Guyana Elections: I will accept any declaration without condition – President Granger

 Jul 31, 2020  Kaieteur NewsBy Kemol King

– Harmon says court erred, maintains only ‘valid votes’ count

Pres. David Granger

President David Granger has said that he will accept any declaration of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), retired Justice Claudette Singh SC, CCH and that such acceptance is not conditional.

He was, at the time, responding to questions during the commissioning of the new Infectious Diseases Hospital, recently retrofitted out of the Ocean View Hotel property at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.

The question pointed to the President – leader of APNU+AFC – was, given the party’s stance on valid votes, whether he would accept a declaration which includes votes he considers invalid.   

To this, he responded “With respect, my statement on compliance with the declaration wasn’t conditional. I didn’t say if the rain is falling or the sun is shining. You know, if it comes by day or by night. I am obliged to observe the declaration of the Chairman of the Election Commission.”

The national vote recount shows that Granger’s coalition has lost its bid for re-election to government. The party has staunchly opposed and frustrated a declaration on the basis of the recount results. In response, the international community and large sections of the Guyanese community have called on Granger to concede.

Addressing his failure to concede, Granger reiterated an earlier statement, which held that he cannot concede, since no declaration has been made
“I pay attention to what the popular media say. As far as the groundswell is concerned, everybody knows… I’ve been saying over and over again that I will abide by the declaration by the Election Commission. I will abide by the rulings of the court. People can rightfully challenge a ruling if they disagree with it. Once the Court has finally ruled, we will obey the ruling of the Court.”

He said that the groundswell is not a legitimate statement of the law or the Constitution, and that he will follow the Constitution and the Court.
“I await the decision of the Commission,” the President said. “I cannot follow the groundswell.”

Meanwhile, there has been talk of declaring a state of emergency, some of which was engaged in by the President himself. A former Guyanese politician, Paul Tennassee, had raised a concern that such considerations would, in this context, function to consolidate dictatorship.

Asked about his position yesterday, Granger said that he has not contemplated the necessity for a state of emergency.

“All I’m saying is that over the last 20 [weeks], I have insisted that once the Chairman of the Election Commission makes a declaration, I would comply with that declaration. I don’t see how a state of emergency or the necessity for a state of emergency arises.”

He said he has insisted on credibility, but that he does not see what that has to do with a state of emergency.
Otherwise, the President has faced calls from more radical sections of the People’s National Congress (PNC) to cancel the elections, despite the fact that he has no authority to do so. Asked about this during yesterday’s briefing with the press, the President said that he is interested in having a declaration as early as possible by the Chairman.

“I don’t run the elections,” he explained. “The Chairman of the Commission and six Commissioners will determine the outcome of this process.”

The Court of Appeal yesterday handed down a unanimous ruling, dismissing an appeal in Misenga Jones vs. GECOM, which sought to set aside the results of the recount. The Court’s judgment is in direct opposition to the Granger coalition’s position. However, while Granger has said he will respect the Court, his campaign manager, Joseph Harmon, has cast aspersions on its integrity.

In a ‘reaction’ statement he made following the ruling, Harmon said, “While I did not expect much out of the Court of Appeal as constituted, I am still disappointed that the Court did not use this opportunity at this juncture in the history of Guyana to make a judgment which was sound in law.”

He said that the coalition is committed to the rule of law and respect for the decisions of the Courts, and iterated that “when the matter goes to GECOM that only valid votes will be counted in the final declaration made by the Chairman of GECOM.”

The coalition’s claims of fraud, made during the recount.  Any further investigation of their veracity must be handled in an elections petition. The High Court, the Court of Appeal, and the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) have all dictated this in their judgments on election cases adjudicated during this election season. But Harmon insists that “fraudulent votes” cannot be the basis for a final declaration.
He said, “The Guyanese people will certainly examine in a more meticulous way the manner in which their justice system functions.”

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On July 31, 2020 at 11:37 am

    In my opinion
    Parliament makes the law….
    The courts interprete/enforce the law.
    Power belongs to the people via their elected representatives.
    Democracy in principle and practice.
    The courts are not above parliament..
    more visa versa…
    Parliament makes laws and courts via poo poo enforces it.

    Says simple Simon

    Kamtan
    A case in history UK
    King claimed his power came from god
    Cromwell claimed his power came from people.
    King lost his head (beheaded) literally.

  • wic  On July 31, 2020 at 11:38 am

    Talk about riding the back of a tiger.

    • kamtanblog  On July 31, 2020 at 12:10 pm

      Nice one !
      Tigers can be domesticated today.
      Carrot and the jackasses we elect senario.

  • brandli62  On July 31, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    “Addressing his failure to concede, Granger reiterated an earlier statement, which held that he cannot concede, since no declaration has been made”. I completely agree with President Granger on this point. I had voiced this point in the past. As long as GECOM has not declared the results, nobody is in a position to concede. It very simple and according to the law of the land. Anybody calling for something else does not understand the Guyanese constitution.

    • Tata  On July 31, 2020 at 9:03 pm

      AMEN!!!

    • Mike Persaud  On August 1, 2020 at 12:53 am

      I agree that there is no need to concede when you lose. You simply accept the results, respect the will of the people, uphold the principles of democracy and move on. It’s what a man of honour and a statesman would do,

      A year and a half after the NCM defeat and five months after the general election repeat, the loser is still resisting, still clinging on and hoping for a miracle. How do you define such absurdity? It’s a disgrace and a perversity of historical proportions.

      Shame on you, Granger, shame on you!

      MP

      • kamtanblog  On August 1, 2020 at 3:29 am

        End result of Weak leadership !
        A true statesman would have resigned but his replacement may have been “of concern”…
        Devil you do !

        Kamtan

      • Ramesh  On August 1, 2020 at 11:49 pm

        I spent the last couple of weeks camping in the placid interior with family and friends. The starry nights, the eerie sounds of nocturnal jungle creatures, and a bottle of rum by the camp fire. Cooking in the wild somehow tastes special. Man, you can’t beat dat!

        Away from electronics, cellphones and tv can be a cathartic experience. It is!

        When I got back, I thought there would have had resolution but no. It’s been five months and counting.

        What on Earth has this country become?

        Ramesh

      • kamtanblog  On August 2, 2020 at 5:46 am

        In two words !

        FAILED STATE.

        Kamtan

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