The United States (US) has been a driving force behind the international community’s push for the former coalition Government to accept the will of the Guyanese people. On Sunday, acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Western Affairs of the US State Department, Michael Kozak lauded the conclusion of the election process.
After five months, A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) finally accepted defeat on Sunday and President Irfaan Ali was sworn in. In a statement on his social media account, Kozak called the declaration a triumph for democracy.
“Democracy rules in Guyana! Today, Mohamed Irfaan Ali was sworn in as president, reflecting the will of the Guyanese people,” Kozak tweeted, sharing a joint statement from the ABCE countries – US, United Kingdom, Canada and European Union (EU) congratulating the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
According to Kozak in his tweet, the US Department of State “congratulates President Ali & look forward to working with all to support Guyana’s development for the benefit of all its people.”
It was only on Thursday that Kozak had, on his Government’s behalf, announced more visa restrictions for senior Guyanese officials who are undermining democracy. Kozak was at the time taking part in a teleconference when he made the announcement.
“On July 15, the Secretary announced the imposition of visa restrictions on individuals responsible for, or complicit in undermining democracy in Guyana. Today, we are acting to prevent additional senior individuals from that country from entering the United States,” Kozak had said.
He had reiterated the words of US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who had made it clear that the US would act in the face of the then Granger Administration and its allies’ continued defiance of the will of the Guyanese people by refusing to accept the vote count.
“The count has been certified as valid by international observers OAS and Caricom, Guyana’s and the Caribbean’s highest courts. The United States joins the rest of the Region refusing to go along with this farce. We will continue to act until the Granger Administration accepts the will of Guyanese voters,” Kozak had said.
Dr Irfaan Ali of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was sworn-in as Guyana’s ninth Executive President on Sunday, bringing an end to a record-breaking prolonged electoral process that was driven by the incumbent APNU/AFC regime refusing to bow to the will of the people as expressed through their ballots.
He was sworn-in by Chancellor of the Judiciary, Yonette Cummings-Edwards following the declaration by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chair, Retired Justice Claudette Singh.
The PPP/C won the presidency with a commanding 233,336 votes, a remarkable lead of 15,416 over its nearest political rival, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) – which has been refusing to accept defeat, and which at the last hour, attempted to file an injunction in the courts to prevent the declaration by Chairman of GECOM Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh.