BY: DR. TARA SINGH
Pan-Africanist Dr David Hinds has launched a blistering but unfounded and misguided attack on the integrity of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). It’s like he has a premonition, not legal intuition, that the CCJ will rule that they do not have jurisdiction in the Jagdeo-Ali appeal case that challenges the decision of the Guyana Court of Appeal (CoA) regarding the insertion of “valid” in the Constitution and the qualifications of a President.
Dr Hinds has gone into a territory where others who are better endowed would not even dare to go. Like a minister of religion, he pontificated: “any claim of jurisdiction by the CCJ would be a political act with clear political intentions.” He continued to rave that such a decision will “trigger domestic instability.” If this is not a veiled threat to violence, what else could this mean? On what moral basis does Dr Hinds stand to critique the CCJ? On the question of morality, could Dr Hinds, tell us from where a poor woman Ms David, got the massive sums of money to hire lawyers from the Caribbean region to fight the David vs Jagdeo-Ali case?
Dr Hinds has deliberately ignored the fact that the 2020 elections were won by the PPP/C, and that he and others knew this result as early as March 3, 2020. The Statements of Poll (SoPs) clearly established that. He is painting a position as if he is a man with great principles and who has suddenly become an expert on constitutional law, but who refuses to condemn the blatant fraud perpetrated first by Clairmont Mingo and later by Keith Lowenfield. The world knows about the massive electoral fraud perpetrated by these two individuals, and Dr Hinds pretends that he is not aware of this travesty.
I have always argued that for many people, reason has become their enemy and deception their ally. The Caricom recount established once more that the PPP/C won the elections by a margin of 15,416 votes. This was the same team which David Granger asserted was the most “legitimate interlocutor.” The report of this Caricom team was accepted as credible by all the political parties, except APNU/AFC, and by all the observer missions, including the diplomatic community, as well as by the overwhelming majority of Guyanese.
As a member of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, subscribing members have the right to insist on free, fair and credible elections. This is not foreign interference; rather, this is good democratic practice and diplomacy. And talking about foreign intervention, why did Dr Hinds‘ President David Granger invite the Caricom high-level team to oversee the recount? Didn’t Dr Hinds say that Guyanese are capable of solving their problems? Really!
How could Dr Hinds question the jurisdiction of the CCJ in the Jagdeo-Ali Appeal case, and not worry similarly about the jurisdiction of the CoA? Guyanese have the more reason not to trust the CoA mainly because they said that 33 is not a majority of 65 and also that the unilateral appointment of James Patterson by David Granger was constitutional. If the CCJ was not there to dispense justice, imagine we would have had to live with a new mathematical formula, an illegal Government and an imposter GECOM Chair.
Dr Hinds must understand that the CCJ has never tried and will never usurp the power of the CoA, but as the apex court comprising distinguished jurists, they will always rule against illegality, fraud and unconstitutional acts. Dr Hinds’ incendiary approach continues: “he warns of dark days ahead if the constitutional power of the Guyana Court of Appeal is usurped……” Additionally, he insists that a significant segment of the Guyanese population would reject the CCJ’s claim to jurisdiction in the Jagdeo-Ali Appeal. What does he mean by significant? Nevertheless, to utilise caustic rhetoric in such a volatile environment is likened to a subtle call to social unrest.
Dr Hinds has cleverly attempted to shift the electoral coup d’etat that was perpetrated by his party and GECOM and replace that with his contrived “political coup” by the CCJ. Such a position is unthinkable, but then we are dealing with people whose minds have been polluted with power. Dr Hinds, regrettably, has likened the CCJ jurists to political radicals. Never before has the CCJ been so bitterly attacked, and more so, even before they render their verdict(s). This, in my view, is a frontal assault on the CCJ and is designed to drive fear into the CCJ. We are aware that the PNCR is good at bullyism, terror and mayhem. The eminent jurists will never cave to such crass and dastardly acts.
Dr Hinds is part of the PNCR apparatus which believes that they have a divine, and even a radical right to attack any group or individual who stands up in defence of democracy, including free and fair elections. He must ask himself this question: “why is his party standing alone?”
Dr Hinds and cohorts know that the PNCR can never win a free and fair election. They did it once in 2015 only because the AFC was able to bring them 10 per cent of the traditional PPP/C voters to their cause. But because of their disastrous handling of the economy, and firing of thousands of workers, that 10 per cent of voters returned to the PPP/C in the 2020 elections. This alone explains their defeat. No matter what sideshow they put up, the number of valid votes counted cannot be changed. And that’s the reality.