Guyana's former president warns of a campaign of vindictiveness against former ministers

Guyana's former president warns of a campaign of vindictiveness against former ministers

Friday, August 07, 2020

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC)– Former president David Granger, Friday warned of a “vulgar, divisive and vindictive campaign of alienation” against former ministers “within hours” of the new Irfaan Ali administration coming into office on Sunday.

In a statement, Granger, the leader of the People's National Congress (PNC), the major party in the coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), said that former ministers “whose normal residences are located in the rural and hinterland regions were swiftly ordered to vacate their government quarters, unreasonably, within thirty-six hours.

“Public servants were locked out of their offices without explanation. Contracted officials were threatened with arbitrary and summary termination of their service,” Granger said.

Granger said that the PNC recalls the violence unleashed by “hooligans” against innocent school children travelling in a school bus on March 6 in the wake of the regional and general elections.

“An atmosphere of fear and loathing has enveloped the nation. This should not be expected after elections in our country,” he said, adding that the PNC is warning “the People's Progressive Party (PPP) to desist from pursuing this dangerous pattern of aggression against officials, members of society and persons perceived to belong to other political parties.

“The PPP will bear responsibility for the consequences of its conduct,” Granger said, adding that the PNC has placed on record its acknowledgement of the “lawful consequences of the 'Declaration' as announced by the Chairman of the Elections Commission and its respect for the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the rulings of the Guyana Court of Appeal and the Caribbean Court of Justice.

“The PNC maintains, however, that the Report ordered by the Court to be presented to the commission contained significant anomalies and irregularities,” Granger said, adding that the PNC, “like all other Guyanese citizens and organisations”, is aware that the results of the elections were not declared until Sunday, August 2, nearly 22 weeks after the polls were held.

“Delays in the 'Declaration' of results were caused, in part, by the revelation of numerous abuses, anomalies and irregularities in the poll and the appeals which were made to the courts, consequently, for the validation of the elections, during this period.

“The PPP and the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition approached the Supreme Court of Judicature, the Court of Appeal of Guyana and the Caribbean Court of Justice to provide interpretations of electoral and other laws and to resolve problems arising from the elections.

“The PNC repeats its assertion that fraudulent votes should not have been held to represent the will of the electorate. The inclusion of fraudulent votes in a 'Declaration' constitutes a violation of the fundamental principles of democracy. We maintain that the Elections Commission should have made a 'Declaration' based only on valid votes,' Granger said.

He said that both the PNC and the APNU coalition have stated, repeatedly, from the start of the electoral process, that they expected a lawful 'Declaration' of the Elections Commission.

“We have never altered this position. The PNC cannot endorse a flawed Report and will continue its campaign to ensure that the votes of all Guyanese are accurately recorded, tallied and reported,' Granger said, adding that the recount process revealed a “plethora of grave anomalies, discrepancies and irregularities, the scale, size and scope of which were revealed only through tabulation and observation during the recount.”

“The recount was intended to determine both the quantitative and qualitative nature of the votes cast at the General and Regional Elections and to determine “a final credible count”. At the end of the recount, however, it became manifest that the results did not meet the standard for credible elections,” Granger argued.

Granger said that the PNC, in the national interest, “and with a view to preserving peace and maintaining order, has acted responsibly throughout this prolonged political crisis. We implore all Guyanese to remain calm and peaceful.”

“The PNC will challenge the declared results lawfully. We urge our members, supporters and friends – who have been patient throughout our campaign and the post-elections process – to continue to conduct themselves in a lawful and peaceful manner,” Granger said, praising the various stakeholders “who brought such awesome passion, power and patriotism to the conduct of this important democratic exercise”.

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