…Harmon says President would not be conceding
…points to CEO’s report which gives APNU+AFC victory on valid votes
PERSONS calling for President David Granger to “concede” when the Chief Elections Officer’s (CEO’s) Elections Report shows that the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) won the Elections based on valid votes, are doing so in vain, because it simply would not happen.
As a guest on the Antigua and Barbuda Radio programme, NICE 104.3FM, on Sunday, APNU+AFC Campaign Manager, Joseph Harmon, poured cold water on the calls for the President to give up his Office during an incomplete electoral process.
“[There is] a report in the Elections Commission showing all the valid votes and still people are calling for Mr. Granger to concede. Concede to what? Concede to who? What is he to concede to? It appears to me — and I’ll venture to say any right-thinking person — to be a most ridiculous and nonsensical proposition,” Harmon said.
He further asserted: “To those persons who are calling for Mr. Granger to concede, that is not going to happen.”
These calls have come primarily from the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) as well as a group of United States (US) senators lobbied by the party. However, Harmon pointed to the CEO’s report which showed victory for the APNU+AFC by more than 5,000 votes and the rejection of over 100,000 votes which were tainted with irregularities, anomalies or voter impersonation.
The matter is now before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as the PPP/C seeks to hear the Court’s determination of whether it has jurisdiction on the matter and whether the Court of Appeal, which previously ruled that the elections must be declared on valid votes cast, had jurisdiction to rule on the matter.
The Court of Appeal had ordered that the words “more votes are cast” in Article 177 (2) (b) in the Constitution to be interpreted to mean “more valid votes are cast” which meant that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) could only declare elections results based on valid votes cast.
The Court of Appeal also determined that a final credible count, as contemplated by Order No. 60 of 2020, does not mean a mere numerical tabulation of votes but an assessment of the credibility of votes as contemplated by the Order.
Though injunctive reliefs were sought to restrain the CEO from submitting to the Elections Commission an Election Report, the Court made it clear that in its narrow and special jurisdiction, as laid out in Article 177 (4), it could not have granted such injunctive reliefs.
The CEO therefore submitted his report to the GECOM Chair based on votes which could be verified as validly cast which was followed by the move of the PPP/C to the CCJ.
Harmon said that in the midst of the legal and political battles which have taken place since the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections, Guyanese are in the midst longing for the return to normalcy of their country.
“Our people have been waiting for over 119 days for their President to be sworn in and it has taken a toll on their patience. When you add the COVID-19 restrictions to this, one can understand the anxiety of the Guyanese people to have President Granger sworn in,” he said.
Harmon added that the plans of his party regarding the Decade of Development for Guyana are being put on hold as a result of the elections and other matters but the APNU+AFC wants to get on with its intention to bring to all Guyanese a better quality of life.
With the proceeds from Oil and Gas Industry already coming in, he said that the coalition looks forward to ensuring that all Guyanese benefit, across the wide range of sectors, from the resources that belong to them.
He cautioned all persons who have been encouraged by others to make statements which are prejudicial to the outcome of Guyana’s elections to cease and desist as the country does not take lightly interference into its sovereignty as a nation.