U.S Gov’t calls on Guyana to allow Carter Center to observe recount

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The United States Government is urging the interim Guyana Government to grant permission for the Carter Center observers to fly to Guyana Monday to observe the recount of votes set for Wednesday, May 6.

“The United States calls on the Government of #Guyana to approve entry for @CarterCenter and @IRIGlobal in order to ensure a transparent electoral recount.  A credible recount requires robust international participation. #GuyanaElections,” tweeted acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Michael Kozak

Ambassador Kozak has become known for pressuring the caretaker Government to ensure a transparent electoral process since Guyanese voted at the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections.

He has spoken out on many occasions about the developments here and on March 26, he summoned Guyana’s Ambassador to the US Riyad Insanally sternly reiterate the United States position that it will not accept any Government which is sworn in using flawed elections results.

The U.S. Embassy in Georgetown on Sunday clarified that it had sought approval, via official channels, for observers of the Carter Center to board a flight to Guyana Monday but this was denied by the national COVID-19 Task Force headed by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.

The Embassy said it sent the Diplomatic Note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on April 29 seeking permission for flights on May 4, 2020, and May 30, 2020.

These flights serve a dual purpose, with the inbound flight on May 4 carrying accredited international observer missions to Guyana for the recount process and the outbound flights serving to repatriate U.S. Nationals, Legal Permanent Residents and Third Country Nationals.

The Embassy also sent a copy of the diplomatic note to the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority accompanied by a request to advance the issue to Guyana’s COVID-19 Task Force.

The U.S. Embassy was informed on Saturday, May 2 that the incoming May 4 flight had been approved by the Task Force, but not the arrival of the observers.

The Embassy has since sought reconsideration of “this matter at the highest levels in recognition that the observer missions illustrate the commitment of the caretaker government and the international community to a free, fair and transparent recount process.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the official Government agency that responds to such requests. The Minister of Foreign Affairs sits on the National COVID-19 Task Force, which is responsible for granting approval for special flights to enter or leave Guyana as ports are closed as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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