LJP, TCI call for swift conclusion to electoral process

Two of the new political parties that contested the March 2 elections – Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), and The Citizen Initiative (TCI) – are calling for the swift conclusion of the protracted electoral process.

LJP Leader Lenox Shuman

This is in light of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) postponing its scheduled meeting on Thursday after the three Government- nominated commissioners asked for time to “study” the decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which on Wednesday invalidated the Appeal Court’s ruling and the fraudulent report submitted last month by Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield, who disenfranchised over 115,000 voters.
In a statement on Thursday, TCI expressed grave concern over this further delay of the timely and lawful conclusion to Guyana’s election process. The Rondha Lam-led party pointed to the CCJ’s judgement, which concluded with expectation that all parties would move with haste.

TCI Presidential Candidate Rhonda Lam

“It has been four months since the Elections were held and the country has been without a Parliament for well over a year. No one in Guyana would regard this as 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,” CCJ President, Justice Adrian Saunders had stated on Wednesday.
To this end, the TCI emphasised the need for a quick end to the four-month long election process.
“Guyana needs it. The people of Guyana need it. Now that the apex court of Guyana has definitively ruled on the way forward, it is quite clear what needs to be done. GECOM and the people of Guyana have bent over backwards enough. GECOM needs to now act decisively to bring our election process to a swift conclusion.
“We, as Guyanese, need to work together to take this nation forward. This can only be achieved if we remain a nation that respects the laws that govern the land. We respectfully request Madame Chair, Justice Claudette Singh, does everything in her power to bring the election to its swift conclusion. TCI calls on Madam Chair to allow Guyana to breathe,” the party pleaded.
Meanwhile, LJP Leader Lennox Shuman, in a virtual message, voiced his suspicious about the actions of the Government-aligned GECOM Commissioners in requesting time to study the explicit CCJ ruling.
“…Information coming to me is that they don’t need time for a ruling, but to make a case for a non-declaration. That seems very plausible, and that is information coming to me from persons within the PNC (the largest party in the APNU faction of the caretaker Coalition) Camp. It’s a bit concerning that we are at this juncture. The CCJ has been very explicit in (its) ruling. (The Judges) have said what they said, and now here we are,” the LJP Leader posited.
He went on to say that, at this point, Guyanese have to exercise all the confidence in the GECOM Chair, having been a jurist herself, to understand the law and the ruling and to act accordingly.
However, Shuman posited that everything the PNC-led Coalition does calls for suspicion. He pointed to the recent increase of Police deployment to enforce the COVID-19 measures, as well as the reshuffling of the hierarchy of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
“Everything needs to be looked at with a suspicious eye at this point… What I can say is the nation – all of you; a whole lot of people – are tired. It is weighing on the country, it is weighing on the people, and I’m hopeful after tomorrow we will have a clear and definitive path… The country can only go through this torment for so long,” he stressed.
To this end, Shuman called on the international community to take keen note of these delaying tactics and to start exploring imposing sanctions on those who are complicit in the deliberate delaying of Guyana’s electoral process.
“Let’s bring it to bear… I hope there is very strong sanctions, since the words seem not to be registering with these people. It needs to be followed up by actions right now, and I would urge our international partners to take a close look at this and see if it is warranted.
“Another delaying tactic tomorrow and then they’ll push it to Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and they’ll continue to kick this can further down the road,” the LJP leader asserted.