PPP condemns APNU+AFC attack on CCJ
See below a full statement issued by the People’s Progressive Party:
On March 2, 2020, General and Regional elections were held and the citizens of Guyana elected the Peoples’ Progressive Party/Civic to form the next Government. Polling day activities were observed and certified to be free and fair by both local and international organisations.
After attempts by Clairmont Mingo, a Returning Officer, to rig the election results by inflating the votes in favour of APNU/AFC by 23,000 votes in district four, a recount of all the ballots was undertaken under a CARICOM brokered agreement.
The ballots were recounted and the recount was observed again by a CARICOM team along with local and international observers, and certified to be free, fair and credible. The results of the recount re-confirmed the initial polling day results, establishing a victory for the PPP/C by over 15,000 votes, over APNU/AFC.
Every international organization has called upon GECOM to use the recount results as the basis for the declaration of the final election results, including CARICOM, the OAS, the Commonwealth, the European Union and the ABC countries. The Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission, after a Commission meeting, directed the Chief Elections Officer to use the recount results as the basis for his statutory report to the Commission.
Instead of following the directions given, the Chief Elections Officer, purportedly taking directions from a stayed Court of Appeal ruling, unilaterally invalidated over 115,000 votes, giving APNU/AFC a fraudulent victory.
This prompted the then Chair of CARICOM, Prime Minister Mia Mottley, to ask “on what grounds and by what form of executive fiat does the Chief Election Officer determine that he should invalidate 1 vote, far less over 115,000 votes when the votes were already certified as valid by officers of the Guyana Elections Commission in the presence of the political parties.”
These matters are currently pending at the Caribbean Court of Justice for ruling on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. We note the most vulgar vilifications and sometimes ad hominem attacks upon every diplomatic mission, every government, every organization, every public personality and every institution that or who have exercised their right to express a critical and condemnatory view on the APNU/AFC’s and their agents’ attempts to rig the March 2, 2020 elections in Guyana.
In today’s free and democratic society, where the world is seen as one global village, it is a matter of significant public importance if democracy is under threat, moreover under siege, in any particular territory. Its condemnation is viewed almost as a duty by important public personalities, diplomatic missions, and rights’ organisations. Consistent with their approach, from the moment the case was filed at the CCJ, APNU/AFC’s abuse has been focused on the Court.
The main plank upon which these attacks are based is an alleged “interference” with Guyana’s sovereignty. Nothing can be more absurd, ill-informed, and misconceived. It is common knowledge that entering into international arrangements and treaties and becoming a part of international organisations is not a limitation of sovereignty but an exercise of it.
Guyana is a member of the Commonwealth, the United Nations, the Organisation of American States and CARICOM, and through its obligations under various international treaties executed with these organisations, Guyana enjoined to practice and embrace democratic processes, including free and fair elections.
Similarly, in 2004, Guyana signed on to a regional agreement legally establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice as its final appellate court, by an Act tabled by the PPP, supported by the PNC, which ultimately was unanimously passed. As a result, the Caribbean Court of Justice is no longer an organization extrinsic to the State of Guyana but it is intrinsic and indeed the apex tier of our judicial hierarchical structure.
Therefore, the propaganda being peddled that a ruling of the CCJ will amount to an interference in Guyana’s sovereignty is palpably erroneous. What is most offensive are the crass attempts by APNU/AFC’s leaders to influence and prejudice the outcome of the proceedings at the CCJ through their various public statements, letters, and advertisements placed throughout the region.
Worse yet, they have launched an unprecedented attack on the independence of the Court and have gone as far as attempting to intimidate the judges by threatening the very survival of the Court, if the pending ruling is adverse to them. This must rank as the worst form of thuggery and intimidation aimed at the judiciary in the region.
While we recognize that the Court will see these endeavours for what they are, we must register our rejection of them in the strongest possible way.
People’s Progressive Party
uly 7th, 2020