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Monday, April 12, 2021

US stands ready to work with Guyana elections body on vote recount – Pompeo

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United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Tuesday the US stands ready to work with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and observer groups on a full recount of the votes cast in the March 2 elections which has been overshadowed by allegations of electoral fraud thereby preventing a winner from being declared.

Pompeo commended the court in Guyana for clearing the way for a recount of votes after an injunction was granted just over two weeks ago blocking this from proceeding. A candidate of President David Granger’s party – APNU – the largest group in the incumbent coalition, had moved to the court to block the recount on the grounds that it was unconstitutional. The country’s Court of Appeal said on Sunday that a recount cannot be supervised by an external entity but did not uphold injunctions blocking GECOM from proceeding with the process. A team from regional body CARICOM had flown to Guyana at the invite of Mr. Granger to overlook the recount when the candidate from his party moved to the court.

“We look forward to working with their elections commission and the international observer community to ensure that that process is free and fair, transparent and credible,” Pompeo said.

Local and international observers maintain that the tabulation of votes for Region 4, the largest district in the country, was not done in a transparent manner and could not be verified. As such, they say the declaration of results for this district, which would ultimately impact who wins the election, would not be credible.

When added to the other 9 districts, the Region 4 results that were tabulated under questionable circumstances would’ve shown the APNU+AFC winning the elections by approximately 7,000 votes.

The international community led by the United States had issued strong statements on the political impasse in the new oil producing country, warning that any government sworn in as a result of a non-transparent process would be deemed illegitimate.

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