If Order 60 Intent Can’t be Honoured, President Granger Should Cancel Elections

Submitted by Lincoln Lewis

I call on President David Granger not to allow history to record him as it did Nero.  You have been elected leader in a free, fair and transparent election. You are perceived by many in society as a man of demonstrated integrity, decency and a commitment to all Guyanese, way above that of your opponents. Under your leadership Guyanese feel safe, mothers no longer weep for their children and drug dealers know they have no heaven.

You have embraced all to the extent where you have kept in office key operatives of the previous regime even as others believe it to be unwise and somewhat naive. But in so doing you have also demonstrated that you are prepared to nurture a national commitment, a professional public service where all can serve their country faithfully and loyally.

Mr President, you cannot be Nero. You have the power vested in your office to correct this public hijacking of Guyana’s elections, this confounded brazen highway robbery, this piracy, this buccaneering politics unleashed on Guyana.  You Mr. President must be prepared to say to this world, to our judiciary, to GECOM and to all, that if you could have approved a recount that is accepted by law to declare results, then you have a duty and responsibility, at the very least, to ensure the National Recount sets out to achieve its DECLARED INTENT. I repeat, its DECLARED INTENT.

You, Mr. President, must further say to this nation that you will not allow any declaration that rewards electoral fraud. It was this principle that caused you in the first instance to enter into an agreement, and I call on you now to uphold that principle for this country that you lead, which today stands at the crossroads of law versus lawlessness. We cannot build a society for all on the vulgarity of the lawless.

Whereas history is replete with examples of glorifying thieves, pirates and brigands and their tales captured in various writings and works; and whereas these are taught as glorious lessons for centuries to those whom they pillage;   in today’s world such acts and other unlawful acts are condemned and punishable in a court of law and in public opinion. No law breaker is glorified and rewarded for acts of lawlessness in civilised society, save by sick and equally lawless minds.

This is no longer only about electoral victory. This is an appeal to the better angels in each of us. It is about Rights and the Rule of Law. It is about our national interest and that of our youth, our future. It is about the heart and soul of Guyana. It is about halting our progression along a pathway paved for ethnic conflict and external forces taking advantage of our weakness and internal rifts. Guyana remains stronger as one united force- One People, One Nation, One Destiny.

In a court of law infractions of the law are never rewarded. We must ask ourselves which decent society, which decent court of law, which decent people any part of the world governed by moral principles, by principles of good justice would reward wrongdoing? It is a shame for GECOM to attempt to declare any election using confirmed fraudulent votes. I have it before and repeat today- for democracy to stand GECOM cannot afford to fail.

If GECOM cannot fulfil its intent as set out in Order 60, when it placed in abeyance 10 declarations based at that time on speculation of fraud and today still not deemed invalid by any court but “superseded” by confirmed massive frauds, then GECOM would have failed. Failed in the sense of taking something that is deemed to be bad and asking us to accept what is proven to be far worse. If GECOM felt it could not declare the 10 declarations, based at that time on assumed irregularities, then it boggles the mind how in heaven’s name GECOM could even think it is OK to declare on confirmed massive irregularities in the ten regions.

If GECOM cannot declare election on credible votes or declarations never challenged or deemed invalid in a court of law, then Mr. President, it behoves you to cancel these elections. You have the power, you have the right to so do.  This that we face is about Rights and the Rule of Law, it is about protecting the vote which the Trade Union Movement, under the leadership of Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, led the charge for.  It is about one man, one credible vote.

Foremost, this is about Guyana and we have got to fight for her and the values that shaped this nation. As a unified people we must continue to guide her. It is recognised some would prefer us to accept the recount superseding the count. We cannot take bad, make it worse, and then try to shove it down people’s throats. If you condemn bad, you don’t replace bad with something worse. It defies logic.

Mr. President, for the good of Guyana, her laws and people, cancel these elections.

 

15 comments

  • Submitted by Lincoln Lewis

    27th July, 2020

    GECOM should disassociate from any declaration for this Election

     

    I have carefully followed the election process. During the trading of allegations of irregularities some have pointed fingers at Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo as a perpetrator of alleged electoral rigging in Region Four. I say alleged, because to date there has been no confirmation that the second count declared has had any legal disputes as to it satisfying the requirements detailed in The Representation of the People Act, Chapter 1:03. It has actually never been challenged in court and prior to it being superceded by acting Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire in her ruling on 20th July.

    Lest we forget, the Region Four declaration remains the only undisputed results of the March 2nd elections. In the Ulita Moore vs. Reeaz Holladar and Bharrat Jagdeo case before Justice Franklyn Holder, the court recognised any questions surrounding the validity of the declared results could only be addressed in an Election Petition. This was agreed to by Mr. Jagdeo’s counsel, Attorney-at-law Douglas Mendes. Unfortunately, bowing to international pressure the President agreed to a recount that has proven to be a huge, but quite a revealing disaster.

    Others have pointed fingers of accusation at Leader of the PPP/C Bharrat Jagdeo, identified as the mastermind behind the massive irregularities- much of which is a soft word for rigging-unearthed during the recount in PPP areas, particularly the lower East Coast of Demerara. Whereas in the count there were allegations, the recount confirmed widespread irregularities (massive rigging) in all ten electoral districts. None has denied this. Even the CARICOM team witnessing only 18% of the recount noted it to be only “reasonably credible.”

    The ugly truth today is, Guyana 2020 elections have brought us at a crossroad with the possibility of electing a government from two choices, both of which are stained by claims of electoral rigging. The first rigger accused is identified with a smaller scale rigging in Region four. The first accused rigger is disgraced, condemned and demonised. Whereas the second identified rigger there is massive evidence but persons are being asked to ignore. In the instance of this second rigger, their misdeeds are glamourised, protected and glorified.

    Some want us to deny one rigger and accept the other rigger, to turn a blind eye to the bigger violator and embrace the skullduggery that was exposed during the recount. They want us to lay a legal foundation in Guyana for acceptable crimes, to reward electoral thievery (rigging) that is in clear daylight, presumptuous and unrelenting.

    We are being pushed to declare an election that will place a stain on Guyana that the mighty Kaieteur and all the waters of Guyana will never be able to wash away. We are being asked as adults to teach our children, the youth, our next generation that fraud in high offices are condoned depending on who is breaking the law and who is benefiting. It is being reinforced in this society that wrongdoing by one group is approved and good but evil for another group, whether perceived or real.

    We are being pushed to set up a society where might is right and some will never enjoy justice for they are powerless. A society where truth no longer matters and it is determined by those in power, high places, and supported by greater powers, not by law and fundamental principles. Such a society will see some placed on the fringes and marginalised to nothingness because they are deemed to be unworthy of equal rights and opportunities.

    I call on those law abiding officers who are wedded to their responsibility, as the third arm of government in building a just and moral society, not to choose a celebrated thief (rigger) over a non-celebrated thief (rigger). I recognise there are some good and bad elements in every profession. Some will compromise their profession, destroy the lives of others and unleash a bloodbath in Guyana to hold on to a visa, out of partisanship or for 30 pieces of silver.

    My appeal here is to the better angels in each of you, those guided by the Rule of Law and who have a moral compass. Guyana and only Guyana must come out victorious from these elections and for this to happen our judicial system must not be compromised by political actors, within or without, who are driven only by a political agenda to reward a rigger that they approve of.

    The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) promised a “credible count” declared as per intent. Society expects no more, no less. One can argue safely that both counts would lack credibility by virtue of the second count revealing what is in the first count. A credible GECOM/Commissioners should disassociate from any declaration emanating from these elections.

    Today I call on the Chair, Justice Claudette Singh to draw the strength and fearlessness of all her ancestors who fought to free Guyana from the yolk of colonial domination to attain an independent Guyana. Let moral conscience compliment your jurisprudence, to be true to your record as a SITTING judge and denounce electoral fraud, regardless of its source and magnitude.

    Fear, if any, must not be a hindrance to your actions in condemning those who set out to benefit from electoral rigging, for rewarding known electoral fraudsters is akin to condoning or being an accomplice to the hijacking of Guyana’s elections. I call on Justice Claudette Singh to be guided by the fundamental principle of justice where one is not allowed to benefit from known, established, and proven wrongdoing as revealed in these elections.

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  • See Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana

    https://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b5400.html

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  • “The majority of 65 is 34.” That tells it all.

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  • In Guyanese politics and constitution that arithmetic is not at all clear – that 34 is a majority in a 65 member chamber.

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  • Wait what? You mean to tell me that if a President do not like the results of an election he could simply cancel the election and then what? What kind of banana republic we dealing with here? The idea that someone can even make a recommendation such as this is an indication that Guyana has become a failed state and on the slippery path to dictatorship again.

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  • @ Pachamama July 29, 2020 1:46 PM

    And earth is a disc – provided it serves your wild friends in Guyana.

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  • William Skinner

    @ Tron
    Don’t we have a democracy where a party can win almost 25% or more of the vote and end up with zero seats?
    In real terms this means a considerable portion of the electorate is not represented in parliament and their votes do not count. That is our democracy. Clean up that before we look at Guyana where parties share proportionately in the votes they receive.

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  • One Man One Credible Vote or Nothing at All
    Whereas in 1926 trade unionist Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow led the fight of One Man One Vote in the 21st century given what is happening today the fight is for One Man One Credible Vote. As a trade unionist, I zealously guard the legacy of the vote we fought for. From the inception of the count being challenged I stated the integrity of the vote must be preserved. Letters were written to the effect and a visit paid on 31st May to the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, during the National Recount exercise, where a statement was read, restating that position. Today I repeat the call for the credibility of the vote to be safeguarded. It must be One Man One Credible Vote.
    People are taking Guyanese to make them fools. At this point for us it must no longer just be about an election, about who wins and who loses. If as general principle the court can intervene to straighten out the process then the court must do so to protect the integrity of the vote. If the first instance of suspected fraud in Region Four was not sanctioned there is no logical way the massive fraud found during the recount exercise can be acceptable.
    None other than GECOM Chair, Justice Claudette Singh noted “grave irregularities” were found in the recount exercise. The fact of the matter is the first count, though technically appearing flawless with results that were declared, cannot pass muster owing to the revelations in the recount. Yet persons are expecting us to sanction the fraud in the count or the recount and the court has so done resulting in an appeal being heard now.
    Fraud is fraud! Shame on GECOM and the courts if these two bodies cannot find a just way to fix the problem but choose instead to add their own chaos. Shame on those officers of the judicial system who instead of upholding the integrity of their profession for justice to be served see justice as best served by making an unlawful act lawful, rewarding its perpetrators. We must not accept this!
    If our courts cannot deliver for Guyana, if GECOM commissioners cannot come together and agree on what is right, the Chair upholds the highest principles of justice by settling for nothing less, the President must ensure by pronouncement, if necessary, that Guyana is not placed under siege by local politicians, business and other interests, as well as by unscrupulous international community, all of whom seek nothing more than to ravage and exploit our resources for their own purpose. By virtue of his office as Head of State, he shoulders the responsibility to protect and preserve the state, its laws, values and all the people.
    None must be party to injudicious acts, compromising the credibility of the vote. In the words of U.S Civil Rights icon Rev Martin Luther King Jr, and in this period when we commemorate Emancipation and the valiant struggle of our ancestors, “The time is always right to do what is right.” Workers across the length and breadth of this country, regardless of who they supported in this election, must not give assent to any effort that would tarnish what we fought for and must now safeguard.
    In this period of our history, it is not only about ensuring the vote but also protecting the integrity of the vote. If we go ahead with this election we will be telling our children, the youth and future generations that there is good thiefing and bad thiefing- good rigging and bad rigging. This must not be the new standard, the new low we are prepared to stoop to be accepted by others or not have our visas revoked.
    Given what we witnessed in those opened boxes we cannot truly say the people have decided who leads Guyana when we cannot confirm One Man One Credible Vote. It is time to restore law, order and decency to this society. I have fought for these values in our society for years, I have stood ground for everybody; Black, Indian and all other races, hinterland people, and coastland, regardless of who they be and wherever they are. Regardless of political persuasion.
    TODAY, I say to you, MY FELLOW GUYANESE, now is the time to let the powers that be know that our society will not be further corrupted by lies and kangaroo justice. It is we the people who will SUFFER MOST FROM this new low, this new lawlessness. Others will stay from afar and condemn us as we destroy each other and this society.
    Lincoln Lewis
    29th July 2020

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  • @ William Skinner July 29, 2020 3:29 PM

    We have a very stable democracy with majority voting, the Guyanese a chaos with proportional representation. To compare Barbados with Guyana is to compare paradise on earth with a hellhole.

    I think that Haiti, Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Venezuela, Kosovo and the West Bank are more appropriate for a country comparison with Guyana.

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  • CGID STRIPS PRIME MINISTER RALPH GONSALVES OF DEMOCRACY PRIZE

    At a public Town Hall meeting Monday night, with an online viewership of over 55,000 and 120 members and supporters in attendance, the Board of Directors and general membership of the New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) voted unanimously to revoke the Democracy Prize from Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves. Gonsalves is the current chairman of CARICOM.
    Gonsalves was awarded the Prize at an extravagant ceremony in 2005 at which then Leader of the British House of Lords, Baroness Valerie Amos was keynote speaker. The move is yet another fall out from Gonsalves’ controversial role in the Guyana elections. Gonsalves has backed Guyana’s opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), which claimed it won the March 2, 2020 for which there are no declared results. The declaration process has been hamstrung by multiple court challenges. The Guyana Court of Appeal is expected to rule on the matter Thursday.
    Gonsalves has angered Guyanese by claiming that the incumbent APNU+AFC lost the elections and that Granger should “take his licks like a man,” and give up power. CGID President, Rickford Burke, slammed Gonsalves’ comments as undignified and unbecoming a head of government. He accused Gonsalves of regurgitating PPP propaganda. Burke said Gonsalves is being pugnacious, because article 106 (7) of the constitution mandates that an incumbent government only demits office when a president has been sworn in pursuant to an election. “No elections results or winner have been declared. No president has been installed. Mr. Gonsalves, like the PPP, apparently wants President David Granger to demit office and leave the country governless? His comments are irresponsible and outrageous,” Burke noted.
    The motion to revoke the Democracy Prize was moved by CGID board member, Jason Benjamin, a past president of the University of Guyana Student Association. It was seconded by another board member, Dr. Michelle Luard, a New York educator. The motion accused Gonsalves of violating the standards of democracy as required by the Charter of the Prize to which he was obligated. Recipients of the prize must continuously promote and/or practice accepted standards of democracy as outlined in the Protocol of the Prize.
    The Protocol says Awardees must engage in programs and policies that strengthen human freedoms and dignity through the democratic ideal; work consistently to ensure that each person enjoys the right to select their own elected representatives; practice and encourage the democratic values promulgated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the face of government, opposition or private resistance; promote good governance, social justice, equal opportunity for all and national development.
    They are required to foster a harmonious, open society in which there is equal rights for all and in which the rule of law is maintained and upheld; to ensure the human rights of all citizens are fully respected and that free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and freedom of association are protected, and ensure that the poor and underprivileged are respected and cared for.
    The motion stated that Gonsalves violated the principles of democracy and the terms of the Prize by Interfering in the elections in Guyana in an egregious and partisan manner to help one side rather than act as an intermediary to help bring about an amicable and just solution. It contended that in an editorial published in “The Daily Observer,” in Antigua and other media outlets in St. Vincent, Guyana and around the Caribbean, titled “A personal Editorial,” Gonsalves “fanned the flames of racism; using inciting and incendiary language.”
    The motion said Gonsalves also labeled Guyanese citizens who are demanding that only valid votes must be counted in the elections as “literally playing with fire, commotion, disorder, and civil war.” It said that the Prime Minister’s branding of advocates for justice for alleged PPP death squad killings as ‘demonic’ and ‘evil, anti-democratic brigands” is antithetical to principles of democracy. Benn’s motion further accused Gonsalves of opposing US sanctions against Venezuela – a dictatorship with thousands of human rights abuses, but embracing US sanctions against Guyana – a functioning democracy and a CARICOM state.
    Benn accused Gonsalves of “Countenancing and directing his government’s human rights abuse, harassment and victimization of young people in St Vincent and the Grenadines who criticize him as a violation of the constitution of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and in violation of the Universal Declaration Human Rights. This was a rebuke of Gonsalves’ government’s victimization of youth activists Yugge Farrell and Prison Officer Kenson King.
    Prime Minister Gonsalves cannot carry forward and represent the ideals of democracy for which the Democracy Prize was established and awarded. His conduct is the complete antithesis of the standards of the Prize. Consequently it was moved that “BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of directors of CGID revoke and strip Prime Minister Gonsalves of the Democracy Prize. The motion was passed no objection. The Board mandated CGID President, Rickford Burke, to communicate its decision to Prime Minister Gonsalves and to request that the Prize be returned by the end of August. The announcement of the motion was unanimously approved was met sustained, thunderous applause.

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  • Appeal Court throws out case to stop elections declarations

    – Judges agree that recount figures must be used to declare winner

    The Court of Appeal today threw out the appeal in elections declarations case filed on behalf of A Partnership for National Unity – Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC), Misenga Jones to stop the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from making a declaration of the elections results based on the recount figures.

    The recount figures show a victory for the Opposition led – People Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) over the incumbent APNU+AFC by over 15 ,000 votes.

    Jones had wanted the Court to decide that Chief Elections Officer (CEO) of GECOM Keith Lowenfield can submit the report derived from his own calculations in the process rather than the recount figures despite a recent endorsement of the CARICOM- supervised recount process by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) – Guyana ‘s Apex Court.
    Given the recent ruling of the CCJ in a similar matter, Jones request was considered wholly ill-conceived and waste of the Court‘s precious time by the Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George- Wilsthire, in her ruling last week.
    Today, again, the application by Jones and her legal team was turned down unanimously by three Justices at the Appeal Court.

    In separate rulings, High Court Justice Priya Sewnarine- Beharry, Justices of Appeal Dawn Gregory and Rishi Persaud dismissed Jones appeal as well as a cross appeal filed by Attorney General (AG) Basil Williams.
    In her judgment, Justice Sewnarine Beharry held frivolous, vexatious and amounts to an abuse of the court’s process.
    She noted to that as a statutory officer of GECOM, the CEO is subject to the direction of the commission and must therefore carry out his functions in accordance with it directives.

    Justice Persaud held similar views on the matters raised in the appeal. He called the case a classic case of the abuse of process and pointed to a number of points in which the matter was res judicata or decided on before by courts of competent jurisdiction.

    In her ruling that followed, the Court’s President also agreed that the appeal lacked merit. She told the parties that several of the issues raised by Jones appeal are best suited for an Elections Petition, which can only take place after the elections has concluded.

    Gregory said too that CEO should have no trouble carrying out the instruction of the commission to prepare his report based on the recount figure since he, himself would have supervised the process.
    “I see no difficulty in that, in him complying swiftly to complete this process,” she said.
    Essentially, all three Justices agreed with the reasoning of the Chief Justice that recount figures are the only data that can be used to determine the final result of the elections

    By the end of the judgment, both Attorneys representing Forde and the AG indicated their intention to appeal to the CCJ.
    Their application for stay of the judgment was initially denied by the Court in the face of strong opposition from several opposing legal team. However, in the end, the Court granted them a 24 hours stay for consideration on their way forward.

    https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2020/07/30/appeal-court-throws-out-case-to-stop-elections-declarations/

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  • Guyana now has a Muslim president. Time for Barbadian men to use Vaseline cream when soon the Guyanese buy up Barbados. Our new masters will need many servants. By day and by night.

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  • Looks like the long knives have been whipped out in quick time.

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  • Great news for Barbados! Soon the Guyanese AND Surinamese billions will come in! Here comes Prince Ali! Soon we will have Hindu temples and mosques in Barbados. And many Barbadian servants for our new guests. How exciting!

    Those who now own property in Barbados should wait another five years and then sell to the super rich Surinamese and Guyanese. 100% profit guaranteed.

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