The caretaker Government’s cynical resort to the courts – even going to the extent of insulting the Appellate Court by forum shopping – to subvert the fundamental right of citizens to democratically choose their Government, will not stand. It represents the desperate effort of a regime that has arrived at the end of the line and the Appellate Court must let them know this, in no uncertain terms. At each stage of the sordid drama that unfolded after Mingo illegally inflated the Region Four votes for APNU/AFC, international observers and the international community warned of the “consequences” that would follow if democratic electoral norms were violated.
The recount was supposed to verify the votes cast but the APNU/AFC attempted to subvert the process by making unsubstantiated allegations of migrants and the deceased voting. Their intent was to invalidate the elections but when GECOM, through its Chairwoman, ruled that such allegations could only be dealt with in an elections petition to the High Court, they switched gears and petitioned the Appellate Court on the specious argument that a constitutional stricture, which was not even applicable, was violated. It is clearly an elections petition through the back door.
The recount has unequivocally certified that “more valid votes were cast” for the PPP/C than for APNU/AFC and as such, the GECOM CEO must be allowed to present his report and the Chairwoman to declare the former as the winner of the elections. The country must not be held to ransom through these cynical manoeuvres.
The international community has not turned a blind eye on this rape of democracy and is ready to impose sanctions on the APNU/AFC regime and individuals.