See full statement from the Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon following the Chief Justice (CJ)’s dismissal of Election Petition 88 today:
My fellow Guyanese today the Chief Justice has ruled against our petition No. 88 of 2020. Today democracy was stabbed in the heart in this fair land of ours. We must and will lodge an appeal against this atrocious decision of the High Court.
Many of you previously expressed doubt and concern that the court will rule in our favour, given the pattern of its ruling in election cases recently. We continued to advise that the judicial system will rule in accordance with law.
I have myself urged that if we do not have a court whose decisions are sound in law, fair in its application of justice and perceived as impartial by the society, that critical element which holds us together as a nation will lose its credibility.
Today, like you, I am disappointed and feel let down by our judiciary but I remain fortified that our hierarchy of courts will correct this clear injustice which has been wrought on the Guyanese people.
This is a clear attempt to protect the installed PPP regime from scrutiny and from being removed from government where they have no right being.
The elections of March 2020 were flawed and fraudulent. The world knows this. The world has seen this. There was clear fraud. We saw that as plain as day when the boxes were opened.
Missing poll documents, dead people voting, people outside of Guyana recorded as voting, missing ballots, missing oaths of identity and a whole host of irregularities, discrepancies and wholesale fraud.
Today when we expected that the legal basis upon which the PPP regime was installed would have been swept away and the laws of Guyana being stringently and robustly upheld, we have been disappointed again by the decision of our courts.
This decision is not about justice, this is not about the people of Guyana, this is not about what is right, this is not about democracy, this is not about you. It is about protecting the status quo – no matter how corrupt that status quo is.
This struggle, since August last year, has been grueling and painful. We have suffered so much. So many of you have suffered so much since this installed PPP regime came into office eight months ago. Many of you have lost your jobs and livelihoods and the country has regressed and reversed into economic decline.
People are crying out everywhere. Prices are going up and people do not have money in their pockets. Hospitals do not have medication and crime is on the rise. These are dark days in our country but we must not give up.
I must take a moment to express my profuse thanks to our legal team and the many persons who supported them and toiled with them for days and nights to ensure that our case was well presented and airtight. I must single out our Mr. Roysdale Forde SC and John Jeremie QC. We owe them an immense debt of gratitude. Their case was solid but the system ruled against them as it ruled against us.
Comrades, I must especially thank you for your perseverance, your resilience, your confidence and your wherewithal. This is not the end.
We must appeal this at every level until justice is delivered to us.
We must keep hope alive, we must continue to fight. We must continue to work to remove the installed PPP regime.
Through it all you have been resilient and I salute you. We must continue to be resilient and stand firm against injustice. We fight against principalities and powers but our struggle is just and righteous and the struggle must continue. Today is a dark and ominous day for democracy in Guyana. The ruling of the court must strike fear in the hearts of all democracy-loving people in Guyana, in the Caribbean and across the world.
We have continuously called on our people to keep the peace, to remain calm and to uphold the law.
Today however we have witnessed once again the judicial system failing our people. The APNU+AFC cannot and will not be held responsible for the reaction of the victimised, disenfranchised and marginalised masses. We will continue to fight and we wish to make it clear that all options remain open to us.
It was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said that, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
I urge you, I plead with you to keep the faith. We shall overcome.