Excuse to “study” CCJ ruling “another shameless tactic” to delay results declaration – Nandlall
…says this surpasses the limit of “ludicrosity”
People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Executive member Anil Nandlall believes the excuse of the three Government-nominated Commissioners at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), that they need time to study the recent ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), is another tactic by the caretaker APNU/AFC Coalition to further delay the declaration of the final results of the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
“The truth is that this is another shameless tactic to delay the declaration of the final results, and possibly to facilitate some subterfuge in the making,” Nandlall posited in a social media post on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Trinidad-based regional court ruled that Guyana’s Court of Appeal had no jurisdiction to hear the matter filed by APNU/AFC supporter Eslyn David. As such, the CCJ invalidated the Appeal Court’s decision that “more votes cast” in the Recount Order means “more validate votes cast”. They also invalidated the fraudulent report submitted by embattled Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield.
This now paves the way for GECOM to make an official declaration of the results of the elections, held more than four months ago, based on the recount results which show the PPP/C in a landslide victory by some 15,416 votes more than its main political rival, the APNU/AFC.
The seven-member Commission was scheduled to meet on Thursday at 13:30h. However, that meeting was cancelled hours before it began after the three government-aligned Commissioners – Vincent Alexander, Charles Corbin and Desmond Trotman – requested time to study the CCJ ruling.
But according to Nandlall, the regional court’s decision was very clear. He noted that the ruling, which was live-streamed on Wednesday, was tuned in to by almost every Guyanese. He added that the entire written judgement and the summary were released by the CCJ, and it was widely reported on.
“Anyone familiar with judgments will confirm that the judgment handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice is – having regard to the importance of the issues raised – perhaps one of the shortest judgments ever delivered, and expressed in the clearest possible language. In my considered view, the authors of that document deliberately ensured that they were concise, precise, and as crystal clear as possible. Every person with whom I have spoken and who have some familiarity with the judgment proclaimed to have understood it largely because of the simplicity and clarity with which it was expressed,” he stated.
Nandlall, a former Attorney General, went on to point out that after all Guyana and its people have endued over these past months, to be now met with the bizarre news that GECOM’s meeting was postponed because the three Government Commissioners requested time to “study the judgment” not only “surpasses the limit of ludicrousness” but constitutes a grave test of the collective patience of the majority of Guyanese.
“Every sensible person in Guyana knows that Messrs. Alexander, Corbin and Trotman take their directions from Congress Place, and have access to that huge team of lawyers assembled by the Rigging Cabal. Yet these three (3) need to “study the judgment”. What is there to study? My driver, gardener and maid, with whom I have spoken, have a clear understanding of the nature and purport of the judgment, and they simply read it from the press. I am sure they can ably assist these three esteemed Commissioners,” Nandlall stated.
He further sought to ascertain whether Alexander, Corbin and Trotman are trying to make the nation believe that, as Commissioners of GECOM, a party in the proceedings, they are so disinterested that they did not listen to the reading of the judgment neither did they get a copy of it, which was available to every member of the public from the website of the Court.
“This is not only an abdication of their duties as Commissioners, but a demonstration of the contempt which they hold for the Guyanese public. It is the type of conduct which disgraces all public officers and constitutional office- holders… Each of these actions are being noted by a patient Guyanese public for future references. Reckoning day shall soon come. Let us see for how long they will be able to sustain these nefarious artifices. Time and history are on our side – the side of democracy and the Rule of Law. People’s Power shall triumph in the end,”
Nandlall further asserted.
The former Attorney General reiterated that the Caribbean Court of Justice’s pronouncements are, by law, the final and conclusive determination of the issues. He noted that the CCJ even went so far as to outline the path forward for GECOM, so that this process can be brought to a lawful end.
The CCJ, in its ruling, which was delivered by President Justice Adrian Saunders, said, “It is for GECOM to ensure that the CEO submits a report in accordance with his directives of 16th of June, in order to proceed along the path directed by the laws of Guyana.”
This refers to the instructions by GECOM Chair, Justice Claudette Singh, who directed Lowenfield in a letter last month to submit his final elections report using the figures from the National Recount.
The CCJ President had also lamented the current protracted political situation in Guyana.
“As Guyana’s final court, the Court stated that it could not, however in all the circumstances, pretend to be oblivious to events that have transpired in that country since December 2018. Indeed, the court had to pronounce on some of those events. It has been four months since the elections had been held, and the country has been without a Parliament for well over one year. No one in Guyana would consider this to be a satisfactory state of affairs. We express the fervent hope that there would quickly be a peaceable restoration of normalcy. Now the law must run its course,” he asserted.
Back in December 2018, the APNU/AFC Coalition was toppled via a majority vote of a No-Confidence Motion in the National Assembly – which the CCJ had ruled was validly passed. However, the caretaker Coalition failed to call elections within the stipulated three-month period as stated in the Constitution.