Guyana Elections: US calls on Granger gov’t to step aside; announces visa restrictions

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today announced visa restrictions on individuals undermining democracy here and said that the Granger administration must respect the results of democratic elections and step aside.

Pompeo, speaking at the State Department in Washington, said that immediate family members of these individuals could also be affected.           

“Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on individuals responsible for or complicit in undermining democracy in Guyana. Immediate family members of such persons may also be subject to restrictions. The Granger Government must respect the result of democratic elections and step aside”, he said.

Pompeo did not provide names but the US government has repeatedly warned that a variety of sanctions could come if the government failed to comply with the tenets of free and fair elections.

Those individuals to be targeted will likely include government officials who have tried to prevent the declaration of the recount result and officials within GECOM who have been actively trying to rig elections in favour of the incumbent APNU+AFC.

The US Embassy later released the following statement by Pompeo:

“On March 2 the Co-Operative Republic of Guyana held national elections, but it has still not declared a winner. All international observers of the vote count agreed that the manner in which votes were tabulated departed from established procedures. They unanimously agreed that a result based on these procedures would not be credible. The Organization of American States and Caribbean Community concluded that the recount of votes, which concluded on June 7 and showed a victory for the opposition, reflected the will of the Guyanese people. Unfortunately, Guyana’s leaders have refused to accept this result.

“Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on individuals who have been responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Guyana. Immediate family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions. In my public statements since the election I have been very clear that the United States stands with the Guyanese people and that there would be consequences for individuals who seek to undermine democracy. The events following the March 2 elections indicate that there are forces that have repeatedly refused to accept the will of the people at the ballot box. Guyana’s non-democratic trajectory is dangerous for its citizens and for the hemisphere as a whole. I hope that Guyana’s leaders understand what is at stake if they continue down this path.

“This action is not about interference. It is to send a clear message of the consequences of subverting democracy and the rule of law, which poses a danger to us and our hemispheric partners. We have long said that we have no preference for a winning party, as long as it is selected through a free and fair electoral process that is credible”.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy this morning said that it will host a virtual press briefing tomorrow between  11:00 – 11:20 am with U.S. Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch. It said that  Lynch will discuss the U.S. Government announcement regarding visa restrictions for some individuals responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Guyana.
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Comments

  • ndtewarie  On July 16, 2020 at 10:12 am

    Its time the US do something and get rid of those white-mouth, bare-faced Burnhamites. Guyanese should remember “Never put cat to watch milk”!

  • Dr. Y Thomas  On July 16, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    This is interference. Pompeo intervenes because of the monetary interests of a few. DO NOT BE SWAYED OR DETERRRED by his sanctions. They will be out of office in a few months. Stay the course if your course is true.

  • YFThomas, PhD  On July 16, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Guyana should not be intimidated by this blowhole. He/they have no respect at home or around the world. They are in haste to make a giant money grab. I am amazed at all the external forces, including Russian, colluding with locals to destabilize Guyana. We are seeing all the op-eds and hearing our intellectual colleagues tout drivel that they have been paid to say. SAD. PATHETIC.

    • Brother Man  On July 16, 2020 at 8:21 pm

      Stay the course of what? Rigging?
      I agree that Pompeo has no credibility and will be out of office soon. But Biden will also support the call for the rigger Granger to step aside, just as Caricom, the OAS and others have. You use a PhD tell us how smart you are? Your call to stay the course is preposterous, duplicitous and gangsterous. It is a road we must never embark upon and one we must stay off by all means.

      Brother Man

  • guyaneseonline  On July 17, 2020 at 8:35 am

    “We will not bend”- Joseph Harmon

    —’govt standing strong in face of wrong’

    —’Guyana’s elections clearly about other interests’

    DPI, Guyana, Thursday July 16, 2020

    Campaign co-manager of the APNU+AFC Coalition Joseph Harmon today said the government will continue to stand firm in the face of all attempts by forces to violate Guyana’s rule of law.

    “We will not bend,” Harmon said this morning during a press conference where he addressed the ongoing attempts to prevent His Excellency President David Granger from being declared the winner of the March 2 elections, despite the polls showing so.

    Harmon’s pronouncement also comes on the heel of a statement from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday announcing visa restrictions for persons he said are undermining democracy in Guyana.

    But the Coalition’s leader said everyone is aware that there has been no declaration made by the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). Further, he noted that there has been no declaration in favour of the opposition PPP on which the Chairman can act.

    “So, to require you to concede or to hand over or step down in the circumstances is an ultra-constitutional action they are requiring us to take. I do not believe that any government who swore to uphold the Constitution of this country can, in fact, take any measure that is in violation of that Constitution,” he told journalists.

    Harmon said the PPP and the rest of Guyana are aware that the Coalition has the greater number of votes in the elections. However, “these elections seem no longer to be about the Guyanese people but about other interests,”. He reminded that the electoral process is still not complete and that calls to concede in the circumstance are premature.

    Harmon said after three submissions by the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) showing an APNU+AFC victory, the PPP continues to place obstacles in the way of the Chairman in declaring “David Granger as President.”

    One such obstacle has now taken the issue before the High Court. The PPP has been insisting that the GECOM Chair makes a declaration based on the numbers emanating from a national vote recount, a process invalidated by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

    The Court on July 8 ruled that Order 60 or the National Recount Order used to facilitate the national recount was in tension with the Guyana Constitution and all other electoral laws. However, the PPP believes that the figures from that should be used.

    Harmon said the insistence is a “coercive ploy and violation of constitution and law and to this, we will not bend.”

    Meanwhile, addressing the statement by the US Secretary of State, Harmon said the timing seems aimed at exerting undue influence on the Judge who has to deal with the matter in the high court.

    He said while Guyana remains an independent sovereign state that respects and cherishes the relations at the diplomatic levels with all states, “We stand firmly against any threat or action aimed at violating the trust which exists between our leadership and our people.”

    He reminded that Guyana has always had excellent diplomatic relations with those countries. And while the current issue may just be a “blip” with those countries, ultimately the government’s priority and major interest are for the well being of the people of Guyana.

    “Today we assure the people of Guyana that we will continue to stand firm. Our cause is just and we are confident in the victory of good over evil,” he proclaimed.

  • guyaneseonline  On July 17, 2020 at 8:39 am

    Granger in charge of conspiracy to rig elections, and int’l community knows it – PPP/C – Bharrat Jagdeo
    Jul 16, 2020 Kaieteur News

    The Opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) is of the view that incumbent President, David Granger, is at the helm of the conspiracy to rig the 2020 Elections, and that the Guyanese public and the international community are not fooled.

    Giving context to their stance, the PPP said that the statement from the Government of Guyana, in direct response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcing sanctions on top officials from the Coalition administration, paints a clear picture of the “classic deceptive strategy of Granger.”
    “That is to say,” the party expanded, “remaining in the background and orchestrating his minions, including Ministers of his Government, candidates and leaders of his political party, his Commissioners at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and even his party supporters, to front his unconstitutional, undemocratic, illegal and sinister political agenda.”
    When they are exposed, the Opposition said, Granger appears in the public with a “glib denial of any wrongdoing”, repeating his “sanctimonious pledge to obey the Constitution, to adhere to the rule of law, to comply with Court rulings and to promise non-interference with the operation at GECOM.”
    The Coalition’s statement, the PPP noted, is a denial that they are undermining the electoral process.

    “Guyana, the Caribbean and indeed, the Western Hemisphere can bear testimony, first hand, to Granger and his Government’s multiple, transparent and vulgar attempts at undermining the electoral process and interfering with GECOM in the discharge of its mandate in conducting elections and declaring the legal results of those elections,” the Opposition stated.The party pointed out the court motion filed by Coalition supporter, Misenga Jones, seeking Orders from the High Court to compel GECOM to declare tainted results of the elections, aimed so that “Granger can steal the next Government.”
    The Opposition added, “No doubt, Mr. Granger is the intellectual author and is in charge of the conspiracy to rig the March 2nd, 2020 Election. Not once has he condemned the naked fraud attempted by Clairmont Mingo and Keith Lowenfield. In fact, he and his Ministers have all embraced them and they still do.”
    Further, the party said that every Minister in Granger’s cabinet is on record in Guyana and overseas “canvassing support” for their attempts to corrupt the electoral process and “defending” those who are directly carrying it out.
    Among those, the PPP said, include ‘Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Joseph Harmon, Raphael Trotman, Cathy Hughes, Khemraj Ramjattan and others.”
    Both local and international stakeholders, the party said, who dared to criticize their conduct would face the brunt of “vitriolic abuses.”
    Because of their continued actions, the Opposition said “these sanctions were long intimated.”
    “Granger and his Cabal mocked those who spoke of them. Now that the sanctions have finally come, he sanctimoniously pleads his and his Government’s innocence. Everyone acquainted with the facts would agree that the sanctions are justified, in the circumstances,” the party said.

  • ndtewarie  On July 17, 2020 at 11:50 am

    YOU ARE THINKING LIKE GRANGER WHO IS A DANGER AND REMEMBER BURNHAM TOLD SO MANY LIES HE COULDN’T USE HIS SICK THROAT TO DRINK CUP OF WATER AND LIKE GRANGER WITH CANCER, STOP THE BULLSHIT AND CALL A SPADE A SPADE “NOT PUN INTENDED’

    • Ramesh  On July 17, 2020 at 3:31 pm

      Joseph Harmon is the last person in the country to be talking about the rule of law and the Guyana Constitution since he and his cabal are determined to defy both in the most perverted way possible.

      This cabal has made us the laughingstock of the Caribbean and the hemisphere. Never mind the rest of the world. If the liars have an once of concern about the country, they’d step aside in respect of the will of the people. They lost!

      Dangerously, they are stuck in the Burnham era, at the risk of regrettable consequences,

      Ramesh

      • Ramesh  On July 17, 2020 at 4:04 pm

        Joe Harmon holds US citizenship which he cherishes. If he wants to keep his green card, he might soon discover that he’s on the no-fly list. And it won’t matter if it’s a Republican or Democratic admin in Washington.

        Ramesh

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