UK has history of speaking out on Guyana’s democracy- Quinn

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 July 2020, 22:08 by Denis Chabrol

British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn.

The United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn on Sunday sought to rubbish claims that his country has been interfering in this country’s political affairs, saying that his country had spoken out similarly before the 2015 general and regional elections.

“There appears to be a perception that the UK has only recently become interested in what is happening in Guyana. That could not be further from the truth,”  Quinn told News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1  FM.

Mr. Quinn highlighted that previous UK High Commissioners and himself were very vocal in the years and months before the 2015 elections.

“Ministerial statements are also not new,” he added.

Concerns have been raised in recent weeks by A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change administration that the UK, United States, Canada, Organisation of American States (OAS) and sections of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have been interfering in Guyana’s internal affairs by repeatedly calling for the use of the national vote recount data to declare the results of the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections.

In January 2015 Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Tobias Ellwood expressed concern about the “continued prorogation of Parliament.” Back in 2015, then President Donald Ramotar had prorogued Parliament in order to avoid debate of a no-confidence motion that had been sponsored by the Alliance For Change’s (AFC) Moses Nagamootoo. Eventually, Parliament had been dissolved and elections called.

The UK envoy in Georgetown said Mr. Ellwood  had also “commented on the failure to hold local elections for over 20 years something he said was “contrary to the democratic principles of the Commonwealth Charter and Guyana’s own Constitution.”

The United States (US) had also backed repeated calls, including protests outside the Office of the President, for local government elections to be held. The David Granger-led administration has held local government elections twice since coming to power in 2015. Four more  towns- Bartica, Lethem, Mabaruma and Mahdia have all been declared towns by government.