The OAS is completely out of line
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– GECOM and its staff must be respected!

Dear Editor,
THE Organisation of American States (OAS) has blatantly overstepped its boundary!
The OAS seems to have become an additional mouthpiece of the PPP! This organisation that is supposed to be apolitical has decided that it will openly align itself with the PPP, and echo the sentiments of that party as it relates to the proposed “national recount” (which, of course, I don’t support) to be undertaken by GECOM. The OAS injecting itself into Guyanese politics in this way must be strongly rejected and condemned by every right-thinking Guyanese, regardless of political affiliation. The OAS’s brazen attack on GECOM’s staff is an affront to Guyanese workers, GECOM and the Guyana government! I would hope that the OAS and Bruce Golding do not think that political interference in a sovereign nation is synonymous with OAS’s mission to strengthen political processes and support democracy. What or who gives the OAS the authority to decide that it can dictate to GECOM, which of its staff must be involved in the recount! What gives the OAS the power to try to label and malign any of GECOM’s staff as “corrupt” or “compromised”! How dare the OAS and those who led its mission to Guyana, disrespect Guyanese workers! The OAS must know that Guyanese see some in this March 2 bunch as partisan participants with parochial interest. The organisation’s latest pronouncement seems to have confirmed Guyanese views. Is this how the OAS operates! There are several reports that claim that some who led the OAS’ mission to Guyana to observe the March 2, elections have been compromised, and are biased towards the Opposition because of prior personal friendships. Are these reports true? Maybe it is time the OAS office investigates these reports to determine if there is any truth in them.

Guyanese will not tolerate any level of disrespect by operatives of the OAS or any other observer mission. Guyanese people understand the role the OAS plays in the Americas, and appreciate its importance. However, what the people will not accept is an open attempt by any external agency to disregard Guyanese people and the independent constitutional institutions that preserve democracy in Guyana. The OAS must, as of necessity, review its recent attack on GECOM and its staff, to determine whether it supports or promotes democracy, or whether it retards it. I, therefore, call on the OAS to retract its openly-prejudiced statement and apologise to GECOM and the people of Guyana. The Guyanese people deserve nothing less! GECOM and its staff must be respected! The OAS and every other observer mission must know that Guyana is a sovereign, independent nation, with a Constitution which dictates how autonomous institutions like GECOM operate. The OAS should, therefore, take some time to familiarise itself with those constitutional provisions relating to GECOM. I am quite sure that a brief perusal of that Constitution would inform the OAS that it (the OAS) has no authority to instruct or dictate to GECOM on any matters relating to its staffing or general operations. In fact, the Constitution does not give any foreign entity any authority to interfere, dictate or make any pronouncement on the functionality of GECOM. The OAS should, therefore, respect the independence of GECOM and the Guyana Constitution. Guyanese deserve this much from an organisation that they invited to their country. Can the OAS go to any First World nation and interfere in its politics in the way it is doing in Guyana! I think not! The OAS must know that GECOM is a national organisation that subscribes to the nation’s Constitution. And yes! Guyana does have a Constitution!

Regrettably, unless a declaration of the March 2 elections results are declared, this kind of “external bullyism” will continue unabated.

Sincerely,
Lurlene Nestor

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