Today, Guyana’s Chief Elections Officer, Mr. Keith Lowenfield, submitted the elections results to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). The lawful process, as promulgated in Section (96) the Laws of Guyana Chapter 1:03 – The Representation of the People Act, must ensue with dispatch to being this election impasse to an end.
The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) has noted with much concern and utter dismay, the bellicose rhetoric by politicians and bureaucrats from the United States, Britain, Canada and the European Union, as well as the Organization of American States (OAS), on Guyana’s elections dispute. Instead of helping to foster a resolution, these parties have adopted an overtly partisan posture in support of the opposition People’s Progressive Party, which is a criminal organization, and are deliberately dividing Guyanese and exacerbating racial hostilities.
These foreign state and non-state actors have been issuing instructions to Guyanese government officials and members of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), which are reminiscent of slave master commands to slaves on plantations during slavery. Slavery was abolished hundreds of years ago. Guyana is not a plantation. It is a sovereign nation. Guyanese should therefore reject these paternalistic lecturers from Western states whose streets are currently engulfed with violent protests because of undemocratic practices and injustices against citizens of color.
Everyone is aware that the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has spent billions of Guyana dollars lobbying foreign governments and international organizations to force GECOM and the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) to count fraudulently cast ballots, obtained through voter impersonation, to secure a victory for the PPP. The OAS has even demonstrated the absurdity of jointly calling for the removal of the nation’s CEO. This is an invasion of Guyana’s sovereignty. Clearly, the OAS is acting as a mouthpiece for the PPP at the urging of high priced Washington lobbyist. Such a move could have serious consequences; including unrest, which PPP members have been inciting from day one.
The desires of the international community and the Chairman of GECOM cannot supplant the constitution and extant elections laws. Article 162(1)(b) of the constitution compels GECOM to take any action that as appears necessary to ensure impartiality and fairness of elections, and compliance with the constitution and all other elections laws. It is pursuant to this provision, and Section 22 of the Election Law Amendment Act, that the Chairman of GECOM enacted the recount process to address irregularities and alleged fraud in the Region 4 elections results.
Now GECOM Chairman, Justice Claudette Singh, is refusing to fix additional irregularities, thousands of fraudulent ballots and flagrant voter impersonation and fraud discovered during the said recount. Consequently, Justice Singh has instructed the CEO to knowingly declare fraudulent results that do not reflect the will of the people, which the CEO has refused to do. Both Article 177 (2) of the Guyana constitution and Section (96) of the Laws of Guyana – Representation of the People Act, mandates that the Chairman shall only use the CEO’s report to declare the elections results.
This impasse exists precisely because of the intransigence and indecisiveness of the Chairman of GECOM. It should be obvious to her by now that regardless of her obdurate refusal to address the PPP fraudulent ballots, the country will not accept her desire to count fraudulent ballots to appease the PPP and their international partners.
Article 162 of the constitution grants GECOM broad, discretionary powers to ensure the fairness of elections. Justice Singh must stop deceiving the nation and reject fraudulent ballots as provided for in Article 162. Anything less will produce fraudulent results and prolong the impasse. The CEO has submitted his report. It is time to bring the elections to a close. The Chairman must declare the results submitted by the CEO, in accordance with Section (96) of the Representation of the People Act.
Richard Millington, Esq.
Director of Communications
Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)