Int’l community unlikely to wait much longer for lawful declaration – Ramkarran
126 days since elections
… says more delaying tactics could risk sanctions
Senior Counsel Ralph Ramkarran has warned that judging from the tone and tenor of the international community, more delaying tactics from certain persons to delay the lawful declaration of the election results, could spark sanctions sooner rather than later.
Ramkarran made this observation in his “Conversation Tree” writings on Sunday. It has already been 126 days since General and Regional Elections were held in Guyana, the results of which have already been delayed by the machinations of persons in the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC).
According to Ramkarran, more delaying tactics are not likely to be countenanced by the international community. He put persons like Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield and others on notice.
“It appears unlikely that foreign observers and governments will
wait any longer for a lawful declaration of results. Secretary of State Pompeo’s statement said: “It is long past due for a transition of power…They should get on with it.”
“Actions by the CEO or any other agency which delays a declaration of lawful results, or by their actions instigate further litigation, could invoke sanctions sooner rather than later. APNU+AFC does not seem unduly bothered,” Ramkarran said.
Elections were held since March 2, 2020, but a winner is yet to be declared. The certified results from the legally conducted recount exercise supervised by GECOM and a high-level team from the Caribbean Community (Caricom) show that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) won with 233,336 votes while the APNU/AFC garnered 217,920.
In fact, the recount almost perfectly matched the Statements of Poll (SoPs) that the PPP/C released since March. Despite clearly
losing the elections, however, APNU/AFC have been dogged in their determination to hang on to power and delay the process, first going to court to block the recount and then blocking the declaration of the results based on the recount.
Lowenfield has also been prominent in the controversy. His attempts to disenfranchise over 115,000 voters by submitting a final report to GECOM that went against the Statements of Recount (SoRs) and the official Certificates of Tabulation that came out of the recount process have garnered three criminal charges and a court summons.
GECOM Chair, Retired Justice Claudette Singh had instructed Lowenfield to prepare a final report based on the recount. But in the report Lowenfield submitted, he claimed that the coalition garnered 171,825 votes while the PPP/C gained 166,343 votes.
How the CEO arrived at those figures is unknown. But they mirror the efforts of Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, who also concocted figures back in March… figures not reflected in the SoPs. The matter has now been overtaken by the court, however, as the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is set to rule on the issue on Wednesday.
APNU/AFC and President David Granger have nevertheless thrown their support behind the concocted figures. But there are rifts in the camp. It was only recently that coalition partner Justice For All Party (JFAP) founder CN Sharma, broke away from APNU/AFC’s dogged refusal to accept defeat in the March 2 polls. In a statement, he made it clear that enough was enough and it was time for the country to move on.
He had chastised those bent on dragging out the process and extended congratulations to PPP/C on their win. Sharma had pointed out that the National Recount was carried out and from the votes counted, it is clear the PPP/C is the winner.
As such, he had urged that PPP/C Presidential Candidate, Dr Irfaan Ali be sworn in without delay. Sharma had also called the last 108 days exhausting and said that the people are starving and suffering, due to the COVID-triggered economic slowdown.
Granger’s own son-in-law, former Business Minister Dominic Gaskin, also made a statement on the same day as Sharma, in which he conceded that APNU/AFC lost to the PPP/C and called out his party’s leadership for fooling supporters.
And incumbent Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan was caught on a recording, conceding defeat to his Ministry staff, during a farewell speech he had given. In that speech, Ramjattan had acknowledged the PPP winning by some 15,000 votes and had told the gathering he was willing to move on.