With each passing day, the excessively vulgar behaviour of the now illegal Granger-led APNU/AFC clan is becoming more and more frontal in adding to Guyana’s constitutional crisis. In the face of amazed global and international observers, the cabal continues to demonstrate its lack of concern for the democratic observance and rights of the majority of the citizens while effectively defacing the nation’s image. The APNU/AFC coalition has taken to displaying a heightened pretence of concern while abusing the nation’s public purse. This is only because the Opposition Leader’s No-Confidence Motion (NCM) has driven them in this direction.
The sequence of events leading up to this embarrassing fiasco indicates the extant characteristic, defiant and abusive nature of the cabal, for which the majority of citizens have long demonstrated a loss of confidence. Their previous and current actions place no holds on the abundance of radicalism and unlawful dictatorship that they attempt to force, while illegally occupying the seat of Government.
Guyanese are experiencing serious survival difficulties associated with the sky-rocking cost of living due to impositions of a laden tax system, escalating scary and dangerous crime situations, while people cannot provide the basics for their children’s education and healthcare. We are now witnessing substantial fraudulent giveaway of State lands to persons reflecting a significant conflict of interests in the instance of SARA and other public persons that is most worrying. Further, this entire nation is in tension, as our people live under an illegal and unconstitutional regime.
At the time of penning this letter, it was plain for all to see that President Granger, who now has the responsibility of ensuring elections are held within 90 days in keeping with Section 106 (7) of the Constitution, remains in his go-slow mode. He still had not responded to the Leader of the Opposition’s acceptance to his invitation to meet on the urgent critical matter of appointing a new Chairman of the GECOM, urged by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
From the top-heavy self-aggrandising APNU/AFC Government officials to the many bullish agents of the cabal, there is a wickedly utilised approach of de-stabilising Local Government Areas where the Government lost support so they suffer the population. It is also clear that the Government knew all along that their abuse of the people was intolerable and that they became illegal with the passing of the NCM on December 21, 2018. Mr Harmon and Mr Nagamootoo at the recent Bartica Public meeting affirmed that the Government was very clear that their case at the CCJ had no basis, but yet continued to deliberately frustrate our democracy and the nation while spending lavishly and creating further debts.
The Government’s resistance to the CCJ’s rulings is an outright assault on our democracy. On one side, the Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo’s call for “war” is inciting and most worrying, and this would be confirmed by the older population that the PNC never wants to adhere to free and fair elections. On the other, President Granger’s slurs, together with the rants of the senior APNU/AFC Ministers in their open criticisms and rejection of the CCJ and against the acceptance of the CCJ decisions, is most distasteful and unacceptable.
As it turns out, the PNC/APNU/AFC has been forced to accept that the former Chairman of GECOM, Justice Retired James Patterson had to go. It was indeed silly to know that President Granger was questioning the ruling of the CCJ, on the ruling that Chairman Patterson was not properly appointed.
The fact that the CCJ ruled in favour of the No-Confidence Motion (NCM), makes it clear that we will have to get Regional and National Elections within ninety days. With the ongoing lack of urgency and due diligence given by the President regarding the CCJ’s advised consultations with the Leader of the Opposition, the resulting unwarranted delays make it absolutely clear that time-bound directions must emerge in the CCJ’s consequential orders.
Given the posture adopted and publicly demonstrated by the President, however, these orders, critically, should pave the way for the immediate appointment of a Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission and the time schedules for the organisation to hold free and fair elections within the time established by the Guyana Constitution. Obviously, with all of the increasing waste of time and taxpayers’ monies in this respect by the Government, it is understandable that the Leader of the Opposition has signalled his party’s decision of not going back to the National Assembly to grant additional time.
Over the last three years, it has been really painful to follow the poor performances of Guyana ‘PNC’ Attorney General Basil Williams. Most disgraceful is his recent lies and misrepresentations to the eminent Judges of the CCJ. We are indeed ashamed as citizens to be receiving related calls from people in the diaspora, and worst of all, to listen to them talking about the incompetent Basil Williams.
It is indeed heartening to hear that the Leader of the Opposition, Former President Bharrat Jagdeo, is willing to reach with President Granger albeit, on a daily basis in order to resolve the appointment of a Chairman of GECOM. Further appreciated are his stance and urgings by the diplomatic community to all stakeholders to respect the CCJ’s rulings. The mirrored willingness of civil society, in particular, the Private Sector body, is also most welcoming and demonstrative. Indeed, the CCJ’s ruling, so far, is final and the highest in the land, which must now be followed up with specific timelines to stop this blatant bullying and illegality.
It is clear that the coalition Government will only respond to pressure and they have no respect for the Constitution and the highest court of law. As the wanton, rampant thieving, and unlawful spending continues, our people are boiling up. It is of note that the coalition Government lawyers alluded to the massive spending by GECOM to train nine thousand enumerators in preparation for House-to-House Registration and this is very serious. This column already hinted at the significant wastage and non-accountability at GECOM. All of the monies being spent on the enumerators will achieve much less than will be acquired in one week of the Claims and Objections cycle in preparing the Preliminary Voters’ List.
Inside sources at GECOM have already publically declared their readiness for holding Regional and National Elections and this is the only acceptable way forward. The CCJ must, therefore, assert themselves and rule, giving directives on the viable way forward for immediate efficacy in upholding constitutionally required elections in Guyana.