CARCIOM team is of Int’l standard; Carter Center must respect Gov’t decision – Granger


President David Granger was strong in his conviction on Sunday that the Government did the right thing when he denied a request by the Carter Center to return to Guyana and observe the ongoing recount of ballots cast on March 02, 2020, and expressed full confidence in the three-member CARICOM team here to scrutinize the process.

The President bluntly rejected claims that his Government was using the advent of COVID-19 as an excuse to deny entry of the international observers and said his duty is to protect the people of Guyana.

“COVID is not an excuse, COVID is a reality and we don’t have to use a pandemic which has already killed thousands of people as an excuse… It is not something whimsical like bad weather, it is a fatal disease and not an empty excuse that we have invented,” the President told reporters at the Aquatic Center, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara Sunday.

Mr Granger stood by the response articulated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and said it represents Government policy.

President David Granger (center) Chairman of GECOM Justice Claudette Singh (left) and Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield at the Arthur Chung Conference Center on Sunday [Photo: Ministry of the Presidency]
He urged critics of the Government’s decision to respect and abide by the measures Government implemented to counter COVID-19.

The Government has been heavily criticised for rejecting the Carter Center when the COVID-19 Task Force that he heads has granted special permission for between 6-8 flights of oil workers.

Workers on oil ships include those from the Philippines, Germany, Ireland, Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Mr Granger reposed full confidence in the CARICOM team, which was allowed into the country after being tested in their home countries.

“Requests have to be in keeping with changes in the health situation, it is not only about credibility but I believe the CARICOM team is competent,” the President said.

The President said he is confident in CARICOM’s ability and integrity and supported sentiments that the group was the most legitimate interlocutory in the process.

President David Granger during his visit to the Arthur Chung Conference Center on May 17, 2020 [Photo: Ministry of the Presidency]
“I am obliged to work with the CARICOM team to ensure there is a satisfactory outcome to the challenges of the March 02 elections.”

Mr. Granger said he is confident that CARICOM’s work is up to international standards.

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