The coalition Government clearly has its knee on the neck of the nation considering all that has happened in the last five years or so up to the point of the current legal battle, which was initiated by the coalition to block the rightful winner of the elections from being declared.
The de facto Government, led by its leader President David Granger, is fighting to the very end to hold on to power at all costs, even if it means taking the country down a path of destruction. The winner of the 2020 Elections is clear, yet there are impediments being deliberately put in the way to prevent the results from being declared so that the electoral process can come to an end to allow the country to move forward.
Even at a time when the nation should have been focused on fighting a pandemic, it has to be painfully occupied with dealing with a government who refuses to listen to the majority who have spoken in clear terms that the coalition’s time is up and it must make way for a legitimate government.
It must be noted that the coalition Government has been defeated and rejected not once, but twice by the majority in the past 18 months – first, via the no-confidence motion in December 2018 and then its massive defeat at the polls in March this year.
Following its defeat via the confidence vote, the Government forced itself to remain in power for over a year. Elections should have been held three months later, but the APNU/AFC used every conceivable avenue to delay the holding of the elections. The polls were finally held in March this year resulting in the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic securing a convincing win. However, it is now almost four months since the polls were held and even though the results are known, it looks as if the nation is in for the long haul again.
With all the twists and turns, Guyanese are becoming fed up of all the machinations by the APNU/AFC to hang on to power. The meaning of the words “more valid votes” is now the issue they are seeking to create much confusion about. On Monday, citizens were expecting that the legal matter blocking the results from being declared would have been thrown out as the contention has always been that the Court of Appeal has no jurisdiction to hear such matters regarding credibility of an elections. These are matters which must form part of an elections petition after the results are declared and the Government is sworn in.
In any case, the issue of valid votes had already been settled by the Commission when it directed the Chief Elections Officer to present his report on the basis of the results coming out of the national recount. The votes from the various regions were added up and presented to the Commission as valid votes for each political party. These were figures certified by all the international and local observers and political parties, except APNU/AFC.
It should also be mentioned that the law is clear on what a valid vote is; that is once the intention of the voter is clear, his/her vote must be counted as valid. Additionally, during the recount, each vote was carefully checked in the presence of all parties and other stakeholders, using modern technology, to ensure it was valid.
The recount process, which turned out to be an audit, could have easily matched any other electoral system anywhere in the world regarding its transparency. It was on this basis the results for each electoral district was compiled showing the PPP/C securing more valid votes than all of the other parties.
The coalition Government is now barefacedly working with others in the Elections Commission to push a false narrative in an attempt to discredit the recount process and the report by the independent Caricom Observer Team. Its aim is to invalidate the valid votes which would see over 285,000 voters losing their votes. We urge all stakeholders to speak out against this undemocratic and lawless action by the coalition. It has lost the confidence of the majority of citizens and business cannot be as usual.
The Commission is meeting again today to discuss the ruling by the Court of Appeal. Legal minds have proffered that there is nothing preventing GECOM from moving ahead and declaring the results of the elections. We had said many times before, the Chairperson has the power to act and bring this madness to a halt.