Letter: Election petition continues to haunt Guyanese while millions are wasted

Dear Editor,

APNU / AFC’s attempt to rig the 2020 National and Regional Elections has led them to falsely file election petitions to continue to cheat their supporters. It is an obvious and open fact that they have used a myriad of movements and underhand movements in deliberately misrepresenting the actual results of the 2020 Elections. The related billions in related taxpayer money being abused in the process is not only overwhelming, but they also highlight their inherent policy of suffering the nation, given the unquantifiable opportunity costs.

The APNU / PNC petitioners represent the same cabal that tried to redefine the most basic interpretation of the English language. From passing the No Confidence Motion on December 21, 2018 to the publicly recounting of votes, this degree of unacceptable frivolity of arguments has never been seen before. They are now challenging Section 22 of the Election Laws Amendment Act (ELAA), where the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) created Order 60 for recounting of votes from the March 2nd polls. The APNU / PNC claim that the recount is illegal.

It is a matter of extreme proportions that these concoctions were adopted while those contaminated elements in the GECOM Secretariat and those overseeing the Region 4 Voting State final tables (SOPs) refused to validate these approved instruments. Every Guyana and the world knows that they have moved to deliberately provide a spreadsheet of false tabulation of the votes. Their refusal to provide the SOPs in their possession, as legally mandated for this purpose of validation, is a blatant attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the Guyanese people and the international community.

It’s an even more serious thesis because of the amount of money and time wasted behind APNU / AFC riggers, whose leadership is grabbing every last straw to keep their support base. It is a vain position that reflects the false hope that they created as the previous Government, in leading the country to the brink of economic destruction by fueling social conflict. Now the High Court is required to decide whether the Elections were held lawfully, or whether the results were affected by any unlawful act or omission that allowed the PPP / C to win, amount to sailors on a sinking ship in the middle of the an ocean without the rafts of life.

Pursuing the ongoing petition proceedings is indeed a matter of public interest. It is worth noting the abstract submissions of APNU / AFC petitioners Counsel John Jeremie, GECOM Senior Counsel Anthony Astapahan against the respective responses of Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes and Anil Nandlall, who ripped their baseless arguments apart.

The prominent attorneys responded strongly, arguing that, where there are some election difficulties, Section 22 empowers the Commission to resolve the difficulties. The great attorneys also put forward strong arguments that Section 22 authorizes GECOM to amend several pieces of legislation by Order to resolve any difficulty associated with the implementation of the Elections Act.

Obviously APNU / AFC hope is futility, and their self-reliance relies on some legal technical clause fueled by their self-imposed indecent behavior and their actions to disqualify these elections. This case, however, is expected to bring out many more revelations. These included the fact that Keith Lowenfield and Clarmiont Mingo refused to produce valid Voting Statements, which was the case for the Count.

Heavy penalties, including prison terms, must therefore have the consequences and effects of deliberate ‘concealment’ and suppression of valid Voting Statements in order to realize election fraud. Although there is widespread public consensus that GECOM has sufficient evidence to dismantle these contaminated workers and proceed with its business, the offenses by its officials disclosed in the petition before the Court must be taken seriously to prevent any attempts to such in the future.

GECOM, at its earliest meeting, must be adamant about the riggers who have violated legal policies or other procedural procedures to steer guilt in conducting the gross misconduct in the attempts to rig the elections. Furthermore, the Commission must immediately order all those accused and laid before the courts for fraud and misconduct to go home, as the country cannot continue to pay the huge level of proceeds to the fraudsters.

Importantly, millions of dollars are wasted that our country cannot afford right now. It is even more important that the promotion of reform posts is withheld pending the results of this petition, as the Chair has, in her published words, identified the need for approval. Looking at that, therefore, unless GECOM takes decisive action, we may end up awaiting the appeals along with the continued deferral of necessary future electoral activities as a ransom to move our nation forward. This is unacceptable, and should not be allowed.

I call on MadEC Claudette Singh, Justice Charwoman GECOM (retired) and Commission Members to stop the rot and waste. Take action now!

Neil Kumar