The American Chamber of Commerce of Guyana (AMCHAM Guyana) has dismissed allegations made by APNU+AFC candidate Cathy Hughes that the Chamber facilitated “four suspicious Russians” in the country during the general and regional elections.
In a statement Thursday, AMCHAM said it is concerned with Hughes’ statement which “attempts to impugn the character and integrity of AMCHAM.”
Hughes, who has been serving as Minister of Public Telecommunications under the APNU+AFC Government, posted on Facebook Thursday that the Russians arrived in Guyana on Saturday, February 29 – just two days before Elections Day – under the pretence of been observers.
“Security personnel at the direction of Minister [of Public Security Khemraj] Ramjattan directed immigration to detain and question these individuals. Cyber Equipment was seized and 3 of the 4 Russians were found and deported. The fourth Russian operative has still not been located,” Hughes alleged.
She further noted, “Have the Russians influenced our election process? Did they interfere?… Americans do not accept this in their country why should we here in Guyana?”
But AMCHAM said its team of accredited election observers do not include Russian citizens.
“These observers have also undergone intensive training about the elections processes including what their mandates are as an observer. Further, all of our members signed an international code of conduct for observing the elections,” AMCHAM said.
AMCHAM is an organization established in Guyana to represent the interest of US persons and companies doing business in Guyana. It was formed under the auspices of the former US Ambassador Mr Perry Holloway, and the current US Ambassador Carol Ann Lynch, who sits as its honorary Chairman.
Their membership includes companies such as Hughes Fields and Stoby, ExxonMobil, Hess, Republic Bank, Massy, to name a few, all of whom have business interests in Guyana.