Jagdeo is a threat to peace, stability and good governance

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Dear Editor,

THE following response addresses the charge made against me by the PPP/C in a press release issued over the weekend pointing out the fact that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) did not give a deadline or specific date for elections is misleading.

As I respond, I am cognisant that I do not possess the wherewithal of the PPP to guaranteed coverage in the media, and I rather suspect the importance of this conversation will not be resolved over one or two statements, but will be followed by a barrage of attacks, which I am prepared to address. I trust equal access will be granted.

The PPP/C requested of the CCJ that an order be made for elections to be held by September 18 2019 (see Stabroek News, July 11, 2019 ‘‘Jagdeo asks CCJ to order elections be held by September 18). The Court never granted the request (see Stabroek News, July 13, 2019 “CCJ dubs gov’t ‘caretaker’ but elections date a no-go”).

In fact, on the matter of election, the CCJ expressly said, “Article 106 of the Constitution invested the President and the National Assembly (and implicitly in GECOM), responsibilities that impact on the precise timing of the elections, which must be held. It would not, therefore, be right for the Court, by issuance of coercive orders or detailed directives, to presume to instruct these bodies on how they must act, and thereby preempt the performance of their constitutional responsibilities.”

Refer to item [7] here- http://www.ccj.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-CCJ-14-AJ.pdf

The failure of the PPP/C to get the CCJ to grant their requested date for election saw them doubling over to deceive society, local and international stakeholders by giving the impression that September 18 is a directive of the Court. In this regard, it is evident from media coverage that the PPP has a cadre of surrogates to drive this deception as they individually and collectively engage in bullying tactics that seek to bring the judiciary and our legal system into disrepute as well as further divide this nation.

Readers must note none of the quotations cited from the CCJ ruling supports their call that the election should be held by September 18. They have no evidence to bear, and are merely engaging in a PR stunt to mislead. Since the CCJ ruling, Christopher Ram has approached the High Court for a Fixed Date Application that election be held by September 18. This in effect means they are now pursuing a ruling in a lower court that the highest court did not grant. Only the less objective and discerning amongst us will be fooled.
This society awaits the ruling of acting Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire S.C, that September 18 is the date for the election. Until then, it is dishonest to say to the world that the CCJ, or for that matter the judiciary has so ruled, and any results that do not find favour with either parties involved will likely see further pursuit of justice right up to the CCJ.

In summary, the PPP/C went to Guyana’s court of last resort, the CCJ, to have an election by September 18. That Court did not grant the request, so there is now one being heard in the lower court, i.e. the High Court, to have the dateline granted. One notes that much of what we are currently experiencing is as a result of the inability of both sides to come together in mutual respect and embrace the laws that bind them, even as they put aside the political games. Had this been done, the role and functioning of GECOM would be accepted as vital to any elections being held, and therefore these issues could have been resolved in the National Assembly.

On the Rule of Law, the propaganda truism of telling a lie often enough makes it the truth will not tolerated. This present crisis we face must be resolved in a lawful and orderly manner, for it has serious implications for the security and safety.

Meanwhile, lest it be forgotten, the Bharrat Jagdeo-led PPP/C has no moral authority. They also lack credibility in the eyes of anyone with a modicum of decency and belief in the rule of law. They seek to cast aspersions to discredit anyone who speaks truth to power. They are of a special mould that creates much concern and mayhem in the world at various periods of our history. They are a threat to peace, stability and good governance, the rule of law and unity. Guyanese have every reason to be concerned, if not fearful, of this current era.
Regards,
Lincoln Lewis