Whatever CCJ rules, GECOM obligated to use recount results for declaration – Dr Anthony

Caribbean Court of Justice
Caribbean Court of Justice

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is obligated to use the recount results as the basis of an elections declaration, regardless of the ruling handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

This is according to PPP/C Executive Member, Dr Frank Anthony.

“Whether the CCJ rules that the Appeals Court had jurisdiction or not, it doesn’t affect the next stage in the process. Because the next stage in the process is for us to go back to GECOM for a proper report with the valid votes that emerged out of the recount to be properly tabulated, and for that report to go to the Commission, and for a declaration to be made,” Dr Frank Anthony said during a virtual interview programme titled ‘Government in Transition’ on Monday.

Dr Anthony, a former minister under the PPP/C Administration was at the time part of a panel discussing the way forward as it relates to resolving the current political impasse in Guyana following the March 2, polls.

In response to concerns that Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, may want to stick to his fraudulent report in which he discarded over 115,000 valid votes and handed a ‘victory’ to the incumbent APNU/AFC Coalition, Dr Anthony argued that there is precedent for the Commission making the necessary corrections in such a case and for a declaration to be made by the Commission after those modifications are made.

Dr Frank Anthony

Anthony dismissed as inaccurate claims by the the APNU/AFC that it is only Lowenfield who can decide on the calculations.

He pointed to a video in which Government-aligned Commissioner, Vincent Alexander, was heard saying that on one occasion when he (Alexander) felt that “something was wrong” with how the tabulation was done in a previous election, he, as a Commissioner, made the corrections “right there and then”. He explained that once the corrections were made, the Commission endorsed the report and a declaration was made on this basis.

“So if there is precedent with a Commissioner, who has been there before and has the institutional memory, then if Mr Lowenfield does not bring the right report, the Commission as a body can easily sit, fix whatever report came that is not correct, do the correct thing and then use that and make a declaration.

“There is a precedent for that,” Anthony argued.

“We anticipate that the next step is to get the proper report and to have that computation of the seats for the National Assembly, so that we can have that declaration and a new government in place,” the former minister said.

Anthony added that the delaying tactics being employed by the APNU/AFC will not work any longer as in the end the duly elected government will have to be sworn in.

“Time is running out, the options that they have are very few, so eventually there would be zero options remaining and we will have to move the process forward.

“We are coming closer to that end game and it’s just a matter of time before we see this chapter come to a close and we have that declaration,” he noted.

CARICOM Chair, Mia Mottley, a few days ago, expressed concern over the CEO’s latest report in which he sought to present concocted figures in favour of the incumbent APNU/AFC Coalition and at the same time discarding over 115,000 valid votes.

In a video statement, PM Mottley had asserted that Lowenfield’s numbers cannot vary from those coming out of the national recount.

She had noted that from the inception, CARICOM has been clear in consistently calling for every vote to be counted in a fair and transparent manner.

The National Recount, which was conducted under the scrutiny of a special CARICOM team, shows the PPP/C in a landslide victory with 15,416 more votes than its main political rival, the APNU/AFC coalition.