If the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) rules that it has jurisdiction to hear the Guyana case before it, such ruling would be tantamount to an attempted coup, says Working People Alliance (WPA) Executive Member, Dr David Hinds.
“The barriers to the CCJ’s legal intervention are expressed in both the Guyana Constitution and the CCJ Act. There is no ambiguity in that regard. Since the CCJ is barred from legally intervening, any intervention would be political,” he said in a statement to the media earlier today.
He further noted that any claim of jurisdiction by the CCJ would be a political act with clear political intentions. It would be a clear attempt to install a party in power against the wishes of half the population and in defiance of constitutional checks. Such action is nothing short of a political coup, the WPA Executive argued.
He added that Senior Counsel, Ralph Ramkarran was explicit in his request of the court to take political action to end the political dispute. But that is not the court’s power under Guyana’s constitution. Should the court seize jurisdiction, it would set in train regional and domestic consequences that would further rip apart Guyana’s fragile national compact and CARICOM’s equally shaky relationship with the CCJ, Dr Hinds pointed out.
“There is already a groundswell of anti-CCJ sentiment among a significant section of the Guyanese populace which would not react kindly to the CCJ seizure of jurisdiction and its potential coup. Sough sentiment should not be disregarded. The regional and international forces’ weaponization of the elections’ impasse in favor of one ethno-political contestant and against the other has driven Guyana to the edge. Any attempt by the CCJ to legalize that action would trigger domestic instability that would in turn reopen all Guyana’s historical wounds,” he said.
It is against that background that Dr Hinds warns of “dark days ahead” if the constitutional power of the Guyana Appeal Court is usurped and the legal-constitutional authority of the Chief Elections Officer is over-run.
” Ever so often foreign forces intervene in domestic feuds with scant regard for the consequences for the local community. After four months of back and forth, the electoral saga must be settled by Guyanese who are the best umpires of their situation. The CCJ should steer clear of any overt or covert entanglement. if it is to preserve its expressed autonomy from the domestic politics of member states,” he said.
Dr Hinds added: “The Guyanese leaders must emerge from their perches and accept where the process has taken them. The legal and constitutional buck stopped with the Court of Appeal binding ruling. GECOM can only respect that ruling and act on it. It is now for the leaders to act. Both parties gambled for four months . and the final outcome is clear. The events of March 4 have been overrun by subsequent events. That is just a plain fact. Calls to annul the elections in the interest of mutual peace were rejected and have also been overtaken by subsequent events.”