Elections petition will be completed this weekend – Granger
The A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition is likely to complete its touted elections petition sometime this weekend and could file it as early as Monday, according to its leader, former President David Granger.
He made this disclosure during an interview on local radio programme, Straight Up Live on Tuesday evening.
According to Granger, who was defeated after one term in office by People’s Progressive Party/Civic’s (PPP/C’s) Irfaan Ali at the March 2 polls, his party is now working on “making the best of the situation”.
When asked about the status of the elections petition, he said “Our lawyers are working on it and we expect that will be filed very soon – maybe by Monday. We have to ensure that all our partners are on board…”
“The petition will be completed this weekend. The lawyers are meeting every day to hammer out the details of it,” Granger stated.
The former President went on to say that he expects the matter to be dealt with by the courts promptly – the same manner with which they dealt with the litigations that were filed over the past five months when the country was embroiled in a political and electoral impasse.
“Generally speaking, I would say that the response was [by the courts] was timely – sometimes not favourable, but it was timely. The tradition is that matters concerning the representation of the people should be heard expeditiously so I expect once the petition is filed it should be heard expeditiously and dealt with as appropriate.”
He went on to say that “We are working towards ensuring that the petition is filed on time and that it’s comprehensive in that it presents the complete scale of anomalies and abuses that we have been able to compile.”
A National Recount, which was agreed to by Granger and the then Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, showed that the PPP/C secured 233,336 votes while the APNU/AFC obtained 217,920 votes – a difference of some 15,416 votes.
Despite the certified results of the National Recount, the coalition still insists on alleged voter irregularities.
However, after five months of a series of litigations and delayed tactics, the PPP/C was finally declared winners of the March 2, 2020 elections by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and Ali was sworn in as Guyana’s ninth Executive President on August 2. The coalition had since signalled its intention to file an elections petition.
According to the National Assembly (Validity of Elections) Act, election petitions must be filed within 28 days of the declaration of the results of an election.
Today marks 11th day since the declaration of the elections results, which means the coalition has just over two weeks more to file their petition.
Granger, who is the current leader of the APNU, disclosed during the interview that the four parties within the partnership as well as its coalition partner, the AFC, have been meeting to finalise the petition.
The APNU partnership is comprised of five parties – led by the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) and include The Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Justice for All Party (JFAP), National Front Alliance (NFA) and the Guyana Action Party (GAP).
According to Granger, the PNCR – of which he is also the leader – has recently reinstated its confidence him.
“The Central Executive Committee of the People’s National Congress passed a motion expressing confidence in my leadership in the elections… So, we’re very happy about that. My party is behind me,” he posited.
Granger went on to dismiss any notion of him giving up his political career. He said after his five years in office and nine years as leader of the APNU, he is now looking to strengthen the political representation of the people.
“I want [to] strengthen that representation. So I hope to do a lot more political work in years to come. I’m not going anywhere. I’m not moving off the political scene,” he contended.
The former President further outlined that it is necessary now to rebuild the party and rebuild political confidence at the grassroot level.
“I look forward to working to rebuild the relationship between the party and political representatives…,” he noted.
Moreover, Granger said that his party is now in the process of extracting names to sit in the National Assembly. Asked whether he will be among those named to sit as Opposition Member of Parliament once again, Granger said this is entirely up to the party to decide.
“As far as my going back to Parliament, that is a decision for my party. I’m a servant of my party and the party has not contemplated that…When the party makes that determination it will be announced,” he stated.
Granger served as Opposition Leader in the 10th Parliament.