MY TURN | GUYANA’S SOVEREIGNTY ON TRIAL
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FINANCE Minister Winston Jordan has reported that for 2019 the Guyana economy performed “creditably and remained stable.” The economy grew by 5.4 per cent. Gross international reserves rose to US$575.6 million, from US$528.4 million, in 2018.
“Guyana remains among the very few countries that are expected to grow appreciably in 2020,” the minister asserted, as he outlined current challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, its negative impact on the oil industry, the on-going electoral crisis and consequently, the absence of a 2020 national budget.

This positive rating, including a World Bank projection of a 54% economic growth in 2020, debunks the PPP’s wicked and evil propaganda that “the country is bankrupt; the treasury is empty,” which it churned out from its lie factory shortly after polling on March 2.

DIRTY DATA
The seditious attack on the country appears to be the left-over from the putrid propaganda poison and the dirty digital data used during the election campaign to undermine confidence not only in the government, but to sow disillusionment among our people.
I know for sure that the PPP’s rump in Robb Street was too unimaginative and clumsy to come up all by itself with such an act. It copied it from old and dusty destabilisation manuals, some dating back many decades.

In 1953, when the British invaded the colony, they failed to find any “reds under the bed.” They then quickly gave as another reason for invasion the blatantly false claim that the Jagan-led government had looted the treasury.

Fast forward the tape to 2020, and it is clear as a mirror under the sun that the copycat PPP took wholesale from their foreign propaganda handlers the “treasury-is-empty” yarn from that colonial era, having been exposed for its nasty attempt at rigging the March 2 elections by means of an invasion of polling places with an army of the dreaded dead and “phantom” migrant voters. That disgraceful act also exposed the downfall of the PPP as captured in a different context by the Nigerian novelist, Chinua Achebe, in “Things Fall Apart.”

ELECTORAL FRAUD
As I had done in the past when elections were “crooked as barbed wire,” I have compiled a new synopsis of electoral fraud, now involving the PPP, based on the tabulation and observations by the elections commission. These include:
– ballots cast in the names of persons who are dead or had migrated;
– ballots cast by persons without proper identification;
– ballots cast exceeding the number of persons on the Official List of Electors;
– ballots for one electoral district cast in another;
– ballots cast by persons outside of their districts without proper documents;
– ballots and counterfoils carrying the same numbers;
– ballot boxes from one polling station containing documents of another;
– ballot boxes without statutory polling documents;
– ballots issued to ranks in the army and police force improperly stamped; and
– poll books which are missing.

While the fraud was being unmasked, a different type of digital warfare was unleashed on the Guyanese people. Terrifying clips emerged on social media of Parliament Buildings on fire, and faked racist footage was posted of a screaming and hostile crowd marching down from Buxton in the direction of named communities to drive division among our Guyanese brothers and sisters.

The dirty digital warfare bears the footprints of foreign hired guns, some of whom have turned into whistleblowers and are now stepping forward to expose both the masterminds and the methods of the multi-million-dollar corruption campaign. It is my strong conviction that many collaborators would eventually be held accountable for their crimes against the Guyanese people.

NEGATIVE HEADLINES
In this crazy conspiracy to grab power, the PPP has tried to weaponise Facebook, sections of the local media and even the courts in what for it is a desperate all-or-nothing war. The focus now is on negative headlines of almost terrorist threats against top elections officials, of sanctions and imprisonment in a cowardly attempt to break their will and to compromise them.

But there is a strong pushback, as the Guyanese people are not without a righteous cause, the outcome of which could severely impact our Caribbean family of nations.

The fight-back is against the spurious opposition appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) for it to override the jurisdiction of Guyana’s Court of Appeal on the interpretation by the latter of the Guyana Constitution, to the effect that votes cast in an election of a president mean “valid votes” and nothing else.

It was strongly contended that the CCJ cannot oust the power of the Guyana Court of Appeal to make a final decision on a limited or narrow set of issues.

AUTHORITATIVE STATEMENTS
Reference was made during the preliminary hearing to authoritative statements by Mr. Justice Winston Anderson, a member of the CCJ’s panel of judges, but who is not on the Bench in the current matter. His Honour said inter alia:

“If issues cannot be appealed to the CCJ, the CCJ cannot consider them, and if the CCJ cannot consider them, then they cannot be included in the building blocks of the court’s jurisdiction. It is that simple…But there is very little, if anything, that the CCJ can do to change this situation…”

Assuming and accepting that “this situation” of the jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice emerged from a treaty styled “Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice,” Senior Counsel Mr. Reginald Armour submitted that “treaties are entered into as a matter of the sovereignty of nations.”

It appears to me that at stake is the supremacy of the Guyana Constitution and the inviolability of Guyana’s sovereignty. Beyond this I cannot comment on the matter before the CCJ.

But as a Caribbean political activist I have lived with a turbulence in my heart over what history has taught us about solidarity and the sanctity of sovereignty. That history showed that in 1953 a couple of prominent voices echoed support for the suspension of the constitution of British Guiana; and 30 years later, in 1983, similar voices applauded the foreign invasion of the tiny, sovereign state of Grenada.
Now, it seems, that Guyana’s sovereignty is on trial.

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