The United States on Thursday slammed visa sanctions on members of Guyana’s ruling government and asked President David Granger to “step aside” so the country could begin its transition four months after its disputed March 2 elections.
The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who announced this during a morning press briefing, said Washington would be placing “visa restrictions on individuals responsible for or complicit in undermining democracy in Guyana.”
“The Granger government must respect the results of democratic elections and step aside,” he added.
Granger and his A Partnership for National Unity coalition had refused to accept the findings of a 33-day recount performed by the Guyana Elections Commission and observed by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which found that the opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) had won the vote.
Instead, the ruling government has called for the vote to be annulled, arguing there were irregularities and anomalies in the election.
Guyana’s chief elections officer, Keith Lowenfield, made the same argument and ruled out more than 100,000 votes in a June 23 report that he said were tainted by fraud and were invalid.
The matter went to court, and last week the Caribbean Court of Justice, the final court of appeal for Guyana, invalidated Lowenfield’s June 23 election report. Under its decision, the 33-day recount would stand, making the PPP/C the new governing party.
The case heads back to court on Friday after a new challenge was filed, and the chief justice is expected to rule Sunday.