– Sustains call transparent and credible vote count
By Shikema Dey
United States Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch has called out the coalition, A Partnership For National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), on its claims of “foreign interference” in Guyana’s March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections process.
Over the past few weeks, Guyana has been hit with several strong statements from high ranking international heads from the US, UK, European Union, Britain and Canada, carrying threats of sanctions and ostracizing Guyana, if a President is sworn into office on the basis of non-credible results.
Ambassador Lynch coined the concerns by the foreign diplomats as “good democracy” and pointed out that the coalition did the same in January 2019, when they joined with twelve other countries and failed to recognize the legitimacy of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
In her statement last evening, the US Ambassador highlighted that “in foreign policy, the difference between meddling and practicing good diplomacy is that the latter involves sticking to bedrock principles of human rights, good governance, and transparency and, whenever possible, underscoring the values that bind the country you represent to the country in which you serve.”
She pointed out that in January 2019, Guyana displayed its leadership in defence of representative government recently by joining other Lima Group members from the Americas to strive for a democratic resolution to the crisis in Venezuela.
“Along with 12 other countries, Guyana proclaimed in January 2019, “We reiterate that the electoral process that took place in Venezuela on May 20, 2018, lacked legitimacy as it neither included the participation of all political actors in Venezuela, nor did it have the presence of independent international observers, nor did it comply with the necessary guarantees or international standards for a free, fair and transparent election.
Accordingly, we do not recognize the legitimacy of the new presidential term of Nicolás Maduro, or his regime, which commences on January 10, 2019,” her statement noted.
Additionally, she pointed out that such statements are not branded as “foreign interference” but they amount to “good diplomacy” by members of the hemisphere’s democratic club.
Ambassador Lynch stated her expectation that “Guyana maintains its good standing as a member of this club by counting all the Election Day votes through a transparent and credible process.”
According to the envoy, “Guyana is certainly not Venezuela; let’s keep it that way.”
She noted that several persons have criticized the United States for speaking out and suggested that they “get their own house in order.”
To this, Ambassador Lynch responded that “democracy, or rule by the people, is almost always noisy.”
“The democratic cacophony is home to our competing values and political identities in the public square. At its heart, democracy is the expression of our freedom to be represented.”
Further, she maintained that the United States Government is entirely non-partisan about which party wins Guyana’s 2020 elections.
She outlined that “the major parties along with the smaller ones offer the opportunity to continue an excellent bilateral relationship based on a shared commitment to supporting improved governance, prosperity, and security in Guyana.”
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