…for the Judiciary
Just when you thought that – with the PNC controlling the Executive and the legislature in caretaker mode more than a hundred days after the elections – things couldn’t get worse – it went to “disastrous”. The only institution standing between them and absolute authoritarianism was the Judiciary – with the Constitution as its lodestone – to protect “we, the people”.
However, with the just-announced 2-1 decision by the Appellate Court to even entertain the PNC’s case that they needed to interpret Art 177 (2) (b) – which simply states that the person at the head of the list for which “more votes are cast” becomes President – you know our “cork duck”!! The PNC wanted the phrase to mean “more valid votes are cast” – and Justices Gregory and Reynolds handed them their wish on a platter.
This, of course, was the end game for the PNC, the moment the recount was embarked on. THEY knew that Mingo had “cocked” the numbers for them – which would be uncovered during the recount. What to do?? They decided to cast doubt on the ENTIRE electoral process by claiming thousands of dead and migrated Guyanese had voted!! And not only that – but to assert that all of the ballots in each of the boxes that had these (unproven) “irregularities” were also “invalid”!!
Lowenfield went along with the plan and prepared a report that moved from the PPP winning by 15,000 votes, they were now losing by 68,000 – disenfranchising 270,000 voters in the process!! Checkmated by the Chair using her casting vote to tell Lowenfield not to “play the fool”, the PNC went forum shopping for a friendly court. We should’ve figured out the fix was in then and there when they ignored all precedent and went to the Appellate Court.
The same Appellate Court that had ruled 33 wasn’t the majority of 65!! As with that beauty, Justice Persaud pointed out the emperor was buck nekked!! While Gregory and Reynolds twisted themselves into pretzels to first find that the Appellate Court had jurisdiction to hear the case and that GECOM must now only pronounce on “valid” votes cast!!
Your Eyewitness isn’t going to waste your time with the shameful sophistry from the two affirmatives – you just knew from the way Gregory and Reynolds stumbled over their words, it was possibly the first time they were looking at “their” judgements!!
But the Iron Lady hasn’t sung quite yet. As the GECOM Chair had asked in her submission, if the court ruled for the plaintiff (which they did) “Is GECOM to hold court and take evidence?” to evaluate “valid” votes??
Can the Appellate Court transmute GECOM into an Elections Court?? Of course, they can’t.
…must be blotted out
But meanwhile the smirking PNC shouldn’t count their eggs quite yet. While the Appellate Court’s order calls for “valid” votes, isn’t this what Claudette Singh was instructing Lowenfield to put together after he arbitrarily wiped out hundreds of thousands of voters as if he were Thanos from the Avengers universe??
Let’s be clear about this “valid” votes business. Isn’t this what the recount produced?? Every Statement of Recount (SoR) declared that, using the rules from the gazetted order, some spoiled votes were added while some accepted votes were discarded, and the result declared VALID votes. At the end, the Certificates of Recount summarised all of the SoRs by Regions and produced the report of all the VALID votes cast for the various lists.
The law says that the Commission must USE the Report prepared by the CEO (Lowenfield), but that simply means that the Commission must evaluate that report and make its own announcement.
We have the precedent when a calculation by a previous CEO Boodhoo was overturned.
The Chairwoman can show she’s nobody’s rubber stamp!!
…that must be called out
They say a people get the leaders they deserve. That’s not entirely true when leaders like the PNC will go as far as assassinating alternative leaders.
Stand up, Guyana!!