The High Court will today deliver its ruling in APNU’s latest case, this time instituted by its Agent Misenga Jones. Let us face reality: this is part of the plan to delay the declaration of the results of the March 2 elections – now a full 140 days since and an incredible 577 days since the December 21, 2018 no- confidence motion (NCM). Once considered scaremongering, the fear that the APNU would not give up power seems to be validated. It is not a series of unconnected events that there were three court cases on the NCM involving the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Caribbean Court of Justice. And so far, there have been eight cases, including appeals, arising out of the elections: one before the CCJ, two before the Court of Appeal, one before the Full Court and four before the High Court. If the decision today goes against the APNU, it is almost certain that the Court of Appeal and the CCJ will have further work.
Those legal games are not about law, it is about lawlessness. It is not about the fairness of elections, it is about the rigging of elections. It is not about conceding to who or conceding to what. It is a power grab, an electoral coup, the attempted entrenchment of a dictatorship where one group considers itself superior and another inferior.
For APNU, it is their assertion of perpetual power, the control of state resources and denial of the vote of one out of every two electors in Guyana. Apparently for them only some votes matter. And yet, Guyanese remain remarkably patient, simply wondering if when and how it will end. Fortunately or unfortunately, the same is not true of the international community. They are neither taken in by the ruses and tactics of the APNU, nor possessed of the unlimited patience of Guyanese.
The US State Department has already announced visa restrictions on those engaged in denying democracy in Guyana with the warning that punitive action will be escalated and targets widened. With signals of similar action by regional, hemispheric and international nations and groups, Guyana will find itself not only more isolated than it has ever been but more isolated than any other country in the world – Iran, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe included.
Five years ago, Granger was touting his decency, honesty and integrity. He came to power the model of an upright individual, intolerant of improprieties, committed to values. Yet, in five relatively short years the path of his Government is littered with constitutional violations, corruption, cynicism, ethnic preferences, waste and extravagance, arrogance and delusion. Those of us who promoted and supported him find it impossible to recognise the David Granger of five years ago. The veneer of virtues has been shattered. With a determination that borders on the irrational, Granger seems willing to take Guyana into that black hole. And yet, not a single institutional member of the Coalition, not even the JFAP, is decent or brave enough to say, to borrow Andaiye’s famous words, “Not in our name”.
They are all it seems, under the spell of Joe Harmon, the master of bravado, the untouchable and above and beyond the law. A lawyer himself, he seems willing to court international notoriety by mocking the threat of sanctions. He clearly is unmindful and uncaring of the consequences of his further acts of recklessness to the country and its people. Time will tell whether he is indeed as invincible and untouchable as he thinks he is.
For more reasons than one, I do not celebrate sanctions and do believe that problems concerning Guyana should be solved in Guyana. But I do not accept that the theft of an election is a purely domestic matter since it infects and infests all with whom it comes into contact. It is for that reason and that reason alone that I support sanctions. Bullies, cheats and thieves must realise that evil does not pay.