Contrary to reports in certain sections of the media, Government’s Chief Legal Adviser, Attorney General Basil Wiiliams has denied deeming the national recount of all ballots cast in the March 02, General and Regional elections, illegal.
Below is the full statement the Attorney General issued this morning to the editor of the media entity which carried the article:
I write in relation to an article appearing on the front page and page ten (10) of the May 17th Sunday Edition of your paper captioned, “National election recount illegal” -AG Williams, Roysdale Forde … Party will accept results- Amna Ally.
From the outset, I reject that I, at any time, said the National Election Recount (NER) is illegal. I, at all material times have supported His Excellency, President David Granger in his desire to have the presence and contribution of Caricom to determine the credibility of the March 2nd, elections.
Further, the Attorney General did not join with Attorney-at-law, Roysdale Forde in the case to invalidate the NER that was taken to the courts.At all material times I have asserted that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is an independent and constitutional body that cannot be dictated to by any person or authority.
I have also cited the decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice to buttress this fact. Also, I have long acknowledged that the NER is not provided for under the national elections law, but GECOM has the power to provide for it under Article 162 (1) (b) of the Constitution making it a constitutional NER.
Additionally, I asserted that as a Constitutional NER, it did not have its own procedures and GECOM could make rules for it and did not have to use the provisions of the Representation of the Peoples Act (RPA) Cap 1:03 nor the Election Law Amendment Act (ELA) No.15 of 2000 as contended for by the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C).
I therefore, reject the half-statement in paragraph two of your article to wit “our law did not cater for a National recount, Williams told reporters yesterday.”
In fact, Mr. Editor, the entire article is riddled either with misstatements, half-truths or abject misinformation of what I said. I will at this time conclude with what I said about the results of the NER.
That it was not simply a question of counting of ballots as asserted by the PPP/C but also the question of the credibility of the March 2nd, elections. That only GECOM can determine the question of the results of the NER and the results along with the report on the credibility of the elections must be submitted to it.
At the duly summoned meeting of GECOM, the report of the outcome of the NER and the ten (10) declarations already made would give GECOM a panoramic view of the results of 2020 General and Regional Elections (GRE) and they would make the ruling, which President Granger and the Government have always maintained we will abide by.