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PPP warns US visa sanctions not “complete package” ; Jeffrey says timing is “intimidatory” to court

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 July 2020, 14:02 by Denis Chabrol

by Samuel Sukhnandan

Attorney-at-Law, Anil Nandlall

Executive member of the  People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Anil Nandlall said no one should be surprised by these sanctions, as it was long in the making, because many US officials had hinted at them before.

“We have been saying repeatedly that sanctions will come.These sanctions were long overdue and I have no  doubt that this is the complete package,” Nandlall explained during a live PPP/C broadcast on Social Media.

On the other hand, Nandlall said if travel restrictions do not achieve the objective to concede, freezing of assets and bank  accounts and the confiscation of assets, might be the next steps taken, and that could have a more damaging effect. Other countries, according to Nandlall, may follow suit to impose sanctions on Guyana.

He said special meetings being convened by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations (UN)  to discuss Guyana’s election is of grave importance.  “A lot of people don’t appreciate the matter before the OAS and the UN, when it reaches those levels, it is when  you take the most extreme measures and that could not be any good for Guyana,” he opined.

Asked for his input on the matter, political analyst and former PPP government minister Dr. Henry Jeffrey told  News Talk Radio/Demerara Waves Online that these sanctions are the US way of getting regimes to do what they want.

He feels that the timing of the sanctions is also an “intimidatory approach to the courts,” which could mean more is on its way.  “Sanctions can affect Guyana in numerous ways, trade etc. Restrict the movement of money and so on,” he added.  A private citizen, backed by APNU+AFC high-priced lawyers, wants the High Court to declare that the 10 district declarations to be used to declare the overall winner and to deem the data from the recount illegal based on sections of a ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire is expected to hand down her decision on Sunday, after hearing oral arguments on Friday.

President David Granger and US Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch chatting after she presented her credentials to him.

The decision taken by the United States (US) to impose visa restriction sanctions on Guyanese officials  and their families over the delayed election result has gotten the attention of the government.

In a statement in response to the move, the David Granger- government said it regrets the decision taken by the  US Department of State, while explaining that the matter affecting the outcome of Guyana’s elections is still before courts.

“The Executive Branch has not participated in the undermining of the electoral process and urges all countries  interested in Guyana’s development to await the logical conclusion of the process which is being managed by  the Elections Commission, in accordance with the Constitution of Guyana,” the statement added.

Furthermore, it said the executive arm has not interfered in the functioning of the Elections Commission. Meanwhile, executive member of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Aubrey Norton argued that the timing of the announcement for these sanctions could be deemed as an attempt to put pressure on the judiciary.

“I would say that the timing is interesting, they are skillfully trying to drive fear in the judicial system,” he stated during an interview with panelists on the APNU/AFC live social media broadcast.

The PNCR spokesman claimed that it sends a signal to the Chief Justice Roxanne George that she must  deliver her ruling in support of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), something he is hopeful doesn’t happen.

Meantime, Norton said the APNU/AFC needs to remain focused, “to ensure that no government comes to power by  fraud…We shouldn’t be carried away, and do everything to ensure that they continue to be the government of Guyana.”

The PNC executive pointed to the past where top officials within the PPP had their visas revoked as well, while stating that the APNU/AFC officials are not afraid of those sanctions.  “We do accept that the UN (United Nations) is there, but we won’t sacrifice our decency… We have committed  no crimes, but operated within the law, and the position of the US has not been good.”

The US, Canada, United Kingdom, OAS, Commonwealth and other organisations and personalities have been calling for the national vote recount data to be used. If that is done, the PPPC will be declared the winner.

But the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield and the three pro-coalition election commissioners have insisted on using the 10 district declarations that will give APNU+AFC a victory.

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July 2020