With former President Jimmy Carter ill, his plans to take an election-monitoring trip in Guyana have ended. On Sunday, the Carter Center, his non-profit organization, announced that his sickness required him to return to the United States.
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Guyana is a small South American nation composed of less than 80,000 people. Guyana President Donald Ramotar has seen criticism from the opposition-controlled Parliament, which he suspended to avoid a no-confidence vote. Ramotar had called for the elections, but it was hoped that the presence of the former U.S. president would help smooth the process.
"President Carter is hopeful about Guyana's election and expressed his commitment and that of The Carter Center to supporting Guyana in the days ahead, stressing the need for a peaceful process before, during, and after the election," the Carter Center said. "When democracy backslides or formal diplomacy fails, the Center offers conflict resolution expertise and has furthered avenues for peace in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia."
Unfortunately, when Jimmy Carter fell ill, his health was in a serious enough state that he needed to return home.
"President Carter was not feeling well and has departed Guyana to return to Atlanta today," a statement from the Carter Center said. "The Carter Center election observation mission in Guyana is continuing its work and will keep him informed of developments."
No additional details have been released about his medical condition, although on Twitter the Carter Center said he was simply "under the weather."
President Carter, under the weather, departs Guyana early. Center's election mission continues. http://t.co/mi2f38CS3yIn a 2013 interview with the Washington Post, Carter explained that it was just a matter of time before his health began to deteriorate, admitting that he has been "extremely lucky" for someone his age. But he has planned ahead, making certain that his Carter Center will continue on even upon his death.
— The Carter Center (@CarterCenter) May 10, 2015
"I know I am running out of time. [He laughs as he says this.] I am 88 years old, but I am not hampered by it. Rosalynn and I are doing everything to make sure the Carter Center continues when I am not here. Over 30 years, we have built a healthy endowment, and have an independent board of trustees and a staff of top experts in peace and health."With former President Jimmy Carter ill, some on Twitter have begun to express the hope that he recovers soon.
Please get well soon Mr. President. Your country and your friends need you healthy. #JimmyCarter — John Moffitt (@JohnRMoffitt) May 11, 2015
I flew to Obama inaugural w/ President Jimmy Carter, have known him for years. Praying he's going to be OK.[Image via Google Images]
— Rick Sanchez (@RickSanchezTV) May 11, 2015