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.

 

Guyana General Elections: Democratic Transition MUST be premised on the Rule of LAW

Press Release by Guyana Trades Union Congress

The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) notes with deep concerns the tsunami of misinformation  permeating our social space and its impact on public opinion threatening to destabilise the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM’s) declaration of  which party/group will form the next government.  It also threatens Guyana’s democracy, credibility of our institutions of governance, the rule of law and community relationships at a time when this small Caribbean nation’s oil rich potential is being exploited. It is not lost on us that the spread of a misinformation campaign can have far reaching and long lasting impact not only on Guyana but CARICOM, the Caribbean Community, and further afield.

Moved by this understanding GTUC seeks the support of Guyana and all concerned to have us navigate these challenges, by supporting the call to all persons, organisations and countries  with interest  in our well-being  to respect  the  internal mechanisms  embedded in our judicial system and the independent constitutional office of GECOM  whose chairperson Justice Claudette Singh  S.C has declared will “abide by all legal and procedural requirements to conclude its work.”

Please note:

GECOM– An independent constitutional body for conduction of National (General), Regional and Local Government elections in Guyana

  • The election process- The process, now sub judice, was halted due to an injunction moved by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/C (PPP/C). At this stage the High Court having established its jurisdiction in favour of the Opposition is having its second sitting on Tuesday, 10thMarch, 2020.
  • GECOM from all public accounts has never refused to review queries made. What is evident is as it sought to implement administrative measures to address concerns a volatile environment was created obstructing its performance.
  • GECOM Chairperson Justice Singh following a subsequent demand from the Opposition to continue the process even as same was being adjudicated on, cited legal restraints as the matter was sub judice.
  • A misinformation campaign has started to condemn her learned silence and refusal to show contempt for the courts.

Government –President David Granger on many occasions declared  and continues to support the independence of GECOM allowing this institution to operate without interference from the government.

High-priced lobbying – vs- Representation of the People Act (Cap 1:03): These elections have been shaped by the Opposition paid Washington D.C, USA based powerful lobbying firm influencing international observers, citizens and other countries’ perceptions of the outcome of an elections not by GECOM and the Representation of the People Act, the sole constitutional institution/authority to administer the election under the said law.

GTUC recognises that whereas our laws may not address issues of this nature and it is the  right of any party to  use such means to advance its position  these should not come  at  the expense of allowing the process to work within the framework of the law i.e. Representation of the People Act.

Credibility of the Statements of Poll (SoPs) – The question of the credibility of the verification process has surfaced with several parties lending support to the issue as raised by the Opposition PPP/C. One presidential candidate, Ms. Phillis Jordan of the  People’s Republic Party (PRP), in a video circulating on social media  has since informed the nation that all of the small parties, none of which had its own SoPs in all the 10 Districts/Regions, were issued collated figures from an unnamed  major party. Hence the credibility of claims made by these parties in support of the major opposing force raises questions.

Derailing the GECOM process – GTUC is of the opinion that the carefully orchestrated misinformation and derailing of the GECOM process was also used to advance unrest by opposition supporters in a country that is known for its ethnic tensions during elections. These unrests when carefully analysed serves one major group only, and does not work for the good of the beguiled people.

Transition – Democratic transition from this phase to another should not be dictated to outside of the Representation of the People Act and GECOM’s constitutional right to so declare which party/group has won the Executive and apportion the seats in the National Assembly. GECOM is the authority to likewise state which party/group has won at the ten Regional Democratic Councils and apportion the seats on the Councils based on the votes received.

Historical Reference – Guyana situation is not dissimilar to that of the United States’ (U.S) 2000 presidential election which resulted in George W. Bush being declared President. In said election the U.S Supreme Court was asked to pronounce on the tabulation (hanging chads) between allotment of votes for candidates Bush and Alfred Gore.  The process of tabulation awaited the judicial outcome.  Guyana’s law allows for judicial review and resolution of our current challenges and we expect the U.S and other countries of the world to treat with our circumstance with no less respect than they treated with that of the U.S in 2000.

Owen Arthur Slammed for Comments on Guyana Elections Results

Submitted by Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

Owen_Arthur

Former Prime Minister of Barbados Owen Arthur, Chairman of the Commonwealth Observer Mission

On Thursday Mr. Clairmont Mingo, the Returning officer of Election District 4 – Demerara/Mahaica, declared the much anticipated election results for his District. The results established that incumbent APNU+AFC coalition won the March 2, 2020 general elections. Earlier in the day the opposition PPP released a document with purported results showing a PPP victory, bearing inflated votes for that party in  polling stations within Region/District 4. Upon closer examination, the document was dated February 29, 2020, an indication that it was generated in some form two days before the March 2, 2020 elections. When citizens began questioning the date of the document on social media, it was pulled and the date changed to March 5, 2020 and republished.  

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The declaration had been previously disrupted multiple times by a mob of PPP executives and other known street thugs who, armed with guns, under the cover of dark night stormed the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) District 4 office demanding access to GECOM’s computer equipment. Later in the day said individuals kicked down the door to the Chairman of the Guyana Election Commission (GECOM), Justice Claudette Singh. The presence of violated the Laws of Guyana Chapter 1:03 (91). CGID is appalled that the Guyana Police Force allowed this invasion of GECOM’s office to occur. Overseas observers have failed to condemn this hooliganism and lawlessness from the PPP. Some observers, including James Carter III from the Carter Center, appear to be coordinating with the PPP.    

In response to the District 4 declaration, Mr. Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister of Barbados, who is Chairman of the Commonwealth Observer Mission falsely stated that the “tabulation of the final election results has not yet been completed and verified according to the established procedures and relevant legal and statutory provisions.” Mr. Arthur is obviously uninformed of the laws of Guyana and the constitutional powers of GECOM. This statement is consistent with PPP talking point.  CGID questions Mr. Arthur’s objectivity. He is a longtime associate of Bharrat Jagdeo who should never have been accredited by the Commonwealth.

Mr. Arthur and his team cannot dictate to GECOM or interfere with its work. He and his team are departing from an observer mission to intruding and interfering in Guyana’s electoral process in favor of the PPP. Guyana’s elections laws mandate a specific procedure for challenging actions and declarations of GECOM. That process does not entail complaints to and coercive missives from observers. It requires the filing of an elections petition in the court.

CGID notes that in 1997 the PPP government used the exact process to declare the elections results. In that election, then PPP hacks at GECOM secretly declared and certified the PPP winner, and secretly swore in Mrs. Janet Jagan as President. When a marshal of the Supreme Court attempted to serve Mrs. Jagan with an injunction from then Chief Justice Desiree Bernard, Mrs. Jagan threw the court order to the ground and proceeded to be sworn in. PPP leaders, including Bharrat Jagdeo, argued then that the courts cannot interfere with GECOM and its processes.

CGID therefore asks, if GECOM in 1997 could have declared results in favor of the PPP without a specific public verification procedure, what prevents GECOM from doing so in 2020? If the courts had no power to interfere in GECOM processes in 1997, why the PPP is seeking the intervention of the court in GECOM’s processes in 2020.

GECOM, International Community And Society Must Condemn Politics Of Lies, Fear And Race Baiting

Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary Guyana Trades Union Congress - Press Release

In its usual politics of lies, fear and race baiting, the Government of Guyana has taken a legitimate response of  Buxtonians to their façade of interest during an electoral  campaign as an opportunity to drive fear  in the minds of  Buxtonians  and by extension, the dissenting populace in an ongoing effort to paralyse them into inaction. The PPP political strategist knows only too well that the average human psyche will reject action deemed lawless, offensive and threatening social stability, and they will also reject those who it is claimed are responsible for this behaviour.  As a result of their validated embrace of lawlessness and the rejection they now face by this nation it is clear that the machinery for creating public mischief has gone into overdrive. Their most recent and ongoing efforts to present a daily media image of behaviour intended to conjure images of fear, even as they label citizens exercising their right to expression, movement and assembly as hooligans, mobsters and lawless, should not be taken as an isolated action but a carefully orchestrated strategy to denigrate one section of our society and set them up as targets for social despise and even destruction.

Describing exuberant Buxtonians demonstrating during a PPP campaign  in a village that has felt the brunt of PPP discriminatory politics, marginalization, destruction of their economic livelihood, and village pride, even as many were brutally gunned down, victims of  extra judicial and  state and narco-associated phantom squads, as  hooligans and mobsters,  is setting the stage for a continuation of state sponsored violence and pariah status of Buxtonians, the political opposition  and the African Guyanese community. It is the ugly beginnings of a people set up for demonization, marginalization and destruction for political gain and entrenchment of political power. It is setting the stage for society to accept their destruction by this regime. This nation must recall the lies and unsubstantiated labels placed at the feet of others as the current regime covered their tracks and lied to this nation of their criminal links and associations established in the US court of credible justice and among the international and diplomatic communities as revealed in wiki Leaks.

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