Attorney at Law and People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) candidate, Charles Ramson is adamant that Guyana has been through enough over the last few months. He told this publication, “The citizens of this great nation deserve better. They voted, and they deserve to experience the betterment for which they voted. But we are all being held hostage by a few who are just desperate to stay in power.”
This is what Ramson said as he spoke about GECOM’s Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield’s pronouncement that the March 2020 General and Regional Elections were not credible.
Ramson was keen to add to the statements already in the public domain that Lowenfield acted outside of his legal duty in stating that the elections were not credible.
Ramson said that the requirement and specified duties of Lowenfield to submit his report is contained in paragraph 12 of the Order upon which the recount was legally premised. The lawyer pointed out that Paragraph 12 states, “The matrices for the recount of the (10) Electoral Districts shall be submitted in a report, together with a summary of the observation reports for each District, to the Commission.” Ramson explained that the matrices referred to in paragraph 12 is the tabulation of votes for each Electoral District.
Ramson said, “The Order contains no requirement for Lowenfield to tender his opinion on anything in this report, let alone pronounce on the credibility of the election. Lowenfield’s opinion on the credibility of the election is unlawful, ultra vires and quite frankly irrelevant. Simply for the sake of being comprehensive, the Supreme Law of Guyana (the Constitution) is crystal clear that the determination of the credibility of an election, inter alia, is the “exclusive jurisdiction” of the High Court and this, pursuant to the Validity of Elections Act CAP 1:04, is advanced through a petition.”
He said that this was recently reconfirmed by the Court of Appeal’s decision in the Ulita Moore matter in which Lowenfield was a party to the proceedings so it may or may not be surprising that he is unfamiliar with this point.
Ramson told Guyana Standard that “nonetheless, as we bring this entire national trauma to an end, the Elections Commission is required to hold an election on the day so proclaimed by the President and make a declaration of a winner… It has been over three months of this election saga and the country is ready to move on so the desperation of a few persons to remain in power should not hold hostage the lives of everyone else over a mere election. It is time for the APNU-AFC to get over it and get on with life.”