GMSA awards diplomats for ‘fighting for democracy’

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The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) on Wednesday awarded four diplomats for their efforts in ensuring that democracy was maintained during the March 2020 General and Regional Elections and the period of uncertainty thereafter.

Those awarded were former British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn, whose award was collected by acting High Commissioner, Ray Davidson; Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Lilian Chatterjee; European Union Ambassador to Guyana, Fernando Ponz Canto; and US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, whose plaque was collected by the US Charge D’Affairs.

The diplomats were honoured during the GMSA annual awards ceremony held at State House.

“The post-election drama of 2020 is well known to all; it was a time when Guyana’s democracy was under serious threat. During the many months of post-election turmoil, these four distinguished envoys played an important role…in calling for adherence to democratic principles and rule of law in the aftermath of the polls,” said Carol Webster, who heads the services sub-sector of the GMSA. Webster chaired the programme for the evening.

“Tonight, the GMSA is recognising these ambassadors for what they have done for Guyana,” she added.

The March 2, 2020 elections was followed by five months of uncertainty after the counting of votes in Region Four –the largest voting district –was tampered with.

During this period, which included a national vote recount, the United States, Canadian and British diplomats led the call for the restoration of democracy and for the president to be declared in accordance with the will of the people.

The US government also instituted visa restrictions on senior ministers of the then David Granger government and officials of the Guyana Elections Commission.

Dr Irfaan Ali was declared the winner of the polls on August 2, 2020, and sworn in on the same day at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

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