APNU/AFC will not succeed with distracting tactics – PPP

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The Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) said that the APNU/AFC will not succeed with efforts to distract attention from its attempts to derail the democratic processes in the ongoing electoral fiasco.

This comes on the heels of a statement from caretaker President David Granger on Friday in which he said, “Elections are as much about the totality of votes as about the quality of relations among citizens. I urge all Guyanese, therefore, to respect each other as we work together to build a cohesive nation.”

However, the PPP/C on Saturday rejected this new narrative of ethnic inclusivity that has suddenly emerged, as a justification of the attempts by the APNU/AFC cabal, acting in concert with certain staff of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Secretariat, to rig the March 2, 2020 elections.

PPP’s Chief Whip Gail Teixeira

“This recent fabrication, like so many clumsy strategies employed in recent times, will not succeed in distracting attention from the real issue at hand – derailing the democratic process, defeating the will of the electorate and the attempt to install an illegal Government in Office,” the Opposition party noted.

According to the PPP/C, it has campaigned on a platform of offering inclusive governance, constitutional reform, specifically to construct a new governance model to capture this inclusive governance and on a manifesto that provides plans and programmes for every single Guyanese.

These promises, it added, are set out explicitly in the party’s manifesto and were the backbone of its campaign speeches. In fact, the PPP/C said it campaigned with a List of Candidates drawn from all ethnic and religious groups in Guyana and every race, creed and class in this country.

“Again, we say this diversion will not work. The will of the electorate must be respected and the lawfully elected Government must be allowed to take Office. Nothing less will suffice,” the party contended.

President David Granger

Following the March 13 declaration by embattled Returning Officer (RO), Clairmont Mingo, of the Region Four results, which a majority of the political parties that contested the March 2 elections insist was marred with fraud, the Caribbean Community (Caricom) had intervened and brokered a way forward.

Caricom Chairperson, Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley had fielded a five-member high-level team to supervise a national recount of all the votes cast which was requested by caretaker President Granger and agreed to by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo. In fact, an aide-memoire was signed between the two leaders to record this agreement.

The independent regional team arrived in Guyana on March 15 and after a series of delays, it was forced to withdraw services on Tuesday after an APNU/AFC candidate, Ulita Moore, obtained an interim injunction from the High Court, blocking GECOM from conducting the recounting process.

The Caricom Chair in a subsequent statement had posited that “there are forces that do not want to see the votes recounted for whatever reason.” Despite this, however, Granger insists that the court action was independent and that Guyana should await the outcome of the legal process, which the country’s democracy allows interested parties to undertake.

“I have maintained that the electoral process must be credible. Free and fair elections are essential to representative democracy… I am disappointed that the high-level team of five departed Guyana this week after efforts towards a ‘total national recount’ were stymied following the granting of an injunction by the Supreme Court. This matter remains before the court… I urge all citizens to be calm and patient as we await the ruling of the Supreme Court and the final declaration of results by the Elections Commission,” the incumbent Head of State noted on Friday.

Another self-serving statement

But according to the PPP/C on Saturday, that was another monotonous, self-serving and sterile statement from caretaker President Granger, proclaiming his commitment to free and fair elections, to the Caricom initiative and to a total national recount of the ballots cast, while at the same time, hiding behind the cover of the recently filed High Court proceedings, which he insinuates is the reason why he cannot discharge his commitment under the Caricom accord brokered by the Caricom Chair.

“Every rational person can see through this inept façade. Mr Granger has lost all credibility in the eyes of the objective public. These statements of his irritate more than inform. Everyone knows the truth,” the party noted.

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo

The PPP/C went on to say that the Head of State can still redeem himself by instructing his Commissioners at GECOM to proceed with the recount, a unanimous decision already made by GECOM on March 15, and instruct Ulita Moore, his party’s candidate for the 2018 Local Government Elections and his candidate for the March 2, 2020 elections, Attorney Roysdale Forde, who is among the battery of lawyers for Moore, to withdraw the High Court case and let the recount of the ballots proceed.

Additionally, the Opposition noted that Granger can also make his party’s Statements of Poll (SoPs) public as the PPP/C has done so that the world can see, transparently, whether his party won the elections.

“It is but his only saving grace,” the Opposition party asserted.