APNU/AFC rejects CCJ’s judgement on valid votes

Leaders of the APNU/AFC at a previous political rally

…will only accept their own opinion

In its latest act of defiance, the APNU/AFC Coalition Government has rejected the judgement of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in which the court stated clearly that the recount figures constitute valid votes and must be used as a basis of a final declaration of the results of the March 2 General and Regional Elections.

The CCJ in its ruling had contended that no person or authority can invalidate any vote. It had stated that questions in relation to ‘invalid’ votes must be addressed by Guyana’s High Court via an elections petition after the results of the elections would have been declared.

In any case, on the night of elections, after the close of polls, and similarly during the recount process, only valid votes were counted and tallied. Votes that were deemed ‘rejected’ were placed in a separate envelope.

However, APNU/AFC in a release today restated its false claim that Elections Commission can only make a ‘declaration’ based on “valid votes”, insinuating that the recount results are not valid.

Following is the full statement from the APNU/AFC:

 General and Regional elections were held on 2nd March 2020 in the co-operative republic of Guyana. The results of those elections had not been declared by Monday 20th July, twenty weeks afterwards.

Delays in the declaration of results were caused, in part, by several appeals which were made during this period – to 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 people of Guyana await a credible ‘declaration’ by the Guyana Elections Commission.

A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC coalition) is committed to a lawful and credible declaration of results based on valid votes. The coalition has taken note of the ruling of Chief Justice Roxane George on 20th July 2020 in the case of Mesinga Jones v Guyana Elections Commission Chairman et al.

The APNU+AFC coalition, as always, remains committed to the judicial process. That process is incomplete as it stands and the matter has been appealed in the Guyana court of appeal, citing 18 grounds in the notice of appeal.

The appellant Misenga Jones seeks to set aside or reverse the entire judgment of Chief Justice Roxane George. Case management in this matter is set for 15:00hrs today. Such an appeal is lawful, proper and guaranteed under the constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, our supreme law.

The APNU+AFC coalition is resolved to ensure that fraudulent votes, cannot be factored in to represent the will of the electorate. Any attempt to include fraudulent votes in a ‘declaration’ will constitute a violation of the constitution and the fundamental principles of democracy. We maintain that the elections commission can only make a ‘declaration’ based on valid votes.

The recount process which was conducted, painstakingly, for thirty-three days revealed massive irregularities and extensive fraud which cannot be foisted on the Guyanese people to contrive an outcome that betrays the will of the electorate.

The APNU+AFC coalition, in the national interest, and with a view to maintaining stability and peace, remains open to dialogue with other political parties and stakeholders on the way forward for our country.  The APNU+AFC coalition is prepared to act responsibly to bring a resolution to the ongoing political situation.

We remain confident of a credible and legitimate outcome to the elections.