ICDN calls upon the Chair of GECOM to exercise the power given to her office by the constitution and resolve the present electoral impasse that has been burdening the Guyanese people for the past 27 days. It is within Justice Singh’s powers to delay no further by immediately resuming the counting of Region 4 SOPs and declaring a victor.
Guyana could be a next haven for the COVID 19 pandemic in light of the failure of GECOM to act responsibly and declare a government to run the country. With 8 cases of infection and 1 death recorded, Guyana is not only gambling with its democracy but also with the very lives of its already vulnerable people. Given that the USA, Spain, France, Italy etcetera are reeling under this pandemic despite having better health care facilities, begs the question: Is Guyana sitting on a COVID 19 TIME BOMB?
But GECOM appears to be unfettered by COVID 19. All indications show that GECOM is doing everything to frustrate the counting of the ballots in Region 4 by abdicating the SOPs in favour of a spreadsheet. Despite strong protests from the opposition parties and international observer groups from the USA, UK, EU, Carter Center, OAS, Commonwealth and diplomats from the EU, Canada, USA and UK in the country., GECOM went ahead.
The irresponsible and illegal action of the Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, to flout the ruling of the Chief Justice is a clear case of contempt of court. The hooliganism and verbal threats of elements of the ruling party against the members of the foreign missions is an indictment against good governance and established foreign relations protocols.
The failure of GECOM and its Chairman in particular to act with firmness according to law, is raising doubts about the impartiality of GECOM and its Chairman Justice Claudette Singh. Her intent to declare APNU/AFC the ‘winner’ was stopped only after an injunction was filed in the court despite the botch counting of ballots by Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo.
The filing of an injunction blocking the counting of the ballots in Region 4 amidst the COVID19 pandemic with already 8 deaths recorded, begs the questions: Does GECOM HAVE THE COURAGE TO DECLARE A VICTORY FOR THE PPP/C? That appears to be the crux of the matter.
The pronouncement by the DEA of the USA that President Nicholas Maduro of Venezuela has been engaging in trafficking drug to the USA demonstrates how vulnerable a neighbouring country like Guyana can be to drug cartels. In such politically unstable society undemocratic governments easily fall play to gangs engaged in criminal activities.
ICDN calls on the courts to move swiftly to direct GECOM to resume counting of ballots using the SOPs as stated in law. Any failure to act otherwise should invite the direct intervention of the Chief Justice to ensure the exercise is done by her physical presence.
The people of Guyana are waking up to the threat of sanctions from foreign governments and institutions. Guyana has a choice to between democracy and sanctions. Business houses that have financed the APNU/AFC are now distancing themselves from the shenanigans of the latter and its allies in GECOM.
ICDN wishes to remind APNU/AFC that the phantom of Russian interference in the March 2 elections was an old trick that worked in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s but no longer appreciated by today’s political audience. ICDN remains confident that the Chief Justice and the Chair of GECOM have the moral courage to work with the political parties to ensure that the legal processes in the counting of votes in Region 4 is observed and a government is declared.