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US official says…

US prepared to give continued support to GECOM

— Electoral issues should be resolved by Guyanese

By Gordon French

The United States Government is prepared to provide continued support to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and believes that electoral issues should be resolved by Guyanese, a US spokesperson told Kaieteur News yesterday.

The joint opposition parties, which include PNCR, ROAR, and the WPA, had failed to get support when they engaged the diplomatic and donor community earlier this week in a bid to resolve the present impasse with the Government on the system of voters' list verification that GECOM will pursue ahead of the polls.

The US is one of four international signatories to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), along with the Government and GECOM.

The other international signatories to the pact are Canada , the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Christene Meyer, Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown , said, “As a signatory to the MOU we believe that it is up to the Guyanese people and GECOM to manage the elections process.”

Speaking to Kaieteur News last night, PNCR Leader Robert Corbin said the donor community must have an interest in the electoral issues since they are spending huge amounts of money in ensuring that there are free and fair elections.

However, he believes that the people of Guyana must ultimately be responsible for the election process and should demand free, fair and transparent elections.

The Joint Opposition parties believe that their approach to the donor community was appropriate since the donors are signatories to the MOU.

Speaking at the PNCR's weekly press conference on Thursday, Executive Member Joseph Hamilton said the donors sought to use a convenient argument that their role is not to interfere.

The US and the other signatories to the MOU are on record as stating that Guyana is a sovereign nation and as such they could not intervene on certain issues.

“We continue to fulfil our specific commitment to assist GECOM with technical and financial assistance,” Meyer said.

Kaieteur News