The delay in the declaration of the results of the 2020 polls continues to baffle many transparency advocates, especially when one considers the reasons for which the matter is being prolonged. One such person who is flabbergasted at the events which have unfolded is Sir Ronald Sanders, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the United States and the Organisation of American States.
In his most recent writings, Sir Ronald registered his discontent with the constant cycle of appeals to the Courts by supporters of the APNU+AFC which have stymied the conclusion of the electoral process. He noted that this continues to be the state of affairs even after the highest Appellate Court, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), pronounced on the matter. The CCJ had essentially ruled on July 8, last, that Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, should follow the directive of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chair, Justice (retired) Claudette Singh. Her clear directive was that he prepare his report on the elections results using the data from the national recount.
This matter was subsequently challenged by an APNU+AFC supporter and counting agent, Misenga Jones in the High Court. Jones had contended that the ruling by the CCJ was unconstitutional and asked that it be set aside. Chief Justice (Acting), Roxane George-Wiltshire did not rule in Jones’ favour. She passed a judgment that categorically stated that the results should be declared using the results of the national recount which concluded on June 8, last. The outcome of that process showed that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) won the 2020 polls.
With the foregoing in mind, Sir Ronald sought to note that appeals being made to lower courts to overturn the CCJ’s judgment is without a doubt, an unprecedented act in the history of global judicial systems.
Going forward, the Ambassador said it is quite clear that the electoral system requires root and branch transformation. But more than anything else, he said it is imperative that those who seek political office should understand that they are elected to serve the nation, and not to become the nation’s overlords. “And, when the majority of the electorate vote to relieve them of office, they should leave, recognizing that political office is not their right to hold; it is the people’s right to give and to take away,” the Ambassador concluded.