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Hours after congratulating President-elect of the United States of America, Joseph Biden and his Vice President Kamala Harris on their historic electoral win, Leader of the Opposition Joseph Harmon said the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) is optimistic about its bilateral relations with the US under the democrats. During a virtual press conference on Saturday, the Guyanese Opposition Leader indicated that the Coalition intends to brief the 46th President of the United States and his Vice President on the political situation here in Guyana.
Over the last three weeks, the Opposition has been in active discussion with the US Administration on the state of affairs in Guyana.
“We are encouraged by the fact that over the last three weeks persons from the US Administration have willingly accepted telephone calls and conversations from us, and we believe that they are now better briefed on the situation in Guyana. We therefore now look forward to an excellent working relationship with this administration,” Harmon said. Under the Donald Trump Administration, the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo was at the forefront of calls for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to declare the results of the March 2020 General and Regional Elections based on the National Recount notwithstanding that the fact that the recount had unearthed significant irregularities and confirmed cases of voter impersonation. Pompeo, during the five month electoral battle, had repeatedly called for then President David Granger to step aside, and pave way for the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) to take office. With the Trump Administration now suffering a massive defeat, APNU+AFC is looking to strengthen relations between the two countries. The Opposition Leader said the coalition is also encouraged by the fact that Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries are among Democrats in New York, who have been re-elected.
“We commit to working with you to rebuild trust between our peoples, strengthening goodwill and re-establishing constitutional democracy and social cohesion in Guyana after a recent period of political and social turmoil and distress,” Harmon told the US president-elect in a letter on Saturday. He added: “As you are aware, the United States is home to the largest Guyanese Diaspora who make up hundreds of thousands of our brethren and sistren. Consequently, it is no surprise that the people of Guyana, both here and in the United States, rejoice at the news of your election to the White House. Our nation looks forward to engaging with you, Vice President-elect Harris and your Cabinet in strengthening bilateral relations and building a stronger and more unified CARICOM and Caribbean basin.” While echoing sentiments expressed in the letter, the Opposition Leader said that the APNU+AFC also looks forward to a change in “attitude” from the US, in particular, their functionaries.
He expressed disappointment that Pompeo during his visit to Guyana last September failed to meet with the Opposition. “You would recall when the Secretary of State visited Guyana, something that is practically unheard of, in a situation where the Government or the PPP regime in Office has 233,000 or so votes and the APNU+AFC – Opposition, has 217,920 votes, and it is unheard of that someone in that position would come to Guyana and not seek to have some kind of an interface with the representatives of such a large section of the community, that you are visiting,” Harmon explained. However, he remains optimistic that the change in the US Administration will bring about a change in the way the US relates with the now Guyanese Opposition, the country, and region at large. “I wish you a successful term in the White House as you embark on serving the people of the United States, providing hemispheric and global leadership and the unenviable task of restoring the United States’ status and reputation globally,” the Opposition Leader told the incoming US President.