Guyana Politics: PPP condemns assertion that Sept. 18 elections deadline is self imposed

September 18 deadline for election is Jagdeo’s and others, not CCJ – By Lincoln Lewis

If anything can be said about the present environment is that it continues to create undue stress  and tension and unnecessary division among the working class. None of this is good for our collective health and the nation’s stability…….. more

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  • guyaneseonline  On August 14, 2019 at 5:33 am

    I insist the CCJ did not set a deadline/specific date for general elections
    Stabroek News – 14 August 2019

    Dear Editor, (FROM: Lincoln Lewis)

    The following response addresses the charge made against me by the PPP/C, in a press release issued over the weekend, that pointing out the fact that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) did not give a deadline/specific date for elections is misleading. As I respond, I am cognisant that I do not possess the wherewithal of the PPP to guaranteed coverage in the media and I rather suspect the importance of this conversation will not be resolved over one or two statements but will be followed by a barrage of attacks which I am prepared to address. I trust equal access will be granted.

    The PPP/C requested of the CCJ that an order be made for elections to be held by the 18th September 2019 (see Stabroek News, 11th July 2019 `‘Jagdeo asks CCJ to order elections be held by September 18’). The Court never granted the request (see Stabroek News, 13th July, 2019 `CCJ dubs gov’t ‘caretaker’ but elections date a no-go’).

    In fact, on the matter of election, the CCJ expressly said, “Article 106 of the Constitution invested the President and the National Assembly (and implicitly in GECOM), responsibilities that impact on the precise timing of the elections which must be held. It would not therefore be right for the Court, by issuance of coercive orders or detailed directives, to presume to instruct these bodies on how they must act and thereby pre-empt the performance of their constitutional responsibilities.”
    Refer to item [7] here-
    http://www.ccj.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-CCJ-14-AJ.pdf

    The failure of the PPP/C to get the CCJ to grant their requested date for election saw them doubling over to deceive society-local and international stakeholders by giving the impression that September 18th is a directive of the Court. In this regard it is evident from media coverage that the PPP has a cadre of surrogates to drive this deception and as they individually and collectively engage in bullying tactics that seek to bring the judiciary and our legal system into disrepute as well as further divide this nation.

    Readers must note none of the quotations cited from the CCJ ruling supports their call that the election should be held by 18th September. They have no evidence to bear and are merely engaging in a PR stunt to mislead.

    Since the CCJ ruling Christopher Ram has approached the High Court in a Fixed Date Application for an order to compel the Chief Election Officer to take all steps necessary to hold elections on or before September 18th, 2019. This in effect means he/they are now pursuing a ruling in a lower court that the highest court did not grant. Only the less objective and discerning amongst us will be fooled.
    This society awaits the ruling of acting Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire S.C that 18th September is the date for the election. Until then it is dishonest to say to the world the CCJ, or for that matter the judiciary, has so ruled and any results that do not find favour with either parties involved will likely see further pursuit of justice right up to the CCJ.

    In summary the PPP/C went to Guyana’s court of last resort, the CCJ, to have an election by the 18th September. That Court did not grant the request so there is now one being heard in the lower court, i.e. the High Court to have the dateline granted.
    .
    One notes that much of what we are currently experiencing is as a result of the inability of both sides to come together in mutual respect and embrace the laws that bind them even as they put aside the political games. Had this been done the role and functioning of GECOM would be accepted as vital to any elections being held and therefore these issues could have been resolved in the National Assembly.

    On the Rule of Law, the propaganda truism of telling a lie often enough makes it the truth will not be tolerated. This present crisis we face must be resolved in lawful and orderly manner for it has serious implications.

    Meanwhile, lest it be forgot-ten, the Bharrat Jagdeo-led PPP/C has no moral authority. They also lack credibility in the eyes of anyone with a modicum of decency and belief in the rule of law. They seek to cast aspersions to discredit anyone who speaks truth to power.

    Yours faithfully,
    Lincoln Lewis

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