As a British writer quipped, “there have always been stupid people in the world and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid”. The APNU+AFC have filed another election petition and like the APNU+AFC’s strategies against the no-confidence motion (NCM), the level of stupidity and nastiness is incredible.
This country is overflowing with young people and five years from now when they go to vote, it is imperative that they examine the contents of 17 months – January 2019 – August 2020 -before they vote. We start with the appointment of retired judge, Justice Patterson by then President David Granger. A school boy would have had no difficulty understanding the CCJ judgment.
The CCJ declared that under the constitution, the Opposition selects, the President accepts. If the president refuses to accept, the Opposition selects again. The CCJ’s chairman, Justice Saunders advised the litigants that the Opposition Leader and President must proceed in a manner of compromise and give and take.
In what must have been the beginning of the contempt of Guyana’s foreign diplomatic community for Granger, the President summoned the heads of foreign missions and informed them that those words of Justice Saunders empowered him to shape a list of nominees for GECOM’s chairperson on his own. What Granger in fact told the diplomats was that by the words of Justice Saunders, the Constitution had changed and he, Granger, can now submit his own list to himself.
What was stupid and nasty about Granger’s totalitarian output is that Justice Saunders made those remarks as part of the CCJ’s ruling that concluded that President Granger cannot select a nominee bypassing the Carter-Price article in the constitution. There and then the diplomats knew that Granger was shaping a dictatorship.
Next the NCM – Khemraj Ramjattan told an AFC press conference that the APNU+AFC was asking the court to strike down the NCM on the basis that Charrandass Persaud held foreign citizenship, couldn’t be in parliament and thus his vote was null and void. When one journalist pointed out to him that there were other foreign citizens in parliament that voted against the NCM therefore they couldn’t vote too, Ramjattan became as incredible as Granger.
He responded that the court was being asked to look at Charrandass’ status only. This was the most incredible asininity to be witnessed in Guyanese politics the past one hundred years. If a judge rules that a foreign citizen cannot be in parliament, how then only Charrandass’ status as a foreign citizen becomes invalid and not the others?
The NCM will always be remembered in the annals of law in the Caribbean. The APNU+AFC went right up to the Caribbean Court of Appeal to argue that a majority of the amount of 65 is 34. Every member of the panel of the CCJ who sat on that hearing must have felt deeply disgusted with the nationality that goes by the name Guyanese. How can the majority of 65 be 34? If that is legal then the entire foundation of mathematical logics is wrong.
Then came the election of 2020. Mingo’s sordid behaviour fades into nothingness when one considers how the three PNC commissioners in GECOM, the PNC and AFC behaved. One day after Mingo was detected inputting false entries, Ramjattan and Cathy Hughes called a press conference to announce that the government discovered that a group of Russians came to tamper with the election and was deported. Ramjattan and Hughes should have been removed from politics by both the PNC and AFC.
You see, if they had made that disclosure public days before the election, who knows, the APNU+AFC might have won because of citizens’ anger of what the Russians were trying to do. So why did they make the announcement after the election? Because stupidity and nastiness had taken over the minds of the APNU+AFC.
The PNC hired an American lobbying form to persuade US government officials that the APNU+AFC had won a free poll. In the compilation of its report the PR firm listed President Granger as an American citizen, meaning that he committed fraud if it was true because he would have lied on his nomination papers. Granger not only denied that he was an American but told the nation he was not aware that the PNC had hired an American PR firm.
Too many stupidities and nastiness have been left out here because of space but we conclude with this – the PNC and AFC say it will not submit its statements of poll during the hearing of the election petitions. But what if the judge requests them to do so?
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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