It is now approaching five months since the March 2 General and Regional Elections were held in Guyana, and there is no declaration of a winner, even though the results are widely known. This, we know, is largely due to the fact that the incumbent APNU/AFC has lost power, and is fighting to hang on, and is using every avenue possible, including the court system, to buy time.
The fact remains that the David Granger-led Coalition has been defeated, and must leave Government. No person or authority can change that fact. While the APNU/AFC may want to employ delaying tactics — which it has managed to do since December 2018, after the no-confidence vote — this situation must come to an end. And from all indications, that time is very near.
The Court of Appeal is scheduled to hand down its decisions today (Thursday) in the case that is seeking to block the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from moving ahead in making a declaration of the March 2 General and Regional Elections using the certified Recount results.
In effect, what the APNU/AFC is asking the court to do is to discard the results of the National Recount and compel GECOM to use the March 13 declarations, which include Clairmont Mingo’s fraudulent figures for District Four, to make its final declaration.
We are certain that no court or institution would go the route of endorsing or directing GECOM to use discredited results to declare a winner. Not only is this legally wrong, it is enough to create chaos and confusion in a society that is already tension-filled. No one wants to see Guyana descend into such a state.
Based on the count and the Recount, the majority of citizens have voted for the PPP/C as the Government they wish to see take charge of managing the affairs of the country, and hence that party must be allowed to govern in peace.
We have taken note of yet another attempt by agents of the Coalition to abuse the court process by bringing private criminal charges against GECOM Chairperson Justice Claudette Singh over the Commission’s decision to engage in a National Recount exercise.
One has to ask what is the real intention of the persons behind such actions, especially since this decision by the Commission to engage in a Recount stemmed from an initial agreement between the President and the Leader of the Opposition.
Legal experts have argued that the move to do a National Recount was not a decision of the Chairperson, but a unanimous decision of the Commission. There was no vote taken against that decision, therefore it is the decision of the Commission, and not the decision of the Chair.
Additionally, GECOM is an independent constitutional body, and, in effect, the Constitution insulates the Commission from any type of advice, direction or influence of any person or any authority, including the Government.
Important, too, is the fact that GECOM has legal powers to take whatever measures necessary to ensure fairness, impartiality and transparency in the conduct of elections. Its decision to do a recount of all votes cast in the elections was one such action.
Like many others, we have never seen this level of abuse of the court system by any Government in the history of the post-Independent Caribbean to hang on to power. It is clear as day that the Granger-led APNU/AFC Coalition will stop at nothing in its quest to remain in office illegally.
Granger, who has basically been hiding from answering questions posed by the media and the public at large, cannot claim that he is oblivious to these attempts to deny the duly elected Government from taking its place.
It is very difficult to accept that, five months after the fact, the APNU/AFC can still be fighting a case about something as straightforward as an election, the results of which, at the close of poll, have been known and have since not changed.
The Coalition is nearing its end, and is running out of options. At the moment, the nation is tired, and frustrated with the relentless efforts by Granger and his men to cling to power. This situation has to come to an end. Guyanese have been made to ensure this misery for far too long.