A former Minister of Information under the People’s National Congress (PNC) administration, Christopher “Kit” Nascimento, has called out caretaker President David Granger for making a “naked and ugly” attempt to remain in office, effectively violating the Constitution and laws of Guyana.
In a letter to the editor on Wednesday, Nascimento reflected on the General and Regional Elections that were held over three months ago, and the circumstances that led to the recently concluded National Recount. Pointing to the results of the recount, which show a People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) win by over 15,000 votes, Nascimento stated, “The people of Guyana have spoken. They have chosen to give the People’s Progressive Party/Civic a majority through the ballot box and the democratic right to form the new government.”
He also emphasised the fact that the recount figures have matched almost exactly the Statements of Poll that were published by the PPP/C and other parties. The recount, he added, also “dramatically exposed the fraudulent declaration made by the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, based on Mingo’s fraudulent tabulation, giving the APNU+AFC a majority, still held in abeyance by GECOM’s Gazetted Order.”
Ordinarily, while in a democracy, such a revelation would result in the losing party conceding and congratulating the new leader, this has not been Guyana’s reality.
Nascimento continued, “For weeks now, the APNU+AFC leadership have refused to acknowledge the inevitability of the majority reflected in the ballot box. Sadly, they have continued to lie to their own supporters and the rest of Guyana.”
According to the former PNC Minister, days before the recount concluded, revealing the results of the election, Granger, in a national address, instead of conceding, chose to make an attempt at discrediting the results of the recount.
“David Granger, for the first time, publicly embraced what he called “numerous reports of irregularities”, and then listed “unstamped ballots, deceased and migrant voters, and missing poll books”, which he claimed “to have been committed intentionally, not accidentally, and demonstrate a pattern of manipulation of the electoral process,” Nascimento stated.
However, Nascimento pointed out that none of these allegations have been substantiated. “Not a shred of evidence has been submitted to GECOM in support of them. In any event, none of these fairytales can have any legal bearing whatsoever on the result of the recounted ballots,” he stressed.
While President Granger previously vowed to abide by the declarations that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) makes, Nascimento has accused him of now trying to “denigrate and refuse to accept the result of the Recount”, in complete contradiction of his prior commitment.
“David Granger’s entire address reeks of dishonesty and prevarication. Here is how he dismisses the reason for the country being forced into a Recount: “Subsequent events resulted in the prolongation of the electoral process well beyond the deadline for the declaration of results…owing to legal challenges” in the courts, which, unbelievably, he blames on the PPP/C,” Nascimento posited.
He continued, “Granger, completely ignores the perfidy of Mingo, and that it was his candidate, Ulita Moore, and his party’s lawyers who attempted to prevent the Agreement which he entered into with the General Secretary of the PPP/C, Bharrat Jagdeo, to conduct the Recount.”
These attempts to discredit the recount, Nascimento further stated, are “a naked and ugly attempt to enable David Granger and his party to remain in office and hold on to power in violation of the Constitution and the Laws which govern us as a democracy.”
Nascimento, who was a local observer to both polling day and recount activities, said the caretaker president “continues to damage his country, damage his own people, damage our future, and, by misleading his own supporters, seriously threatens the maintenance of peace and good order.”
The expectation, he said, is that GECOM Chairperson, retired Justice Claudette Singh, would make an election declaration in accordance with the tabulated recounted figures of the ballots, making way for the swearing in of the presidential candidate of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali.