‘Save Democracy Guyana’ on Monday formally handed to the US Embassy in Georgetown, a petition of over 6500 names addressed to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, calling for that county to impose a range of individual sanctions against persons accused of electoral malfeasance over their involvement in the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
Trinidad based attorney-at-law, a
former US Embassy Consular Officer in T&T, Randy Depoo delivered the
petition to the Embassy shortly before noon on Monday amidst a
heightened security presence on his arrival.
He later told the media that the persons implicated in the petition for whom sanctions are being called for include ‘caretaker’ President, David Granger, a number of Ministers and Government and elections officials.
According to Depoo, the sanctions being called for are “personal” sanctions as against sanctions levied on the country.
He said the Government cabal was assisted in their electoral malfeasance by cohorts in the Guyana Elections Commission.
Depoo identified also, Moses Nagamootoo, Joseph Harmon, Basil Williams, Volda Lawrence, Amna Ally and Khemraj Ramjattan.
He said that those at the Guyana Elections Commission against whom the group is calling for sanctions include Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) Roxanne Myers, Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo and GECOM Chairperson, Retired Justice Claudette Singh.
The attorney also identified prominent coalition financier, Brian Tiwarie, the principal at BK International as another person for whom sanction is being sought.
Asked why the group did not seek to exhaust more domestic avenues towards its end, Depoo told media operatives “we tried to exhaust local means democratically but we have a regime, a dictatorship right now which is frustrating that so we’ve restored to going to the Secretary of State and asking him to impose sanctions on these people.”
Cancellation of visas
He told the media that personal sanctions being called for involve cancellation of visas for those persons identified in addition to their family members and for the revocation of a right to ever enter the US and the freezing of all bank accounts and property held by those persons in the US.
Asked to elaborate on what basis the
group was leading the charge for sanctions, Depoo noted that it is now
almost 60 days since the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
He used the occasion to recognise that the US Government has publicly expressed its reservations over the tabulation process in determining a final result for the election in addition to lamenting the protracted delays.
According to Depoo, this is in addition to the consternations raised by the British, Canadian and Norwegian Governments and Commonwealth Group of Nations, Organisation of American States, the Caribbean Community and the Carter Center, among a host of others.
“The condemnation of what’s going on here which is basically in colloquial terms, the attempted thieving of the elections” and has also accused the alleged perpetrators of foisting a new narrative by “accusing the Opposition of trying to frustrate the counting.”
The attorney also dismissed the notion of a credible recount process by GECOM, saying “how could we have faith when the results are known.”
He said that on the evening of March 2, the Statements of Poll from the various Polling Stations would have been disseminated among the stakeholders including the political parties.
According to Depoo, by the following day, the political parties in possession of those SoPs would have known the results of the elections already.
He suggested that “they (APNU/AFC)
realise that they get caught with their pants down so they have gone
through this very deliberate amateurish process of trying to stall”.
The attorney pointed to a number of examples such as Mingo falling sick and having to be rushed off with an ambulance only to show up the following day, “but instead of counting the SoPs he came up with a spreadsheet….how could we have faith in a system like this.”
The lawyer said the group by its action—calling for personal sanctions—would lead to an early resolution of the current electoral impasse facing the country and to have the rightful winner of the elections sworn into office.
“Our objective is not to determine the winner,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the recently formed political activism group, Deepoo said: “We have lost two months of democracy in Guyana right now, somebody has to pay a price for that.”
He was adamant that even if the election results were to be had at the end of this week it would not change the fact that there was an attempt to steal the elections.
Depoo noted that the petition, launched a week ago, solicited online support and targeted members of the Guyanese Diaspora and was set up “to give expression to the frustration of the Guyanese people.”