Whichever way the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) goes, the matter in relation to the declaration of the elections results will still return to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and it is hoped that the Chairperson, Justice (Rtd) Claudette Singh, will do “the right thing” inspite of the “bullyism” from the incumbent APNU/AFC Coalition, who is bent on clinging to power at all cost.
This is according to long-standing member of the Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C), Gail Teixeira, who in a virtual interview programme titled ‘Government in Transition’, last evening, affirmed that the GECOM Chair has the casting vote and can “remedy the situation” if Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, persists in sticking to his fraudulent report in which he discarded over 115,000 valid votes and handed a ‘victory’ to the APNU/AFC.
According to Teixiera, Justice Singh has nothing to fear as she has the support and confidence of major powerful countries and organisations, local civil society groups and all the other political parties that contested the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
“She is in a very formidable position…she is not alone, and I am saying specifically, because I know the PNC, just like they trying to bully the CCJ, they trying to bully everybody in this country”.
“I am hoping that she keeps in her mind, that in fact the power that she holds in her hand, not only legally and constitutionally, but in terms of confidence of various very powerful organisations and countries, that they are saying to her ‘do what is right’”.
On this basis, Teixeira affirmed that GECOM can only use the results of the national recount, which was certified by all stakeholders as being credible and a true reflection of the will of the people, as the basis for its declaration.
“Were she to go against that, well I am sorry for her, because then she will be treated like a pariah by everybody, and I don’t think a woman of her reputation wants go down that road and leave that legacy,” Teixeira outlined.
Experienced constitutional lawyer and Senior Counsel, Ralph Ramkarran has also made it clear that GECOM is not bound to accept any report its Chief Elections Officer submits.
Ramkarran argued that Article 162 (1) (b) of the Constitution of Guyana grants GECOM Chairperson Claudette Singh all the power she needs to ensure a declaration of the election results is made, with or without the cooperation.
“The Chairman has the power under Article 162 to take steps, broad powers to take such actions as is necessary to avoid partiality… take steps as necessary, to ensure compliance with laws and the Constitution,” Ramkarran said.
Meanwhile, according to Teixeira, a former Chief Whip, the plan by the APNU/AFC to derail the 2020 elections started long before the no-confidence motion, but having been “countermanded” by the PPP and the other political parties and the international and local observers, it was thwarted.
Teixeira said the APNU/AFC has “burnt all their bridges…and so this is where they are coming down the tail-end”.
“I don’t think there is much left for them to do…the legal options that are available to the APNU/AFC to derail the elections and to be able to install themselves in government is running out,” she noted.
According to the former Chief Whip, the Coalition is trying to brainwash their supporters that they have been “wronged”.
She warned that “it is a very emotive appeal, and of course we know where this can lead to if they (APNU/AFC) don’t accept the results”.
The National Recount, which was conducted under the scrutiny of a special Caricom team, shows the PPP/C in a landslide victory with 15,416 more votes than its main political rival, the APNU/AFC coalition.