Norton and his Opposition need to introspect and get real

Dear Editor,
I have a few things to say regarding the news item “Ballots are counted, not statutory documents.” My objective is really to highlight the tomfoolery of the current Opposition, and hopefully pay some just regard to Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall.
First, we all know that, indeed, it is required by law that “…ballots that are counted and not the statutory documents (that are in the ballot boxes) (are needed) to tally the total of valid votes cast in Guyana’s elections.” Putting this into proper perspective, I am referring to what the AG explained. He was pointing to the Better Hope/LBI locality, that was under the control of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) (and mind you, during the APNU/AFC tenure). Nandlall, at that time, was politically responsible for his party, the PPP/C, on the East Coast of Demerara. We all can recall that at the time, GECOM allegedly misplaced those “statutory documents.”
In fact, the AG was quite on top of the situation right ‘there and then.’ Upon his querying, he was informed that the documents were not included in the 49 ballot boxes on elections night, and he swiftly brought it to the attention of Clairmont Mingo and Keith Lowenfield, who were the Chief Returning Officer for Region Four and GECOM’s Chief Elections Officer respectively, back in 2020.
My take is that the whole thing is ludicrous. I mean “Mingo investigated it and confirmed that he received the documents. And then he gave those documents to Keith Lowenfield, who also confirmed that he received those said documents upon request, storing them at the GECOM facilities at Coldingen on the East Coast of Demerara. So, what is this bare-faced nonsense now cropping up?
Indeed, “Lowenfield must answer where those documents are. It is GECOM who are accountable where those documents are concerned. So, according to Nandlall, the Commission of Inquiry will look into all of that…” and I am happy that he is quite emphatic about this.
Mr. Editor, even so, retrieving those documents was not, and is not, even germane to the outcome of the election, as these are immaterial to the count of ballots that were taken from the 49 ballot boxes. Constitutionally, “…It is the ballots that are counted. It is the statements of polls that are totalled. And that is what gives you the results. The ballots are counted and recorded on the Statements of Poll (SoP) … and SoPs are totalled. All of that is laid down in the law.
Statutory documents are not necessary for the counting of ballots.”
This came straight from the AG’s mouth, and as we all know, this is the ‘Rule of Law.’ Therefore, it is time the Opposition ‘be off’ with their nonsensical, almost humourous machinations. They have been at it for too long and for too many times. The AG is unduly taxed with their otiosities. Let me illustrate what I mean.
I go back to June 2019. That was when the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that the No-Confidence Motion brought against the David Granger-led APNU+AFC administration was validly passed with the votes of 33 members of the 65-member National Assembly in December 2018, thereby compelling the resignation of the Cabinet and the holding of general elections in a specific time frame. This is rudimentary stuff. The footage is still accessible where Moses Nagamootoo rightfully acceded to the fall of his Government, declaring that the Constitution will be adhered to, and that within three months, elections will be announced. But what happened? He and his cohorts, led by Nigel Hughes, ‘knowingly’ attempted a stunt destined to fail.
How embarrassing that Jacob Wit, one of the five judges who presided over the appeals after the matter went to the apex court, declared that “…no magic was needed in determining what constituted the needed majority, while noting that attorneys for the state (APNU/AFC) sought to work what he called “their legal magic,” with which they succeeded in persuading the local Appellate Court (Guyana of course) that a minimum of 34 votes constituted the majority that was required.” What stupidity!
I mean, APNU/AFC initially (and rightfully so) accepted the passage of the motion. Yet, through the then Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams, made the U-turn, defying the Constitution and basic common sense. They started making out the impossible case that the majority needed for the motion to have been considered passed was 34 and not 33, which it contended was an “absolute” majority and not merely a “simple” majority, two terminologies that they had problems explaining, and even so, the explanation would not have sufficed.
My big question now is: Why don’t the remaining supporters of the Opposition put an end to these money-and time-wasting exhibitions that have not even a modicum of validity? This was also the case when James Patterson was illegally sworn in as the GECOM Chair. It is all about being dishonest as leaders and leading blind followers into the abyss. I feel sure that they themselves must be aware of these untenable claims, symptomatic of their being abused by their leaders.
The other thing is that this Opposition farce and outrageous lying and deception, characterised by self-delusion, is more than a “…load of disinformation and misinformation being peddled…” in certain circles in the country, and not only “about the case of the 49 ballot boxes and the alleged missing statutory documents.” It is now the ongoing perverted culture of the Opposition. The host of them seem to be unaware that they are facing irrelevance, and maybe extinction. I am flabbergasted at this kind of posturing. It is destined to fail. So indeed “…the political Opposition is making empty noise about the fate of the documents in the 49 ballot boxes in the elections of 2020… (it’s really an attempt) to incite tension and confusion in the public’s mind,” and I am elated that it is not ‘catching on.’
In closing, let me heap deserved accolades on the AG. He knows what he is about. His apologetics for his ruling PPP/C are grounded in the Constitution, and that is the way it should be. It is at the courts, ultimately the CCJ if necessary, where issues must be settled. However, it is sad that he has to waste his time, repeatedly ‘spanking’ the Opposition. My appeal is that the Opposition be candid and honest. They need to quit the filibustering, as it can get them nowhere.

Yours truly,
H Singh