Jagdeo says CARICOM alone not adequate to scrutinize recount; slams Granger for refusing Carter Center
In scathing criticism against the APNU+AFC coalition on Saturday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said he was in disbelief at the coalition’s latest refusal to allow the Carter Center into Guyana to observe the ongoing national recount of votes, noting that the three-member CARICOM team was not adequate to scrutinize the process.
“We are very very happy that the CARCIOM team came back… but they are not adequate,” the Opposition Leader told a virtual briefing on his Facebook page Saturday.
Jagdeo took his criticisms directly to President David Granger, saying he now appears duplicitous with the latest decision not to allow the Carter Center observers into Guyana.
He said while the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is happy the CARICOM team is here, the recount cannot merely be inspected by the three-member delegation because they happen to be the President’s preference.
“This country doesn’t run on the preference of Granger, there is a constitution and laws,” he said.
On Friday the Government denied, for the second time, permission for the Carter Center observers to return to Guyana.
It was a direct response to a May 14 Diplomatic Note sent by U.S Ambassador to Guyana Sara Ann Lynch asking the Government to reconsider its position.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Karen Cummings responded and asked the U.S Ambassador to respect the Government’s decision not to allow the Carter Center observers to return.
Jagdeo said Granger has repeatedly talked about supporting transparency and not interfering in the process but this latest denial flies in the face of both of those principles.
“This is unbelievable but what is even more important is the principle,” Jagdeo exclaimed.
He said Granger has allowed the CARICOM Observer team to return to Guyana even with COVID-19 restrictions in place and questioned the real reasons for Carter Center denial.
Jagdeo argued that the Carter Center was duly accredited and have a right to be here.
Jagdeo said the PPP’s fear is that in the absence of a large presence of international observers, the coalition will attempt “at the last minute to spring something.”
He said the PPP remains vigilant throughout the recount process.