Guyana woke up yesterday, trembling with anxiety and patiently waited for 3PM to arrive to listen with rapid attention to the President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Justice Adrian Saunders, deliver his judgment on the appeal case brought by Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo and Mr. Irfaan Ali, et al vs Eslyn David. As all legal luminaries, sober minded and right thinking people in the world had expected, the CCJ ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear the case and in fact, the Guyana Appeal Court had no jurisdiction in that matter.
What a slap in the face for the Appeal Court for a third time in a row! Three strikes and you are out as per the rules. The CCJ further surmised that since it had jurisdiction, it invalidated the Chief Elections Officer, Mr. Keith Lowenfield’s report that had sought to invalidate some 115,000 valid votes. The world was advising the APNU+AFC Party that the election was free and fair and the election recount was creditable which confirmed that the PPP/C had amassed some 15,000 creditable and valid votes more than them, thereby paving the way for Mr. Irfaan Ali to be legitimately elected as the new President of Guyana and for the PPP/C Party to occupy 33 seats and to invite them to form the new Government to rule legally for the next five years. Mr. Lowenfield’s report must confirm with the request and direction of the Madam Chair.
Only the APNU+AFC Party, with the admirable exceptions of Mr. Dominic Gaskin and Mr. CN Sharma, refused to listen to the voice of reasoning and to their conscience but deliberately and callously ignored the confirmed and creditable recount findings of the CARICOM Team and the OAS reports that confirmed that the PPP/C won the election and that all the acclaimed irregularities were not meritorious because there were no evidence to substantiate their allegations and must be ignored as aspersions.
To further rub salt in the wound, the reports described the willful interference of members of the APNU+AFC Party and certain members of the Election Commission who were engaged in the corruption and collusion to interrupt and interfere the smooth flow of the election process and to manipulate the correct counting procedure by inserting fictitious figures in order to increase votes for the APNU+AFC Party and decrease votes from the PPP/C Party that will allow the Coalition Party to win the election instead.
The next step perhaps is for the Chair of GECOM, Madam Claudette Singh to request the written report from the CCJ with its rulings so that the Election Commission can study it at their next meeting (if they have a quorum). More shameful and disgraceful pussyfooting is anticipated from the disgusted and disgruntled. How much more indigestion can Guyana tolerate? This has been their norm and way of life for the past two years. How will they react to the rulings of the CCJ and what will be their next unscrupulous move?
Many national and international stakeholders, parties and individuals continue to call on Mr. Granger and his cabal to concede and accept the results of the election recount that clearly confirmed that the PPP/C Party enjoyed an overwhelming majority over the APNU+AFC party by some 15,000 valid and legitimate votes. This was not only clarified and verified by the local electoral personnel but also witnessed and observed, one stage or the other by local stakeholders, GECOM, CARICOM, the ABCE Diplomats, OAS, the Commonwealth, the Carter Center, the media and others. The global community forewarned about sanctions, their applications and implications and the consequences that may affect all, directly and indirectly.
The APNU+AFC has been called out by its own kit and kin, by many of its strong holders and ardent supporters and followers. Despite the glaring evidences ascertained by CARICOM pertaining to a free, fair and creditable election and a recount process, validating and upholding a PPP/C Party electoral majority of 15,000 valid votes over the APNU/AFC Party, the APNU/AFC continue to deny election fraud and refuses to accept defeat. In fact, the APNU+AFC Party went on an infamous campaign to besmirch the good name and credibility of CARICOM, distinguished heads of governments and dignitaries from the rest of the global community and accusing them of “foreign interference.” They even overstepped their boundary by not only trying to influence the CCJ’s decision but also of flagrant attempts to coerce and intimidate different and various diplomats and dignitaries from the international community and even those individuals whom they regarded as friends simply because they refused to be sympathetic to their reckless and illegal behaviour.
When all is said and done, it’s still not over. There is still the need to deal with the spoilt little brat throwing tantrums, the child who wants to suck his toffee and still have it, the child who is still sulking and frowning because he lost the race, the little rascal who misbehaves in public, the mischief maker who spins a web of lies, the monster who breaks his old toy to have a new one, the cantankerous who twists everything around, the little scalawag who pinches from the old lady’s purse, the good-for-nothing who hides behind doors, the little bully who wants to take away your pencil, the scoundrel who refuses to clean his mess, the crotchety who is always fretting, the irascible who doesn’t know the meaning of “no” and the unfortunate one who knows not who or what he is.
But the accommodated stage is finally and carefully, lavishly prepared to cater for all the lighting fixtures strategically placed and, the sound equipment tested and arranged to avoid any static or feed-back that can distort clarity and volume. Only the very best is left for the ultimate last, and the compassionate nightingale still needs to vociferously serenade us commandingly with her polished eloquence of a culminated rendition that can synchronize with harmonious melody, sweetly and softly caressing a crescendo that is highly pitched to blend an opera’s scale, and stirringly ending with a rocking tempo that mixes a tango with the coolness of a waltzing jazz. When will this precious moment be? That is the question that the Guyanese public will sleep with on their minds. Will this translate to an early reality? Will the caretaker Mr. Granger allow the flow of justice to run a smooth course? Will he conclude that, that is the CCJ’s interpretation and not his? How should we prepare ourselves?