Following yesterday’s historical ruling made by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), incumbent President David Granger as well as his campaign co-chairman of the governing coalition Joseph Harmon, have both said that the matter now lies within the confines of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
In sharing his reaction following the ruling, President Granger alluded to that fact that the CCJ rendered invalid the decision of Guyana’s Court of Appeal which had ruled on June 22 that Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, must calculate the election results on “valid votes”—thereby disenfranchising 115,844 voters.
“The CCJ has not allowed the position that our Court of Appeal has taken but it means that the matter will now have to go back to the Election Commission. So the matter is not closed, it now has to go back to the Election Commission,” the President said to his supporters beyond the gates of State House.
Campaign co-chairman of the APNU+AFC, Harmon shared similar views to that of his party leader. “The end of this matter in the Caribbean Court of Justice” Harmon said, “puts the matter back to GECOM for the final decisions to be made in the declaration and swearing in of our President.”
Granger also spoke of the electoral impasse which has grappled the nation for over four months since Guyanese went to polls on March 2, but he maintains that the impasse occurred as a result of the voting irregularities that were claimed to have been discovered by the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC).
He said to his supporters, “We all went out on the 2nd of March; March passed, April passed, May passed, June passed and now we’re in July. It is the first time this has happened in the history of our country and it has happened because there are some bad elements out there who tried to manipulate the vote by having votes recorded for dead people, people who had migrated, more votes in a polling station than they had electors. We know all of the faults. Our party, our partnership and our coalition has been bringing these complaints of abuses and irregularities to the attention
of the public and also to the attention of the court.”
Notably, during the national recount the APNU+AFC peddled narratives of votes cast for the dead and migrant, along with other allegations of electoral fraud. Those allegations by the coalition have, however, been refuted by Guyanese who were recorded on the coalition’s list of dead/migrant voters, with Kaieteur News having published extensive investigative articles on the issues.
Granger said that, “We will have to assess the situation in which we are in now. The matter will go back to the Election Commission but as far as we are concerned, we have evidence that there has been massive fraud and irregularities and we will continue the fight to make sure that your votes are counted.
Harmon, in his statement yesterday continued to defend the integrity of Lowenfield and his June 23 report which was submitted the Commission, despite a stay-of-action restraining him to do so. Regional heads of state, as well as local and international bodies have called on GECOM to discard the CEO’s report in which he invalidated over 115,00 votes. Some have also called for his removal as the CEO.
“As we have said all along our Constitution made provision for the actions taken by the Chief Elections Officer,” Harmon said while adding that his party expects that “GECOM in its understanding of the court’s ruling will stand firmly with the Constitution which is our Supreme law.”
The GECOM Commission is expected to meet today at 13:30hrs, during which a decision to move forward may be taken.
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