GEORGETOWN, Guyana, December 11, 2019 (CMC) – The United States Embassy, here, yesterday, sought to distance itself from a statement — alluded to the State Department Advisor on Latin America and Caribbean Affairs, Dr. Robert Ellis — regarding the upcoming regional and general election in Guyana, next year.
The ruling coalition government of President David Granger took issue with a report, by Ellis, who predicted that the main opposition People’s Progressive Party-Civic (PPP-C) would most “likely” win the next general elections.
“We also wish to advise the Guyanese public that Mr. Ellis is a ‘known asset’ of a certain lobbying firm in Washington DC, USA. This firm has a known connection to the PPP-C. The Guyanese public is aware that this very firm is being paid tens of millions of dollars by the PPP-C and is tasked with whitewashing that party’s tainted and tattered image,” the governing coalition, A Partnership for National Unity/AFC (APNU/AFC) said in a statement.
Writing in the Journal of the Americas, a US Air Force publication, Ellis said also that Washington would have to ensure that the PPP-C sticks to its promises to keep a lid on corruption, with the likelihood of that party winning next year’s general elections.
“At the same time, given concerns, regarding corruption in prior PPP-C administrations, while the US should embrace and work in good faith with a future PPP-C government, it must do so with its eyes open, holding the PPP-C to account, with respect to its commitments to transparency, democracy, and commitment to free market and the rule of law,” Ellis wrote in the article, headlined, “Security Challenges in Guyana and the Government Response”.
But in a statement, the US Embassy, here, said that the comments were written by Ellis, last April, “before his employment with the US State Department, and in no way reflect an official position”.
“The outcome of the election is for the people of Guyana to decide. In this regard, the only interest of the United States is in free, fair and peaceful elections on March 2. The US Embassy in Guyana regrets any misunderstanding, caused by Professor Ellis’s dated comments,” the Embassy said.
Guyanese go the polls on March 2, next year, more than a year after Granger’s coalition government was defeated by a motion of no-confidence, filed by the PPP-C.