Human Rights Activist Insists Guyana’s Electoral Process Should be Free from Foreign Interference

Human and civil rights activist Dr Joseph Beasley

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday March 9, 2020 – Internationally-renowned human and civil rights activist Dr Joseph Beasley has called on all external forces to allow Guyana’s electoral process to be completed by the people of this country.

He also urged all Guyanese to come together to ensure that their actions during this time do not lead to any further senseless loss of life and property and the destabilization of the nation.

Dr Beasley – who was an observer in South Africa’s 1994 elections that culminated in the end of Apartheid and also observed elections in several nations, including Haiti, Zambia and most recently, South Africa in 2019 – said he was saddened to hear of the country’s political crisis following the March 2, 2020 polls.

There have been allegations of fraud and violent demonstrations which have so far resulted in one death, as opposition supporters protest the move to declare election results from Region Four, which would see the incumbent A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change (APNU-AFC) coalition being returned the power. Several foreign diplomats and organizations have called for the completion of the tabulation process in that region, the country’s largest voting district, and have urged authorities not to name a victor in the polls until that is completed.

Dr Beasley, who is President of African Ascension, said his organization which has 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,” the celebrated American civil rights activist said in a statement issued through African Ascension.

“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.”

Dr Beasley suggested that members of the diplomatic corps channel their recommendations through the traditional diplomatic channels as provided for under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and not through press advisories and releases.

He 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.

The human rights activist reminded that back in 2015, the people of Guyana had elected President David Granger without the support or interference of Western nations. 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.

Click here to receive news via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)