Last Updated on Friday, 8 January 2021, 15:42 by Denis Chabrol
A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) is targeting support from the incoming Joe Biden-led Democratic government to oust the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) from office, and wants outgoing President Donald Trump to be jailed.
Executive Director the Opposition Leader’s Office, Aubrey Norton said Guyana would have to engage the Joe Biden-led Democratic administration in a number of areas such as securing support against Venezuela on the border controversy, support for the US in multilateral fora. With Mr. Joe Biden set to be sworn in as the next President of the US on January 20, Mr. Norton says APNU+AFC has to leave the door open to hold discussions with the Biden-led Democratic administration.
Apart from the national foreign policy approach, Mr. Norton said his coalition would have to lobby the Biden administration for support against the People’s Progressive Party-led administration. “As APNU+AFC, it has some interest that we need to pursue to ensure that the United States understands what is happening in Guyana and so we can work towards solidarity and support from them to help us to get rid of this criminal cabal called the PPP that purports to manage Guyana,” said Mr. Norton, a former University of Guyana Political Science lecturer and former Foreign Service Officer.
Democrats and Republicans had together called on APNU+AFC to begin peacefully transition power to the PPP.
Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon welcomed the return to normalcy at Capitol and stopped short of saying that that country must act in a democratic manner as it had been regarded for decades. “The APNU+AFC is of the view that the United States of America will have to act in a manner consistent with the global leadership role it has exercised in decades past and it must do so quickly,” he said.
The Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan also lashed out at Mr. Trump, backing calls in the US and elsewhere for President Donald Trump to be jailed for allegedly instigating the violent invasion of the Capitol Building on Wednesday.
“I believe that they should get him locked up immediately after the swearing in of (Joseph) Biden,” he said on a coalition social media programme Thursday night.
Several American diplomats in the Caribbean have said those responsible for the invasion of the Capitol Building in Washington DC while the election results were being certified should be held accountable. A number of Mr. Trump’s cabinet members have since resigned and there are growing calls for him to be removed from office before Mr. Biden is sworn in in January 20, 2020.
Mr. Ramjattan, who acknowledged close ties between his party and United States political decision-makers, also wants Mr. Trump to be jailed for allegedly instigating the invasion of the Capitol Building by a mob. The AFC Leader said he was a bit concerned about what Vice President Mike Pence would do because he would not want Trump to be pardoned. Instead, he preferred to see Mr. Trump being indicted and convicted for sedition. “This is seditious behavior by the American President and not only those mobsters that went into Capitol Building. The President, and the Constitution has it, that if you behave mischievously and you do misconduct for what they call misdemeanours and felonies in office. After you come off in twelve days, fourteen days from now, they should hold him, line him up and pout him in what you call the orange jacket,” said Mr. Ramjattan.
President Trump has since said he would be boycotting the inauguration of Mr. Biden, the first time in 151 years. Mr. Trump has condemned those who invaded the Capitol Building. “The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country,” he said amid calls for him to be impeached. The American Ambassadors to Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago have indicated that those responsible for the mayhem would be held accountable.
Mr. Ramjattan Mr. Norton again flayed the Trump administration for playing a major role in pressuring their David Granger-led coalition to concede defeat in the March 2, 2020 general elections. They said the event that unfolded at the US Capitol Building on Wednesday has contradicted US democratic policies globally. Mr. Norton says the Republican-led Trump administration acted in self interest when it interfered in Guyana’s Electoral process.
The US led the global fight, along with Britain and Canada, in organisations such as the Organisation of American States, Commonwealth, European Union and the Caribbean Community for the results of the national vote recount to be used to declare the winner of the March 2, 202o general and regional elections.
Except for Region Four where there had been repeated concerns that the results had been inflated in favour of APNU+AFC, all the other regions had reflected the results of the Statements of Poll.
APNU+AFC has refused to release copies of its Statements of Poll, but has repeatedly claimed that the absence of documents to reconcile the votes in several ballot boxes, and the alleged voter impersonation of deceased and migrants support its claims of widespread rigging by the PPP.