Flight leaves U.S without observers

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Carter Center and International Republican Institute observers who wanted to return to Guyana today to observe a national recount of all votes were unable to board the Eastern Airlines flight to Guyana this morning from Miami as a result of the Guyana caretaker Government denying permission for them to do so.

The flight left Miami between 09:30h – 09:40h and is on its way to Guyana to repatriate US citizens who are stuck here as a result of COVID-19.

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 today 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.

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 also sought the intervention of President Granger.

The US, Canadian Governments and the EU had urged the Government to reconsider its position

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.

The recount is slated to commence Wednesday, May 6.

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