Warning that they will pursue individual sanctions and will not recognise David Granger as President should he be sworn in without a recount, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo on Saturday made it clear that the Party was prepared for the long haul if necessary.
In a statement to his supporters, Jagdeo emphasised that the Party’s resolve would not weaken if the coalition’s intention was to have Granger sworn in without a proper count of the votes being done. He warned that instead, sanctions would be pursued against those who facilitate this.
“The fight will continue to the end. If they think there’s any weakening of resolve, if they think people are losing strength or courage or we’re not prepared for the long haul, they’re very wrong about this. We’ll take this all the way. Granger needs to know, if he’s sworn in (illegitimately), he’ll be met by protests everywhere he goes… we will not be part of any parliament,” he said.
Jagdeo also noted that A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC), instead of challenging the Statements of Poll (SoPs) that the PPP released, is clutching its close to heart.
“Until now, they have not challenged a single Statement of Poll that we uploaded. We uploaded 879 Statements of Poll, supported by the tally sheets, showing how the results were in Region Four. As a consequence of that, they won Region Four, but we won the elections overall by over 15,000 votes. That’s nearly four times more than they won in the last elections.
“They have not uploaded a single Statement of Poll. APNU has all of those too, they got those on election night. Just imagine if we had uploaded fake Statements of Poll. They would have uploaded theirs and pointed out all the fake ones we uploaded. But they have not done so,” he said.
President Granger has consistently said that he would respect the court and not have himself sworn in before the process is completed. He has also constantly reiterated GECOM’s independence and his non-involvement in recent events, even though the court case blocking the recount was filed by an APNU/AFC candidate.
“GECOM has not done so. Granger knows this. He can easily say where are APNU Statements of Poll? Granger saw the Caricom (Caribbean Community) statement, where they documented the transgressions of Mingo. They pointed out, as we did, that in some cases there were more votes than electors, which is impossible.
“Yet he wants more proof that there is something fraudulent. He says he’s sticking with the court process, when in fact his people initiated the court process to sabotage an initiative that he himself said he wanted,” the PPP General Secretary said. Jagdeo noted that when Caricom first came to supervise the recount, he had told them he did not trust the President. According to Jagdeo, they had pointed out that it was Granger who had invited them and he had decided to give the initiative a chance. Jagdeo noted that the international community was more aware than ever about what it was dealing with.
“I’ve been in contact with the international community and they too are outraged with what has happened here and are resolute that the attempt to steal power before our very eyes does not succeed,” Jagdeo said.
It has been weeks since the elections were held, with no winner declared. The international community has already warned Guyana that it could be isolated and even sanctioned if a President is sworn in on the flawed results, resulting in an uneasy standoff between the international community and the Government.
After days of procrastination and the derailment of the verification of Region Four results, an agreement was brokered with Caricom to supervise a recount on Monday last, of the votes from all the regions.
In fact, it was President Granger who had sought CARICOM’s help. The Arthur Chung Conference Centre was chosen as the venue for the recount. The various party agents waited all day, but no recount occurred as GECOM first announced that an agreement would have to be signed, then that it was awaiting legal advice.
As the party agents stood guard over the ballot boxes, GECOM officials, then a fumigation crew from the Public Health Ministry and then Police dressed in riot gear arrived and began herding party agents out of the compound.
The Caricom officials, having witnessed all of this and then being stymied by the injunction, left the country. The European Union (EU) and Carter Center observation missions soon followed suit.