentially to the detriment of the ruling party, is deeply troubling to a lot of us in Washington DC and not necessarily inconsistent with the foreign interference activities that we know this administration has welcomed in an American election”.
The Donald Trump administration in the United States has often been accused of allowing foreign interference in the last US Presidential elections.
While the US President has often brushed the issue aside and ignored concerns, the US Government’s Intelligence Community has pointed to foreign interference in its elections and warning about potential future interference.
In relation to Guyana, Congressman Jeffries said “it is appropriate to broadly ensure that there is a free and fair election in Guyana and in other parts of the world that is carried out independently, and in a manner that does not result in the United States trying to sway or alter the results, one way or the other. The people of Guyana should be able to decide as they have done in the past….the people of Guyana should decide who they see fit to lead them into the future”.
Congressman Jeffries represents the Eighth Congressional District of New York, an area that encompasses large parts of Brooklyn and a section of Queens.
His Congressional District also has a large portion of the Guyanese population in the United States.
In addition to serving as the current Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Jeffries is also a member of the Judiciary and Budget Committees of the US Congress as well as a Member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Jeffries is the fifth ranking Democrat in the US Congress.
The US Government has been keeping a keen eye on the 2020 elections in Guyana.
The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has made a number of statements on the need for credible election results if Guyana is to avoid possible sanctions.
The Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere has complemented those statements with almost regular tweets whenever there are major issues that arise during the ongoing electoral process.
Guyana and the United States share very strong relations and the US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch has repeatedly stated that those relations remain strong, even as she has pointed out that the threat of sanctions ought to be taken seriously.
Guyana’s Elections are currently at the stage of a national ballot recount, which is expected to determine and declare the winner of the 2nd March elections.