BY: DR. LESLIE RAMSAMMY
At GECOM’s meeting on Monday, July 13, clear signals emerged that the election fiasco is about to come to an end. There were encouraging signs GECOM is about to fulfil its responsibility and declare the elections results. As disappointing as it was that Keith Lowenfield, the rogue Chief Elections Officer, was given yet another chance to produce an accurate elections results report, GECOM made significant moves towards the rightful elections results declaration. While it still treated Lowenfield with kids’ gloves, GECOM did give him an ultimatum – produce the accurate report or someone else will be assigned. GECOM on Monday showed it meant business, finally.
GECOM on Monday actually discarded the March declarations for the 10 regions, including the fraudulent Clairmont MIngo’s Region 4 declaration, which were tabled at the GECOM meeting on March 13 and which Lowenfield used to prepare two fraudulent reports showing a win for David Granger and APNU/AFC. At its Monday meeting, GECOM affirmed that the only official results for the March 2 elections are the results contained in the certified recount certificates for the 10 regions. This means GECOM is preparing to declare the PPP/C the winner and deem Dr Irfaan Ali President. For Granger, this meant GECOM is preparing to declare Granger a one-term President.
The Monday meeting further affirmed, as per the CCJ, the recount order is legal. The GECOM Chair explicitly rejected the argument that APNU/AFC tried to make – that Order 60, the so-called Recount Order, was invalid and, therefore, the recount results are also invalid. Thus, Lowenfield was sent off with instructions to use only the 10 certified recount tables to prepare the final numbers and to assign seat allocations for each party, with the PPP/C winning 33 seats, APNU/AFC’s 31 and one seat for the group of ANUG/LJP and TNM. These are positive steps forward.
As much as Monday’s meeting provided significant steps towards the end of the road, GECOM’s Tuesday meeting revealed further desperate shenanigans to thief the elections. As expected, Lowenfield did not submit the report and the APNU/AFC Commissioners walked out of the meeting, thereby aborting the Tuesday meeting. At the same time, APNU/AFC approached the courts, asking the court to essentially allow them to thief the elections. They want the court to invalidate the recount, something the CCJ, a higher court, has already ruled must be considered as the official results.
Further, they want the court to order GECOM to use Mingo’s fraudulent declaration. The Chief Justice already ruled in March that Mingo’s fraud cannot be used. So the court approach is just a desperate delaying tactic since the court cannot conceivably allow what APNU/AFC is asking for. In all the shenanigans, the court has not forbidden GECOM from doing its job. Thus, the meeting is scheduled to resume tomorrow at 2:00pm. The truth is the end of the road is being approached and there is nothing that APNU/AFC can do to stop Dr Irfaan Ali from being sworn in as Guyana’s Ninth President.
Caricom has been with Guyana throughout this treacherous rigging road. At least five present Caricom Prime Ministers came to Guyana and held discussions with Granger and Bharrat Jagdeo. Caricom had three teams here – first a team that was in Guyana before the elections, stayed here throughout the E-Day and more than a week after. Another team came to observe the recount, but had to leave after APNU/AFC blocked the recount. A third observer team stayed in Guyana for almost 40 days, observing the recount. Granger insisted that Caricom was the most “trusted interlocutor” to observe the recount.
That was his defence for banning the Carter Center and other observer teams from observing the recount. Two former Caricom Prime Ministers headed other observer teams – the Commonwealth and the OAS teams. Yet Granger told Caricom to butt out of Guyana’s business after Caricom denounced the dark forces trying to thief the elections. Other sycophants have similarly told Caricom to mind its own business.
The whole world has consistently urged Granger and APNU/AFC to honour the election results. This week, the OAS will meet to discuss the electoral rigging in Guyana. Hopefully, by the time the OAS meets to finalise action against Granger and APNU/AFC, GECOM would have already moved forward to declare the rightful winner. In the meantime, Caricom and the Commonwealth have threatened Guyana with severe action should the thieving efforts continue. More worrisome, the US and the UK announced they have instructed sanction preparations be made for those involved with elections rigging. Canada has also announced it will not tolerate any attempt to prevent a peaceful transition of Government.
The long road to prevent rigging, to preserve Guyana’s democracy has seen many potholes along the way. But we have navigated around these potholes. It now appears we are near the end of this shameful road. The rightful elections results are now within our reach. It is highly conceivable that by weekend, we will be able to congratulate Guyana’s Ninth President – President Irfaan Ali.