When one takes into consideration the number of times the APNU+AFC via its surrogates, has approached the courts to stymie the conclusion of the 2020 polls, it is clear that Guyana’s court system is experiencing the worst form of abuse. Making this pronouncement was Sir Ronald Sanders, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the United States and the Organization of American States.
His statement comes on the heels of the latest legal maneuvering by an APNU+AFC supporter and counting agent, Misenga Jones, to prevent the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from declaring the results based on the outcome of the national recount that concluded on June 8, last. The results of that process categorically show that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) won the 2020 elections.
Whether ill-advised by their lawyers or ill-instructing their lawyers, Sir Ronald expressed his disappointment that the APNU-AFC would resort to abusing the court system to delay the delivery of democracy in Guyana.
On this note, the diplomat was keen to remind of statements recently made by Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, the current chair of CARICOM. In a ‘Personal Editorial on Guyana’ published on July 15, Dr Gonsalves said, “Any attempt, however ingeniously clothed, to litigate all over again this or that matter upon which there has been a final determination or upon which the Caribbean Court of Justice has pronounced authoritatively, is tantamount to an abuse of process of the court or is frivolous and vexatious.” In other words, democracy delayed is democracy denied.
In truth, Sir Ronald noted that Guyana has many friends and admirers in the Caribbean and beyond, and that applies to some of the leaders of APNU+AFC whose implacable positions he opined, have been cause for sadness. The Ambassador said that these friends of Guyana are astonished at the egregious rejection of democracy by the coalition. He was keen to remind however that democracy in Guyana is not the exclusive domain of any political party. He categorically stated that it belongs to the nation of Guyana and to the CARICOM region of which Guyana is an integral part.
Sir Ronald said regrettably, the situation in Guyana has become a political circus of tiresome ploys to hold on to power in a country that has not had a parliament for a year and a half. He commented too that the patience of the regional and international community has worn thin.
The Ambassador said it is therefore no surprise that action is now being taken in frustration over the recalcitrance of officials of the Guyana Elections Commission and the caretaker government.
In this regard, he was referring to the visa restrictions recently issued by the US Government against those who have been complicit in undermining democracy.