Granger says his Gov’t did nothing wrong to justify the need for sanctions


The constant reminder of sanctions being imposed on individuals who participate in or contribute to electoral fraud is not a threat which leader of the APNU+AFC, President David Granger, says he takes lightly.

“I do not take these as empty threats. I would not like to see them [sanctions] inflicted on my country, on my people. I am concerned at what is said and the threats that have been made,” the President said on Monday evening during an interview on Benschop Radio 107.1.

Foreign powers, including the U.S., Canada, and the 27-member European Union (EU), have issued threats of sanctions if a President and Government is sworn in based on electoral fraud following the March 02 general and regional elections.

The diplomatic community has repeatedly sounded the warning after there was a departure from the legally established mode of calculating the votes for District 4 – the country’s largest electoral district.

The tabulation of those votes by Region 4 Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo handed the President’s party a victory, but observers and all other contesting parties raised objections on the basis that the numbers were inflated for the Coalition, and deflated for the opposition PPP.

The High Court also ruled that Mingo breached the country’s electoral laws in doing so. The PPP has claimed it won the elections by 15,000 votes and has published Statements of Poll for District Four which it says proves this when added up with the tabulations for the other nine electoral districts.

But according to the President, “sanctions can only be applied if there is evidence of some wrongdoing.”

“We are in the process of a recount to assure the people that there is no evidence of wrongdoing,” he stated.

But that recount, which was a product of several legal battles, has discovered that during the tabulation of the votes, Mingo inflated numbers for the APNU+AFC and reduced those for the PPP.

The recount, which has evolved into an audit, with the checking of several documents and not just a recount of the votes has also revealed several minor discrepancies such as ballots being placed in incorrect envelopes, and list of electors being placed in the wrong boxes.

The President again repeated his mantra that his Government has done nothing wrong, and should therefore not be on the receiving end of sanctions by these countries.

“I am concerned at what is said and the threats that have been made. My Government has done nothing wrong and I do not think those sanctions can be justified,” he added.

He was keen to note too that sanctions would compound the many issues Guyana is already experiencing due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

“Guyana is a small state. We are in the middle of the worse public health crises, we have no budget, and bills have to be paid…”

The President also responded to comments made by Head of the Election Observation Mission (EOM) of the Organisation of American States (OAS) Bruce Golding, who said that he had never seen such a transparent attempt to rig an election.

Those comments, according to Granger, are extraordinary and premature, since there is an ongoing recount exercise.

“I heard and read what he said and I think the statements are extraordinary and I have been advised that there have been errors in all 10 regions and that is why the recount is taking place in all 10 regions. I think the remarks were premature [and] it would be good for persons to wait until the process is over to make comments,” he said.

At the close of the interview, the Head-of-State sought to remind listeners that his Government stands for development and that it has worked to give a good life to all Guyanese.

“We urge every Guyanese to be law-abiding and supportive of their native land.”

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