“It is outrageous!” says US Congressman on Guyana’s elections interference

DPI, Guyana, Monday, June 29, 2020

US Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries has recently criticised efforts by interest groups and individuals to interfere with the work of the Guyana Elections Commission.

“If we are alarmed at foreign interference in our electoral process, why in the world is the United States government engaging in foreign interference in the affairs of an independent nation in Guyana? It is outrageous!” the Democratic Congressman of the 8th District of New York stated.

US Congressman Hakeem Jeffries speaking on the Senate floor in January, 2020 (source www.washingtontimes.com)

Congressman Jeffries was at the time speaking via a Zoom interview with Rickford Burke, the president of the Brooklyn-based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID).

According to Congressman Jeffries, the attempt to coerce GECOM into making make a declaration is “deeply troubling to a lot of us in Washington DC.”

Jeffries further noted the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, in its oversight responsibilities, continues to monitor Guyana’s post-elections events.

“I think it is appropriate to broadly ensure that there is a free and fair election in Guyana […] that is carried out independently, in a manner that doesn’t result in the United States trying to sway or alter the results,” Jeffries contended.

The Congressman maintained that the election of Guyana’s leaders remains the sole responsibility of the Guyanese people, rather than through the intervention of foreign states.

On June 22, the Appeal Court in hearing the Eslyn David vs. GECOM case ruled that the Guyana Elections Commission must interpret more valid votes cast” to mean “more valid votes cast” to determine the credibility of the elections and the declaration of a president.

The matter has since been brought before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) by PPP presidential candidate Irfaan Ali and the party’s General Secretary Bharat Jagdeo in a move to override the lower court’s decision.

So far, the CCJ has refused to instruct Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield to withdraw his report which has been submitted to the commission that shows only valid votes cast at the March 2 polls.

With the CCJ still to determine whether it has jurisdiction to hear the case, submission in the matter will be heard on Wednesday, July 1.

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