Guyana’s elections must be free from outside interference – Global human rights activist

─says Guyanese should come together for unity

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, March 8, 2020

Internationally renowned human and civil rights activist Dr. Joseph Beasley today called on all external forces to allow Guyana’s electoral process to be completed by the people of this country.

He also beckoned all Guyanese to come together to ensure that their actions during this time, do not lead to the senseless loss of life and property and the destabilisation of the nation.

Dr. Beasley is a celebrated American civil rights activist and a leading humanitarian, who also serves as President of African Ascension.  He was an observer in South Africa’s 1994 elections that culminated to the end of Apartheid and also observed elections in countless nations including in Haiti, Zambia and most recently, South Africa in 2019.

Today, Dr. Beasley said he was saddened to hear of the country’s political crisis following the March 2, 2020 polls.

He said however that his organization, with partners in Guyana, was concerned that outside forces were involved in the process.

“The people should lead the election process, not Western powers. We are also concerned that the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Canada were the first parties to decry the integrity of the election outcome following their announcement and not the people of Guyana,” Dr Beasely said, through the organization.

According to him, “we interpret their statements before and immediately after the vote count as sinister, and bias towards one group of the political elite over the other and immediately demand that these Western Nations cease forthwith from issuing statements that can destabilize the nation of Guyana,”.

He said members of the diplomatic corps should channel their recommendations through the traditional diplomatic channels as provided for under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and not through press advisory and releases.

Dr Beasley also called on all parties to follow the constitutional process, noting that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) had announced the vote outcome as mandated by the constitution.

Dr Beasley related that the people of Guyana back in 2015 had elected His Excellency President David Granger without the support or interference of Western nations.

“We call on the people to come together to develop frameworks on how to ensure that the discovery of oil leads to their shared prosperity as a nation and not permit western powers to dictate their terms of engagement with each other. Libya is a reminder that Western allies, when left unchecked, are not allies in any nation’s contested political process but interested parties,” the statement said.

His organization, he said, believes that the political direction of Guyana belongs to the people of Guyana and that the “political elite” should work together to ensure it remains that way for them and their future generations.

 

See full statement below.

 

For Immediate Release

March 8, 2020

1

The civil unrest in the Republic of Guyana is leading to a senseless loss of life and property.

This afternoon, we were saddened to hear from our partners in Guyana of the

escalating political crisis occurring following Guyana’s recent elections. We implore the people of Guyana to listen to each other and refrain from taking action that could lead to the senseless loss of life and property and destabilize their nation in days to come.

The people should lead the election process, not Western powers.

We are also concerned that the United States, the European Union, the United

Kingdom, and Canada were the first parties to decry the integrity of the election outcome following their announcement and not the people of Guyana.  We interpret their statements before and immediately after the vote count as sinister, and bias towards one group of the political elite over the other and immediately demand that these Western Nations cease forthwith from issuing statements that can destabilize the nation of Guyana. Members of the Diplomatic corps should channel their recommendation through the traditional diplomatic channels as provided for under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and not through press advisory and releases.

We call on all parties to follow the Constitutional process.

Guyana Elections Commission announced the vote outcome as mandated by the

Constitution. Although we concur that there may have been slight discrepancies, we insist that adjudication of those discrepancies must follow the rule of law and procedure and not spearheaded by the four western powers. We urge the leaders to champion for peaceful protests to ensure the protection of life, the liberty of others, and property.

We believe in the people of Guyana.

Five years ago, the people of Guyana elected David A. Granger peacefully as their first president of African descent after twenty-three years without the support or interference of Western nations. We call on the people to come together to develop frameworks on how to ensure that the discovery of oil leads to their shared prosperity as a nation and not permit western powers to dictate their terms of engagement with each other. Libya is a reminder that Western allies, when left unchecked, are not allies in any nation’s contested political process but interested parties

We believe that the political direction of the nation of Guyana belongs to the people of Guyana. The political elite should work together to ensure it remains that way for them and their future generations.

ABOUT: Joe Beasley is a global humanitarian and civil rights activist. He was an observer in South Africa’s 1994 elections that culminated to the end of Apartheid. He has observed elections in countless nations including in Haiti, Zambia and most recently, South Africa in 2019

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