Guyana Elections: Court of Appeal rules that ‘valid’ votes must be used to determine elections results  

Guyana Appeal Court in Kingston

The Court of Appeal Monday afternoon ruled that in determining the results of the elections, the country’s Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, must do so based on who received the most “valid” votes.

But the Court did not block the Elections Commission from carrying out its work and granted a three-day stay of the order in which it inserted the word “valid” in the Constitution.

The ruling could lead to a showdown at GECOM because three of the Commissioners and the GECOM Chair had pronounced that the Chief Elections Officer could not decide for himself on the credibility of the process.

The Chief Elections Officer in his report of the national vote recount showed the totals for the ten electoral districts which were signed off by GECOM’s own staff as being valid; when added up, Lowenfield’s report shows the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) winning the elections by 15, 416 votes.

But his report also showed how many votes would be affected if the votes in the boxes which APNU+AFC called into question during the recount were to be discounted.

But the CEO had noted that he could not ascertain whether the elections process was credible.

The ruling follows an application by Sophia, Georgetown resident Eslyn David, for a declaration that GECOM had failed to act in accordance with the terms of the recount order to determine a final credible count of the March 02 elections. The Court did not grant that declaration.

However, she also wanted an interpretation of the words “more votes are cast” in Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution of Guyana, namely a declaration that more votes cast should be construed to mean more “valid” votes cast.

The Court’s decision was 2-1, with Justices Dawn Gregory-Barnes and Brassington Reynolds agreeing.

The dissenting judge, Rishi Persaud, had agreed with counter-arguments that the Court of Appeal was the wrong court to approach to settle questions about the credibility of the elections and he held that any such questions must be answered through an elections petition at the High Court and only if there is a difficulty with the decision there can the matter then be brought to the Court of Appeal.

Justice Dawn Gregory-Barnes, the President of the Court, and Justice Brassington Reynolds disagreed.

Justice Reynolds concluded that Article 177 (4) established a separate exclusive jurisdiction to hear matters regarding the qualification of any person for the Office of President or the interpretation of the Constitution on such matters.

He said that while the Constitution and the country’s electoral laws provide for the High Court to answer questions regarding the validity of the elections, absolutely no provision is made in these to determine questions of the qualification of a President and so it must be dealt with in the Court of Appeal.

Regarding orders, Reynolds agreed that no injunctive relief could be granted and the Court was clear that it could not determine whether Lowenfield’s report is valid or not.

Article 177 (2) points out that if they’re more than one parties contesting the elections, the presidential candidate for the party with more votes cast would be deemed the President-elect, but Reynolds ordered that the words more votes cast in Article 177 (2) (b) should be interpreted to mean more “valid” votes cast within the meaning of the recount order.

The ruling could lead to a showdown at GECOM because three of the Commissioners and the GECOM Chair had pronounced that the Chief Elections Officer could not decide for himself on the credibility of the process by simply taking allegations of APNU+AFC without any evidence to back up their claims. The objections to their claims made by other parties were not recorded and therefore did not form part of Lowenfield’s report.

The Chief Elections Officer, in buying the claims of the Coalition APNU+AFC, submitted a report to show how many votes would be affected if the votes in the boxes which APNU called into question during the recount were to be discounted.

When he did a subtraction, all the valid votes he counted would amount to just 185,260. By doing that he would be dumping 275, 035 votes, handing APNU+AFC a victory with 125, 010 votes, and leaving PPP with just 56,628 votes.

The recount showed a total of 460, 295 votes were cast and the high-level CARICOM team which was called in to serve as the scrutineers of the process agreed. The CARICOM team also agreed that the results of the recount which certified the valid votes show the PPP winning the election with 233,336 votes while APNU+AFC secured second place with 217, 920 votes. Together the other parties secured 9,096 votes.

During the recount, the votes were certified as valid and signed off by ten of GECOM’s supervisors.

The Court of Appeal did not agree with the argument that it only had the power to determine questions regarding the qualifications of a President and since the elections are not yet over and no President yet elected, the proceedings brought by the Coalition supporter was premature.

David’s application was filed pursuant to Article 177 (4) of the Constitution of Guyana.

Article 177(4) provides: “The Court of Appeal shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any question as to the validity of an election of a President in so far as the question depends upon the qualification of any person for election or the interpretation of this Constitution….”

David’s application was supported by Attorney General Basil Williams, who had called for the elections to be scrapped.

Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission, Justice Claudette Singh in her affidavit had argued that when one reads the entire Article 177, the Article contemplates a person already declared by GECOM as President.

“It is respectfully submitted that the electoral process has not reached this stage,” she stated.

She said the first two orders sought to seek a Declaration that GECOM failed to act in accordance with its order to determine the credibility of the elections do not touch and concern the qualification of a person elected President.

“It is respectfully submitted that the application is misconceived and ought to be struck out forthwith,” the GECOM Chair states in her affidavit, which was submitted by her attorney Kim Kyte.

In any event, Justice Singh said the Order sought by the applicant amounts to the interpretation of an Order and not the Constitution.

The GECOM chair, in her affidavit, had noted that “the Commission cannot arrogate onto itself a jurisdiction to determine the credibility an election.”

“Even if the court grants the orders sought, what is the next position? Can this court direct GECOM what to decide? Can this court order GECOM to hold a fresh election? Are these orders even sought? The short answer is no since this is not an election court,” Justice Singh’s affidavits state.

She argued that the forum of the elections court is the appropriate place to assess the evidence to determine if it has cros—sed the threshold of sufficiency to vitiate the 2020 Election and GECOM does not have that jurisdiction.


 

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Comments

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 22, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    Here is Christopher Ram dismissing PM Nagamootoo, and by extension, the APNU+AFC’s position, in an INEWS Guyana article.

    OPINION: Nagamootoo clutching at thin air
    June 22, 2020
    0

    An opinion piece written by political commentator, Christopher Ram:

    Shortly after the decision by the Court of Appeal in the case brought by Eslyn David vs. GECOM in which a number of others were joined, the Office of the Prime Minister issued a statement which concluded “that on the basis of the valid votes, the incumbent Coalition Government will be re-elected for a second term. That is absolute and dangerous nonsense.

    The prime minister is of course an attorney at law with some considerable experience. He is therefore presumed to understand how to read and understand judgments of the court.

    He must be aware that the applicant, clearly financed and supported by the Coalition, sought six separate orders and or declarations. Of these five were despatched in short order and rejected.

    Among those rejected were declarations that:
    1. A Declaration that GECOM failed to act in accordance with the terms of the recount Order # 60 of 2020 which was carefully crafted to favour the APNU+AFC.
    2. An Order restraining Lowenfield from complying with the Direction of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission in relation to Article 177 (2) (b) which would give the Presidency to Irfaan Ally.
    3. An Order restraining Lowenfield from complying with the Direction of the Chairman of the Guyana Election Commission in a Letter dated the 16th day of June, 2020 to submit an Elections Report under Section 96 of the Representation of the People Act without the Guyana Elections Commission determining the final credible count and or the credibility of the he result of the General and Regional Elections.
    4. An Order restraining the Chief Elections Officer from submitting to the Guyana Elections Commission an Elections Report under Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution containing votes which are not credible within the meaning of Order No. 60 of 2020.
    5. An Order restraining the Chief Elections Officer from submitting to the Elections Commission an Elections Report under Section 96 of the Representation of the People Act which allocates regional and top-up seats to the Parties.

    In other words, the Court granted to David and the Coalition nothing of substance or value. Nagamootoo is clutching at thin air.

    What makes it dangerous is that he knows what he has said is completely baloney but that there will be persons who will believe what he says because he is the Prime Minister.

    The only Order which the Court granted was that there be an interpretation of the words “more votes are cast” in Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution of Guyana. The Court ruled that this means valid votes while rejecting the attempt to have inserted the notion of credible votes.

    It is a bold thing for any court to insert any words in a statute and worse when that statute is the supreme law. Lord Mersey in Thompson v Goolds [1910] said: ‘It is a strong thing to read into an Act of Parliament words which are not there, and in the absence of clear necessity (emphasis added) it is a wrong thing to do.’ I recall Chancellor Massiah endorsing those words in the Mohammed Alli case and it remains sound advice.

    I am not criticising the Courts for doing so except to say that they must be aware that votes must mean valid votes since it would be an absurdity to think that an unlawful, illegal, fake or spoilt vote would be considered a valid vote. In fact section 87 of the Representation of the People Act spell out the votes which must be rejected as invalid and not counted for any candidate or party. Nagamootoo must be aware that both the Statements of Polls which showed that the APNU+AFC had lost the elections and the Statements of Recounts which were endorsed by GECOM, local and international observers and the CARICOM Scrutineering Team counted only valid votes as defined by ROPA.

    Nagamootoo – and his portfolio of Chronicle and Department of Public Information – are playing a very dangerous and opportunistic game in building the hopes of the supporters of the Coalition when in fact even their court options are running out. The decision by the Court of Appeal has added nothing and has taken away nothing from the March elections. At the end of all this shenanigans and timewasting that is costing the country billions, Nagamootoo and his Coalition will be seen as poor losers.
    ……………
    In addition to Ram’s analysis, nothing in the order precludes GECOM to go ahead with declaring the PPPc the winner.

    VNM

    • kamtanblog  On June 23, 2020 at 3:10 am

      Q
      How many total votes counted “valid or not” ??
      If it is 650.000 it is not a credible figure/result.
      If less than 450.000 more acceptable.

      Do the maths….
      Add up total votes counted/recounted in
      the 9/10 regions.
      Is it above 450.000 or less ??

      In retrospect
      How many registered voters were
      accepted prior elections ?

      Irregularities !
      You decide.

  • brandli62  On June 23, 2020 at 3:20 am

    From my perspective, the strategy of Jagdeo and the PPP to force new elections before the registration of voters and the voter lists were validated is now coming to haunt them. I never understood why Jagdeo forced GECOM to abort house-to-house voter registration campaign. If he wanted the PPP to win without any doubt, he should have stood up from the beginning for a validated and credible voter registry. Now he had the mess at his door step. “Selberschuld” the Germans would say….. Loosely translated of your own making.

  • brandli62  On June 23, 2020 at 3:46 am

    Indeed, Kamtan!

    • Ramesh  On June 23, 2020 at 7:31 am

      You’re looking at things through foggy lens. The writing has been on the wall for a long time. But only the blind and the illiterate can’t see it.

      Granger has no intention to leave office. It doesn’t matter what the opposition does. Granger intends to rule like Burnham. Open your eyes.

      • kamtanblog  On June 23, 2020 at 8:56 am

        Beg to differ !
        Granger is a “sick” hombre !
        It’s the burnamites that want the power
        who wants him “pensioned off” ….

        Et tu brutae !

      • Curtis  On June 23, 2020 at 1:17 pm

        Why should Granger give up his Presidency to a thug government who started this whole baby party when they paid off Chanderrass to bring the no confidence vote against his own government. Now he’s hiding like the rat he is, holed up in somebody basement apartment in Toronto. Money can be traced but not gold. Hope he chokes on it. The voters list as it is makes the PPP win fraudulent. You cannot have a legitimate government with a bloated voters list, filled with irregularities. You need to remove the foggy lenses from your eyes.

      • Ramesh  On June 23, 2020 at 2:28 pm

        Guyana suffered immeasurably in all facets of development and life under a succession of rigged elections and racism under the dictator Forbes Burnham for decades. The PNC’s criminal behaviour deeply fractured the fabric of Guyanese society and forever changed the course of history and destiny for more than a million Guyanese who were driven to all corners of the world.

        Burnham stole the nation’s wealth and soul. He routinely appointed his unqualified cronies to high offices who lived like kings at the expense of the disadvantaged. As a result, while the rest of the Caribbean prospered and progressed, Guyana was trapped in a time warp to wither on the vine .

        Granger is on the cusp of taking the baton from where the PNC left off. Our homeland is doomed.

  • Kman  On June 23, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Because Grainger was a ballot box destroying thug in the Burnham era.

  • Kman  On June 23, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Another ‘concerned citizen’ should now present a petition to the court, asking it to to define what defines a valid and credible vote, and what legal authority is to determine this.

    Stop all this nonsense, one party dying to get back in power, and the other dying to stay in power. Rise up ordinary Guyanese citizens, kick these greedy and power hungry imbeciles out, and take back the country.

  • Curtis  On June 23, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    Ramesh this is no tit for tat. Burnham dead long ago and so did Jagan. This is the here and now and what the PPP has been trying to do from the get go is to win back the government by any means necessary….and I mean any means. Now Jagdeo gone to the CCJ. He’s appearing to be a drowning man clutching at straws. Be careful of the web you weave when you choose to deceive. It’s time to call this election and get on with the peoples business.

    • Ramesh  On June 23, 2020 at 3:43 pm

      I am no fan of Jagdeo or Ali. And the passage of time cannot erase the injustices of history. Your specious argument about the here and now is akin to saying that slavery and the plunder of our land and the atrocities committed against our people by the imperialist invaders never happened,

      Lift your head from below the sand, shake it and look at the big picture. Guyana is regressing towards tyranny and cannot be an acceptable reality.

      • Curtis  On June 23, 2020 at 3:56 pm

        Whose talking about erasing history? Don’t put words in my mouth. I’m talking about the present. History cannot be erased but we cannot allow it to be yoke around our necks beating the same dead horse. It’s time to deal with what’s going on now and how it relates to the “now” not what went before. You’re the one whose head is buried in the sand because you’re definitely not looking at the big picture that’s Guyana. Tyranny my behind.

      • Kman  On June 23, 2020 at 5:02 pm

        Right on bro

    • Kman  On June 23, 2020 at 5:01 pm

      But we still have people from the past,on both sides, trying to hang on. Rise up ordinary citizens,rise up

      • Ramesh  On June 23, 2020 at 5:35 pm

        To reason with the profoundly ignorant and uneducated is an exercise in futility. Burnham and the PNC have ruined Guyana beyond redemption.

        Granger and his cronies are quite happy to continue that sordid legacy. The mass exodus of Guyanese to distant lamp following the 1964 junta will continue unabated, sadly.

        The next chapters of electoral fraud in the homeland may have far-reaching implications. The writing is on the wall.

      • Ramesh  On June 23, 2020 at 5:42 pm

        It should read- distant lands, not distant lamp- auto correction.

  • Yvonne K  On June 23, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    The mass exodus of Guyanese first started when Jagan and the PPP came into power and people became afraid of the communist element that was Janet. To call another person ignorant because they don’t agree with your theories shows who the ignorant one really is. You say you’re not a fan of Jagdeo nor Ali but I beg to differ since you’re smearing Burnham, Granger and the PNC and avoiding any mention of the atrocities committed under Jagdeo and the PPP during his reign of terror for 23 years and the charges currently pending against Ali who is positioned to become Guyana’s President if the PPP is declared the victor. There’s only one name for a person like you….”racist”. You can pretend to be all knowing and intelligent on the subject of Guyana’s politics while disparaging others points of view but you are neither. Curtis, I concur with everything you’ve said.

    • Ramesh  On June 23, 2020 at 7:44 pm

      Your revisionist sales pitch cannot erase the atrocities committed by Forbes Burnham and the incalculable damage to the homeland he orchestrated. Your revisionist view cannot redact the fact that Burnham was the main reason for the beginning of the mass outward migration of hundreds of thousands of my fellow Guyanese.

      The race riots that nasty man instigated in a 1963 Bourda Green speech followed by his authoritarian rule were the engine that drove vast numbers of Guyanese to all parts of the globe to seek refuge. That is a travesty. Have you ever travelled the Guyanese countryside to see the endless miles of abandoned homes and farms, a sad and forlorn reminder of that frightening era? I guess it doesn’t matter.

      Those who lived through that horrible period will never forget the farce that was national elections and sustained food shortages imposed by that disgusting dictator.

      If you knew me, you’d suggest racist as an adjective to describe me. Far from it. For the record, I readily speak up against injustices and racism whenever it rears its ugly head. I am revered by my black brothers and sisters.

      David Granger has lost the March 2, 2020 election as he did the December 2018 no-confidence vote. It is time for him to leave. Had the PPPC lost, I’d have similarly called for them to leave. The will of the people must always prevail. That is called democracy. The inverse is called dictatorship.

      Ramesh

      • Curtis  On June 23, 2020 at 8:45 pm

        Hold on a minute. Did you actually state here that you are “revered” by your black brothers and sisters? “Revered”? You must be related to Trump. Listen up fella. A pig with lipstick is still a pig.

      • kamtanblog  On June 24, 2020 at 6:34 am

        Ha ha ! Hilarious !

        Miss piggy is beautiful ?

        Don’t insult the pig !

        Kamtan

  • brandli62  On June 24, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    From my point of view the math is as follows:

    – Estimated population of Guyana (2019): 782’766
    Source: https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/guyana-population/

    – Estimated percentage of foreign population (without voting rights, 2015): 2% or 15’655
    Source: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SM.POP.TOTL.ZS
    => 767’111 Guyanese citizens

    – Voting age: 18 years

    – Percentage of people below 19 years: 37.7%
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Guyana

    => 477’910 eligible voters (age 19 and older)

    – Estimated voter turnout on March 2, 2020: 70%
    Source: http://guyanachronicle.com/2020/03/16/voter-turnout-for-march-2-elections-around-70

    => Estimated casted votes: 334’537

    Given this simple calculation, it’s hard for me to rationalise a recount that appears to indicate that 460’352 valid votes were casted.

    This should make everybody think twice!

    My solution to the problem is a follows:

    1. The vote of March 2, 2020 has to be annulled.

    2. New elections have to be scheduled for March 2021. The election should be held with international observers, which will also oversee the vote count.

    3. A new GECOM has to be assembled with representatives of all parties that participated in the 2020 elections.

    4. The new GECOM has to validated and update the voter registry by house-to-house registration. All parties have to accept the new voter registry as a condition for participating in the 2021 elections.

    5. A caretaker government headed by a technocrat should run the country until new elections have been completed.

  • Veda nath Mohabir  On June 24, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    BRANDI62:

    So, you say 460,353 votes were cast (in this 2020 elections) but you ‘Estimated casted votes: 334’537”

    Can you explain then in 2015, why 412,012 voted (when APNU+AFC got into power).

    Why not start your questioning there?

    Keep in mind GECOM was at all this time a virtual extension of the APNU+AFC gov’t.

    Also, you need to know about voter eligibility. Suggest you do some research on it.
    VNM.

    • Bernard  On June 24, 2020 at 11:42 pm

      Attention:

      It was revealed today that when the APNU+AFC took office in 2015, there was $20 billion Guyana in the bank in the chequing account. Now the bank account depleted and is in negative territory at $84 billion Guyana. If true, we are broke and in big trouble. This shocking development requires an independent investigation and accountability. In my view, any proven fraudulent activity must end in serious jail time. It doesn’t matter who runs the country, there has to be transparency and accountability in our finances. We can’t have fraud. Which is what it looks like at present. Very fishy. After all, the government is supposed to represent us the people, not themselves.

      Bernard

      • Curtis  On June 25, 2020 at 8:50 am

        Well the investigation you talking about will have to go back almost 30 years if you’re looking for transparency. I know that money had to be spent by APNU to fix a lot of the neglected infrastructure over the 23 years of PPP governance. Police and the military received increased funding. Police stations were rebuilt and pay scales were adjusted to reflect a proper wage, Georgetown went through a massive cleanup. Those initiatives take money. I take it you’re referring to billions in Guyana currency. How come you asking for transparency now when so much tiefing up went on for 23 years. Stuupppssss!!!! Check out Pradoville 1, and especially Pradoville 2 for starters.

      • Bernard  On June 25, 2020 at 11:29 am

        Open your eyes. This country has been mismanaged since massa left more than a half century ago.

    • brandli62  On June 25, 2020 at 12:31 pm

      @VNM: Do the maths yourself. I am not saying the voter registries used in previous elections were up to date.

      However, anybody who looks at the numbers in an unbiased manner will see that it’s impossible to cast 460,353 votes. I estimated that there are about 480’000 eligible voters in Guyana and 460’000 votes were casted. If true, this would be a turnout of 96%! No liberal democracy has such a turn out. In the past, Guyana had voter turnouts around 70%. Hence, we can expect about 330’000 to 340’000 casted votes. I am also not putting the blame on any specific party for the apparent discrepancy between expected votes and apparently casted votes. The CARICOM observers and the PM of Barbados are making their jobs simple by neglecting this discrepancy.

      The only way to resolve this is to have new elections once a credible voter registry has been compiled and approved by all major parties. This is the starting point. The Guyanese people deserve credible and fair elections.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 25, 2020 at 9:20 am

    I keep reading this nonsense that the new APNU/+AFC gov’t cleaned up GT. That is the Mayor’s responsibility. He runs the city from Taxes/levied collected. Has Nothing to do wit central gov’t. Hamilton Green kept the city dirty while the PPPc was in power. The vey next day APNU +AFC got into power he immediately cleaned up.
    Secondly, immediately on getting into gov’t APNU etc doubled ministers, etc salaries.
    I won’t waste more time on these false/silly claims.
    VNM

    Ps take alook at Kaieteur News cartoon, June 21 to see where Gy is heading
    V.

    • Yvonne K  On June 25, 2020 at 12:50 pm

      The only thing you said that is true in your last statement is that the City is run by taxes/levied collected. But what you fail to state is that the majority of the businesses in Georgetown are owned by East Indians who were not paying their property/business taxes for years under the PPP governance, actually right up to when the APNU came to office. The whole plan was to collapse Georgetown and turn it into a one big ghetto for Afro Guyanese to live in. They dumped their garbage from their businesses where ever they chose. The only use that these businesses, including the market vendors, have for Georgetown is a place for them to ply their goods to the Afro Guyanese people. The PPP did not lift a finger to ensure that these businesses paid their taxes because it was part of the plan. Up to this day the new Mayor is trying to collect the BILLIONS of dollars owed by these businesses. The APNU had to fund the cleanup of Georgetown. As far as I’m concerned those who don’t pay should have their licenses to operate taken away until their accounts are settled. You claim to be a researcher. The link below highlights this long standing problem and is only one of many.

      guyanatimesgy.com/over-140-city-businesses-owe-mcc-taxes-mayor/

  • v  On June 25, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    Brandi62:
    I was hoping you would do the relevant research. Here is some help.

    Stabroek News, February 2, 2020
    FINAL VOTERS’ LIST ONLINE

    “Just after 8 pm last evening, the list of 661,028 names was posted on the Commission’s website (https://www.gecom.org.gy/home/ole) in a portable document format (PDF), while the site also includes a search tool through which persons can verify their registration record.”

    So, your estimate doesn’t jive with reality, per GECOM.
    460,353 voted is 69.6%
    VNM

    • brandli62  On June 25, 2020 at 3:03 pm

      From my point of view the math is as follows:

      – Estimated population of Guyana (2019): 782’766
      Source: https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/guyana-population/

      – Estimated percentage of foreign population (without voting rights, 2015): 2% or 15’655

      Source: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SM.POP.TOTL.ZS
      => 767’111 Guyanese citizens

      – Voting age: 18 years

      – Percentage of people below 19 years: 37.7%

      Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Guyana
      => 477’910 eligible voters (age 19 and older)

      – Estimated voter turnout on March 2, 2020: 70%
      Source: http://guyanachronicle.com/2020/03/16/voter-turnout-for-march-2-elections-around-70

      => Estimated casted votes: 334’537

      Given this simple calculation, it’s hard for me to rationalise a recount that appears to indicate that 460’352 valid votes were casted.

      I am aware that GECOM had settled on 661,028 names of eligible voters (after PPP forced them to cut the house-to-house registration short). If GECOM’s numbers were to correct, 661,028 would account for all Guyanese above 18. 37.7% are however below voting age. Hence, the population of Guyana would actually be 1’0610’401. Nobody, to date, I has been suggesting that the Guyanese population is well above 1 million.

      I am looking forward to your comments…..

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 25, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Yvonne K:
    The problem of non-payment of taxes is not just an Indo-Guyanese pre-disposition. This is a world-wide problem.

    Here for example is NY Times Mar 9/2017
    Profitable Companies, No Taxes: Here’s How They Did It

    A sensible business plan of any (businesss or) gov’t is to make an allowance for unpaid debts and or taxes in planning services.
    Also, fine them or rescind their licences, which is usually the accepted course of action.

    So it is racistly unfair for you to blame Indo-Guyanese viz.,

    “The whole plan was to collapse Georgetown and turn it into a one big ghetto for Afro Guyanese to live in.

    Guess, as Prof David Hinds argues: ‘IndoGuyanese have a knee on AfroGuyanese neck’ – which is likely why the Granger-PNC/APNU + GECOM rogues are rigging the elections to keep the government and control IndoGuyanese; and is condoned by most commentators here. (What was Burnham/PNC rationale since the 60s ?)

    VNM.

    PS: This my last post on this issue/thread.

    • Bernard  On June 25, 2020 at 5:00 pm

      Objectively, it shouldn’t matter what party is elected to rule Guyana as long as that election abides by democratic principles and fairness. Proper management of our finances and natural resources must be central to governance. As stated yesterday, the government’s chequing account has been completely depleted from plus $20 billion to negative $83 billion Guyana. Every objective Guyanese, black, brown or whatever should be concerned. Let’s see the books. Granger yesterday visited military cadets and told them that this is a good time to be in the military. Dog whistle? From what independent observers unanimously say, Granger has not only lost he’s unlikely to leave office no matter what the vote count. Ominously, he’s likely to deploy the military to secure that office. Open your eyes everyone. We can’t allow our country to go down this road. We just can’t.

      Bernard

    • Yvonne K  On June 25, 2020 at 7:05 pm

      Yes that had better be your last response on this thread because once again you’ve skirted the issue when you’re braced up with facts and I must say you have become very tiresome with your arguments of bias. Guyanese are not interested in your New York Times link. This issue has nothing to do with any other country. You think you’re so clever by inserting that little tid bit. This is about Guyana but, of course, in your eyes, the PPP can do no wrong and all that is wrong and bad about Guyana boils down to APNU or as other minds that think like you would say….it’s Burnham and the PNC back whenever. Aren’t you tired of beating the same dead horse or has your mind gone to mush and have nothing significant to say. The bottom line here is this…..should Jagdeo and the PPP win this election, they will have to tread very lightly and live up to his promise of a government of inclusiveness. Failure to do that will result in the biggest mistake that he can make

  • Mike Persaud  On June 25, 2020 at 10:46 pm

    It is time to bring closure to this election charade. The election was held and the votes were counted and recounted. Now, let’s get on with it.

    There was a winner and a loser. There cannot be two winners or two losers. Let the voice of the people be heard,

    APNU claims that there were invalid votes. What the hell does that mean? There is something known as spoiled ballots. That is when the voter either voted for two or more candidates or mark the x straddling the lines. Or leaves it blank.

    Usually, this represents a small number of the overall votes casted. The claim this illegal administration alleges about widespread voter fraud is bogus.

    They should accept the will of the voters and move on. Enough of this nonsense!

    Mike Persaud

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 25, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    Just for you Yvonne K. I’ll break my promise as you badly need help with comprehension. Your small mind doesn’t allow you to think, constructively.

    So, I’ll go slowly and boldly.

    IT DOESN’T MATTER WHICH COUNTRY I USE, YVONNE K, THE ISSUE OF NON-PAYMENT OF TAXES IS UNIVERSAL. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH A PLAN WHERE INDO-GUYANESE WANT TO KEEP AFRO-GUYANESE IN A GHETTO OR AS YOU SAY:

    “THE WHOLE PLAN WAS TO COLLAPSE GEORGETOWN AND TURN IT INTO A ONE BIG GHETTO FOR AFRO GUYANESE TO LIVE IN.”

    You are unfortunately following weak, racist minds like David Hinds. bEven his “friend” Freddie Kissoon refers to him as “50 Shades” David Hinds.

    All the Mayor of GT has to do is penalize those who don’t pay their taxes and he’ll get his money or a lein on the defaulting businesses

    BUT NO, IT ALLOWS SMALL, RACIST MINDS LIKE YOURS, TO SEE AN INDO- GUYANESE “PLAN” TO SUBJUGATE AFRO-GUYANESE, THUS, RATIONALIZING THE RIGGING OF GUYANA’S ELECTION WHICH THE WHOLE WORLD, (NOT JUST WHITE, OR IF YOU PREFER INDOs, BUT INCLUDING CARIBBEAN NATIONS) EXCEPT YOUR ILK, SEE AS NEFARIOUS AND DESTRUCTIVE TO DEMOCRACY AND FAIR-MINDENESS IN THE REGION AND CAN OPEN THE DOOR FOR OTHERS TO FOLLOW.

    I will also repeat what Bernard just pertinently wrote:

    “ Granger yesterday visited military cadets and told them that this is a good time to be in the military. Dog whistle? From what independent observers unanimously say, Granger has not only lost he’s unlikely to leave office no matter what the vote count. Ominously, he’s likely to deploy the military to secure that office. Open your eyes everyone. We can’t allow our country to go down this road. We just can’t.”
    ……….
    Sorry, I can’t dedicate more time to your education. You are too far gone into BURNHAMITE-GRANGER-PNC/APNU-LOWENFIELD & HINDS’ Black-Hole indoctrination. Must run!

    VNM

  • Veda Hat  On June 26, 2020 at 8:29 am

    Brandi62.
    According to the applicable laws of Guyana, once a person is registered he/she remains on the list until death ( my paraphrase). In other words, many people outside Gy are on the list.

    This is what I meant by doing the research. Look at the laws not just numbers and extrapolations.
    VNM

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 26, 2020 at 8:36 am

    The last comment by “Veda hat” s/b from Veda Nath Mohabir. It got sent from my IPad before I could say “boo”.
    VNM

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 26, 2020 at 10:39 am

    The previous comment was intended for a posting that I made inadvertently and was to be moderated…. But doesn’t appear to show up.

    Brandi62: It was intended for you.

    You will need to look at the laws which bear on elections/electors – why the list is so large. That is what I meant by research.

    Couple reasons why the electoral list is so large are: Once a person is registered to vote, only death removes the person from the list. So, people outside Guyana would still be on the list if they were registered. As well, Commonwealth citizens, resident is Guyana can vote.

    Maybe hangovers from Burnham’s infamous 1968 and later (Hoyte’s) electoral lists are also there.

    Hope that helps
    VNM

  • brandli62  On June 26, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Veda, now you are getting constructive! You might have a point about a voter registry being larger do to people living abroad. However, these people are unlikely to participate in the elections unless there a process of absentee voting by mail. This does not exist to my knowledge. Hence, there still remains a problem, if GECOM believes that 460’352 valid votes were casted. Somebody must be stuffing the ballots with votes from people that did not actually participate in the election. We are however unlike to find out who was responsible. The clean thing would be to annul the elections (by court order after reviewing the evidence) and schedule new elections on the basis of a updated and validated voter registry.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 26, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    Brandi62:
    A further reason that the list maybe bloated is due to duplication arising from a truncated House to House registration and the merging of this list with the original list of electors.

    Interestingly, APNU scrutineets claimed and provided a list of people said to have voted while out of the country. The GECOM Chair forwarded the list to the Comm of Police who then confirmed the supposed scam. These people were mainly Indo-Guyanese.

    Yet, Lo and Behold: STABROEK NEWS AND KAIETEUR NEWS FOUND SEVERAL OF THE CASES WERE OUTRIGHT LIES. On the other hand, they reported on none that were scams. The people were NOT out of the country, producing passports to PROVE THEY DIDN’T TRAVEL out of GY.

    On the issue of annulling elections, that is dangerous and unfair to the winner. Besides, all foreign observers are satisfied the PPPc won (and are fully aware of the peculiar list).

    What was GECOM doing all these years?

    As we are seeing, the CEO is deemed a dishonest operative by ALL observers.

    So, there is a ‘method’ to the faulty list – when PNC/APNU wins all is well; when the PPPc wins 55%, and on second try 30%. of cast votes are deemed invalid by him.

    So, the CCJ will decide. And if the PPPc wins the case as likely they will – as the judges there don’t seem to be tainted – we will be back to square one until an honest CEO at GECOM is installed.

    Then, pray it doesn’t happen, when the rightful winner of the election, the PPPC are declared, the likelihood – as I have been warning for last 3 months and Bernard mentions above – we could have an illegal gov’t seize power with the backing of army and police..
    VNM

    • Mike Persaud  On June 27, 2020 at 12:01 am

      The Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Mottley was asked by reporters about the backlash she is receiving from a certain corner in Guyana about her stance in the Guyana election.

      She replied: “The truth hurts”. Enough said.

    • brandli62  On June 27, 2020 at 12:41 am

      “A further reason that the list maybe bloated is due to duplication arising from a truncated House to House registration and the merging of this list with the original list of electors.”

      Who forced GECOM to end house-to-house registration?

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 27, 2020 at 8:56 am

    Brandi62:
    Chair, Claudette Singh.
    VNM

    • brandli62  On June 27, 2020 at 9:32 am

      I believe she acted under pressure from Bharat Jagdeo and the PPP calling for an end…..

      “Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo on Friday said most likely his People’s Progressive Party (PPP) would move to the courts to cite Chief Election Officer, Keith Lowenfield with contempt for the Caribbean Court of Justice’s (CCJ) order that suggested that elections must be held within three months on the passage of a no-confidence motion.

      At the same time, Jagdeo said if GECOM went ahead with house-to-house registration, his party would deploy representatives to be vigilant against any skulduggery.”

      PPP never wanted the house-to-house registration process to happen!

      Overall, I am not saying that the incumbent government has been acting as angel. However, the constant pressure by PPP to hold elections as soon as possible was a major source for the mess we have now in Guyana. If Jagdeo had been level-headed and smart, he would have insisted on having an updated and validated voter registry. Any functional democracy does this. This should have been in the interest of all Guyanese voters.

      http://demerarawaves.com/2019/07/19/gecom-confirms-three-month-house-to-house-registration-starts-on-july-20-election-preparations-begin/

      http://demerarawaves.com/2019/07/04/jagdeo-deflects-questions-on-whether-existing-voters-list-advantageous-to-ppp/

      http://demerarawaves.com/2019/03/03/ppp-elections-commissioners-demand-withdrawal-of-gecoms-house-to-house-registration-related-ads/

      • Mike Persaud  On June 27, 2020 at 3:14 pm

        Lady Brandi?: opines: “I believe she acted under pressure from Bharat Jagdeo and the PPP calling for an end…”

        Opinion and facts are not one and the same. Mia Mottley is telling the plain truth. APNU nah gat no shame. Dem ah try to pull off highway robbery against the Guyanese people in broad daylight .

        MP

      • brandli62  On June 28, 2020 at 7:08 am

        The original sin was to hold elections with a bloated and unvalidated voter registry. In addition, more ballots were cast than realistically possible. PM Mottley of Barbados has a blind eye with regard to this point. I believe she wants to avoid opening a can of worms and just wants the issue of the vote solved one way or the other.

      • Mike Persaud  On June 28, 2020 at 9:50 am

        Brandi: I would think that Prime Minister Mia Mottley is far more credible than APNU or a no-body like you.

      • brandli62  On June 28, 2020 at 10:08 am

        There is no need to insult people, whose arguments you do not like. The only thing you achieve is to self-disqualify yourself as a credible and constructive force of opinion.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 27, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    Brandi162:

    This is getting tiring doing a post mortem how we got here. At the beginning I was patient trying to let you understand how the electoral list is the way it is.

    You wanted an annulment of the elections favouring the PPPc. Now you find that Jagdeo ‘pressured GECOM to stop H-t-H registration’.

    Since APNU+AFC lost the NCM in Dec 2018, they have done everything not to leave office in 3 mos as they were supposed to. The CCJ has ruled repeatedly against them – the validity of 33/32 vote, Unilateral appt of GECOM chair Patterson, holding of elections within 30 days of the NCM, etc.

    Jagdeo knew “skullduggery” was afoot by GECOM+APNU with H-t-H. He just wanted an ILLEGAL aka lame-duck gov’t leave govt demit within the 3mos of the NCM. Today is 18 mos later; and we’re back at CCJ because their mostly rogue elements at GECOM and the dubious Appeals Court decision so that Lowenfield could continue with his blatant skullduggery.

    (I knew since 1968 that GECOM was staffed 99% with PNC supporters/operatives)

    Since you try to make your case with news links here are a few of mine.

    http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/caribbean/20190618/guyana-govt-suffers-major-setback-ccj-rules-no-confidence-motion-valid

    https://www.thewestindianonline.com/march-2-2020-is-elections-day-granger-announces/

    Here you will see that Lowenfield was already (at least since July 2019) identified as someone considered partisan):

    “Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo on Friday said most likely his People’s Progressive Party (PPP) would move to the courts to cite Chief Election Officer, Keith Lowenfield with contempt for the Caribbean Court of Justice’s (CCJ) order that suggested that elections must be held within three months on the passage of a no-confidence motion.
    “At the same time, Jagdeo said if GECOM went ahead with house-to-house registration, his party would deploy representatives to be vigilant against any skulduggery.’

    http://demerarawaves.com/2019/07/19/gecom-confirms-three-month-house-to-house-registration-starts-on-july-20-election-preparations-begin/

    Here, while an influential bi-partian US legislators, the Foreign Relations Cmtte, call on Granger to get out – their allies in the US Democratic Black Caucus (piggy-backing on BLM) are telling US officials to keep out of the Guyana political situation. The two dissenters, Yvette Clarke and Hakeem Jefferies are from the Democratic Black Caucus and have close links with Guyanese Black NY-Brooklyners. Jeffries already criticized the US Consul in Guyana, Sarah Lynch for ‘interfering’ – just for calling for democracy.

    https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2020/06/27/us-senate-foreign-relations-committee-calls-on-granger-to-concede/

    I am through with this silly post mortem game.
    The fact is evident; the PNC/APNU (forget the AFC relics) will do EVERYTHING – even force – to remain in power.

    When the personal sanctions hit them, Granger. Harmon, Lowenfield (perhaps Claudette Singh) , et al, will have to dig holes to survive.
    VNM

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 27, 2020 at 10:54 pm

    KN today on Sanctions for the rogues and oil sector.

    Worst case scenario: US could freeze Guyana’s oil funds – Washington political consultant

    Jun 27, 2020 News 0 Comments

    Political Consultant, José Cárdenas

    A restriction of access to Guyana’s oil funds is entirely possible in the worst case scenario, if the will of the Guyanese people is not respected, says Washington-based political consultant Jose Cardenas.

    The funds currently sit at a New York Federal Reserve Bank.

    In an interview with local media this morning, Cardenas noted, in response to questions from Kaieteur News, the restriction of access to the oil funds as an example of the measures Washington may take.

    He said that the US is keenly attuned to the evolution of Guyana’s 2020 electoral process.

    Sanctions, he indicated, could affect individuals who are seen to be holding up the process. In the event that the conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is more Government-wide, Cardenas said that sanctions could be more sectoral.

    Especially as it relates to Guyana’s oil sector, Cardenas said that Guyana would do well not to assume that it could operate outside of the reach of the US, pointing to Guyana’s neighbour Venezuela, as a testament to the power of US sanctions.

    Cardenas said that from his observation, President David Granger has enough love and pride for his country that he will do the right thing and concede.

    VNM

    • kamtanblog  On June 27, 2020 at 11:45 pm

      Makes sense !
      1. Oil is traded in USD$
      2. USD$ is world reserve currency
      3. Will Guyana join OPEC ?

      Venezuelans already occupy Essequibo
      (Economic migrants or refugees?)

      Interesting development !

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 28, 2020 at 10:13 am

    Brandi62

    Word of advice: KN has two articles: 1) GCCI on Lowenfield/Treason and 2) on Ms Mottley by Peeping Tom which apply to you also.

    You are impugning Ms Mottley’s intelligence as well as, agreements by the Peoples’ Representatives of Guyana – Treasonous
    .
    Furthermore, Granger invited Ms Mottley and team to oversee a Recount only to have, in the stealth, one of his candidates abort the process by court injunction when the team landed in Guyana. Hence, inter alia, he is deemed the “Sanctimonious Gangster”.

    Every observer, including foreign ones (unfortunately deemed “white” hence biased against APNU Black Gov’t) know about the electoral list and the corresponding laws, but they respect the above agreements. So, on those bases they ALL agree the PPPc won.

    Read the two articles, so you will know where you seriously err.
    VNM

  • brandli62  On June 28, 2020 at 10:36 am

    “I knew since 1968 that GECOM was staffed 99% with PNC supporters/operatives.”

    @Veda: Wasn’t the PPP in power from 1992 to 2015? Your claim is probably true until 1992. Thereafter, Cheddi Jagan took power and the PPP was running the show for 24 years. That’s a long time, essentially half of the time since Guyana’s independence it was run by the PPP.

    Overall, this whole discussion shows how selective arguments are used to push one’s own view of the truth. This will bring us nowhere and only ferment the tit-for-tat bickering that does not bring the nation forward.

    Can’t we all agree to be constructive in this forum? We should use it to define problems and provide solutions to resolve them. Laying out historic allegations and claims only deepens the divisions and the young generation in Guyana will perceive us as old angry people. Is this really how we want to be seen?

    I am pretty sure that Cyril Bryan, who makes the forum possible with lots of hard work, would like to see us use this platform as a tool for constructive discussions that bring the nation forward.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 28, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    “Overall, this whole discussion shows how selective arguments are used to push one’s own view of the truth.”

    Brandi62: This is exactly what you are doing, even when objective evidence is provided correcting your wrong assumptions & twisted conclusions.

    If you know anything about the Civil/Public Services, you would know they are overwhelmingly staffed with “PNC supporters/operatives.” These government services staffings are exactly reflective of the GDF and Police Force. THIS WAS A MAJOR REASON WHY DR. JAGAN LAMENTED BACK IN THE 60s THAT HE WAS IN OFFICE (PREMIER) BUT NOT IN POWER (PARAPHRASE).

    For example, in the case of the latter, see what Tacuma Ogunseye, an ACDA executive member, boldly proclaimed several years ago. Here is a fitting excerpt from my 2009 book, “UNDER ATTACK! THE CARIBBEAN INDIAN – Rebutting & Educating UWI’s Dr. Kean Gibson for Vilifying Hindus”:

    Excerpt:
    Moreover, and ironically, as noted elsewhere but is significant to repeat here: in Guyana, the policing and military-type functions and the government administrative occupations are overwhelmingly populated by Africans who consequently are the de facto “upper-class” Kshyatrias (according to Gibson’s assertions on caste structure in Guyana) which fact conflicts with Gibson’s other ludicrous thesis of Africans’ abject, hopeless and hapless marginalization at the hands of East Indians. While the PPP party finally achieved power again after a 28-year enforced hiatus by the African-dominated, mainly despotic and authoritarian PNC rule, the disciplined forces have predominantly and continuously been Africans. So, it is they who have the greater access to weapons and so are the ones more likely to use them.

    One Afro-Guyanese leader, Tacuma Ogunseye, even had the temerity to boldly assert/boast, with predictable impunity (Stabroek News , Apr 30, 2006), after Minister Sawh’s execution by African gansters-cum-insurgents, that because of this racial imbalance in the disciplined forces in favour of African Guyanese, the [PPPc] government cannot militarily defeat the criminals-insurgents.

    End of Excerpt.

    Got that Brandi62? The PPP can win government but they are perpetually hamstrung by the Gov’t administrative forces who are predominantly anti-PPPc.

    Furthermore, the reason Brigadier Granger & Harmon , et al, can get away with the rank unfairness of this whole Elections saga, is that they know the ‘Disciplined Forces’ are there to back them as Tacuma Ogunsye gloated.

    Re “constructive discussions”: What does Cyril Bryan have to do with this? He is not as neutral/objective (aka constructive) as you think. I will pass on that for now so as to stay on topic.
    VNM

    Ps. My books are not online. Austin’s Bookstore in GT is supposed to have had 19 copies remaining a few years ago. He doesn’t return my emails for an update so I don’t know how many, if any are remaining. Even Hamilton Green called a friend of mine in Canada, a year ago to find out where he can get a copy. He said he overheard some UG students discussing it. I have copies; just printed more.
    V.

  • brandli62  On June 28, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    Veda with your attitude you will never bring reconciliation to Guyana. I am sorry to say so. Get over it and use your knowledge for positive change and reconciliation in Guyana. That’s what people will remember and the youth of the nation will be grateful.

  • Dave  On June 28, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Quit arguing guys.
    Guyana is going to become one of the wealthiest nations in the world.
    Did you know that a plot of land at Ogle starts from US$1,000,000 per acre, or that there are plans to build hundreds of high rise hotels and apartments across the East Coast corridor? The City of Ogle would be the top 10 for highest buildings in the Caribbean.
    In Mahaica, there are plans to build a gated community with a world class hospital, a 26 story condominium and dozens of hotels.
    Guyana is not looking to become a failed state with lots of investors scrambling to buy land at Ogle and Diamond.

  • brandli62  On June 29, 2020 at 3:30 am

    Dave, I agree with your analysis that Guyana has potentially a bright future ahead. Hence, it’s important to get thing done correctly, for example by getting elections done in a credible manner. As you may have noticed I am an eternal optimist and I believe in the good of people. Many readers, such as myself are expats and want to see Guyana do well. Let’s point out in this forum problems and provide constructive solutions taking advantage of the knowledge we have gained living abroad.

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