OPINION: Healing and national reconciliation must begin now

Parliament/ National Assembly

The following is an opinion piece by Dr Tara Singh

The press release issued by President David Granger on Saturday, June 6, 2020, does not only reflect his prior stated views on the elections 2020 outcome, but also, has some coded messages, something at which the PNCR excel. For example, there was a subtle exhortation to the Caricom high-level team and GECOM’s Chair Justice Claudette Singh to be sympathetic to their (PNCR) narratives.

The PNCR is hoping that the observation reports, though filled with unproven allegations that comprise predominantly of PNCR’s objections and concerns, will be enough to scuttle the elections. This will not happen. GECOM does not have the power to annul an election. This power can only be exercised by the High Court. The post-election process at ACCC is called a “recount” and this is the central operation at stake. Observation reports emerge out of a back door “audit” that crept into the proceedings. Nevertheless, these are tangential to the recount but may be used as evidence in election petitions.

What is noticeably absent from Mr Granger’s press release is his deliberate effort not to mention the role of the ABCE countries, the OAS, Commonwealth, Carter Center, and the Private Sector Commission in the elections and post-elections process. Ironically, in an eleventh-hour attempt to embrace Caricom as the only credible observer mission, and to reject the other observer missions, Mr Granger is hoping to have someone on their side, where they have been standing alone. The PPP/C acknowledges the important role played by all the observer missions, including Caricom.

In keeping with their position, the PNCR earlier rejected the OAS elections report. The elections report from other observer missions will suffer the same fate. Their “sin” was that they stood for the truth; they stood for credibility and transparency, as does Caricom. This attitude is duplicitous. The first Caricom team was blocked by Granger’s PNCR from doing the recount. They got confirmation from High Court Judge Franklyn Holder. Trinidad & Tobago’s (TT) Prime Minister Keith Rowley was not happy about that (blocking the first Caricom team) and refused to send a TT representative for the second and existing Caricom high-level mission.

The PPP/C had to appeal Judge Holder’s decision to the Full Court which agreed with the PPP/C’s call for the recount. The PNCR appealed the ruling of the Full Court to Guyana’s Apex Court, which upheld GECOM’s right to conduct the recount.

Mr Granger only mentioned about the PPP/C’s court battle but failed to list the PNCR’s efforts to block the recount in the High Court. He also failed to link the PPP/C court case to Mingo’s highway voter tabulation fraud, and tried to place blame on the PPP/C for the inordinate delay in the declaration of election 2020 results.

The PNCR has not only developed a system of code words but also the craft of “vacillation” and “reversion.” The latter is likened onto a situation when someone says something but does the opposite.

This press release will not exonerate Mr Granger from being complicit in attempts to install him as President on three occasions. And worst yet, he was going to do this on Clairmont Mingo’s fraudulent figures for Region Four.

The PNCR, having exhausted all devious avenues to derail the voter tabulation for Region Four, as well as the recount at ACCC, is now seemingly pinning their last hopes for some consolation on the Caricom observation team and GECOM’s Chair, Justice Claudette Singh. What they expect from both of them other than the right thing, is a matter of speculation. There is only one outcome: the PPP/C won the elections and this is the only truth in the 2020 elections.

The recount on Sunday, June 7, 2020, establishes what the world knew since March 4, 2020, that the PPP/C won the elections with a wide margin. PPP/C’s Dr Irfaan Ali should be installed as soon as possible as President. The healing and national reconciliation must begin now.