BY: RAVI DEV
We await the CCJ’s judgement on the Opposition parties’ appeal of the Court of Appeal’s insistence that it has the final say in any matter where the election of the President is concerned – once a plaintiff invokes an issue that necessitates the “interpretation of the constitution”. There are some who hope that closure would finally be brought to this national nightmare. There is no such optimism from these quarters.
We reaffirm our own insistence that the PNC are “gambling for resurrection” – i.e., taking irrational risks to rig the elections because they believe their supporters will go along. In layman’s terms, they have decided they may as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb.
Think of it: after defying the direct warnings of every country in the Western world, what do they have to lose? Reputation? The PNC are not like, say, Mandela, to be moved by moral suasion.
Sanctions? Part of the PNC’s gamble is they have concluded these will not be applied once they keep their defiance within the judiciary or within GECOM. This they have done up to now on one specious argument after another since the NCM.
Everyone agrees with Mia Mottley that it is all “gamesmanship”, but the PNC see it as “realpolitik”. Once their contentions are “arguable”, they will have to be given a hearing in one court or another, and this will keep the fig leaf of legality over their power grab.
Let us look at what the CCJ might rule. Even if they repress their tendency for gnomic pronouncements and go along with Ralph Ramkarran’s impassioned plea for a specific order to instruct Lowenfield to use the Certificates of Recount and compile his report, the PNC would simply say it cannot be done; that the Constitution is absolutely clear on declaring that it is the GECOM CEO, and only the GECOM CEO, who can decide what goes into his Report. Art 177 (2)(b) after all, declares that the Presidential Candidate from the list with “more votes” – now “more valid votes” – than other lists, shall be declared elected as President, “by the Chairman of the Elections Commission acting only in accordance with the advice of the Chief Elections Officer…”
So, what about the instance from 2011 that is being cited, when the then CEO Gocool Boodhoo’s Report was examined by PNC Commissioner Vincent Alexander, and he had to rectify the Report? The PNC will slyly point out that that conundrum was a matter of mathematical inexactitude which had only one solution.
On the other hand, they will claim that the matter of Lowenfield evaluating the PNC’s “irregularities” is a subjective one conferred on him by the Constitution, as above.
The PNC would go right back to the Court of Appeal if the Chairwoman were to instruct Lowenfield on what data he should utilise to compile his Report. The PNC’s contention would be that if the Chairwoman were to instruct the CEO on what should constitute his Report, then she would be violating the Constitution to instruct him on his responsibility. And the merry-go-round of gamesmanship would continue spinning.
Once again, Guyanese and the world will have to understand that they are dealing with a political entity – the PNC – that is led by an individual – David Granger – whose Machiavellian/Burnhamite conception of power rests on controlling raw power – the army, police, bureaucracy, and even the judiciary and independent institutions like GECOM.
As far back as November 2017, Granger revealed his 2020 plans to a PNC audience in Atlanta, Georgia: “You have to ask yourself how did the PNC gain office in 1964. Ask yourself how did the PNC remain in office, and what did it do during that period? Ask yourself how the PNC regained office in 2015, and ask yourself how would the PNC retain office after 2020?”
The answers for 1964, of course, were coalescing with the UF (Q1); then consolidating its power centres and proceeding to rig elections from 1968 (Q2 and Q3). To the 2015 question, it was coalescing with AFC (Q3); and finally, looking down the road at 2020, he was telling everyone “rigging elections”.
Forewarned should have been forearmed; but everyone assumed that since the circumstances had changed, so had the PNC. But not with the Burnhamite acolyte David Granger: he does not think, he just remembers his master’s actions.