Alliance for Change (AFC) Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan says that while the Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon’s reaction to the ruling on Elections Petition 88/2020 was “too strong”, it was in no way an attack on the Judiciary.
The Chief Justice, Roxanne George, four days ago dismissed the petition. It was the second one to be thrown out in four months. These challenges were mounted by the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) following the March 2020 General and Regional Elections, which saw the APNU+AFC being voted out of office and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) returning to power.
Below is an excerpt from Harmon’s address to the nation following the court’s ruling:
“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.”
Ramjattan, when asked today for a response to Harmon’s reaction, said: “We have a right to express our views, sometimes very strongly, and it can be sometimes – for certain people – too strong. But I believe that the Leader of the Opposition in exerting what it is that he felt, or in a sense stating what he felt about the decision just after the decision was given, is not in anyway an attack of the Judiciary, in my mind.”
The AFC Leader said that he has heard “even worse words being used by Bharrat Jagdeo (Vice-President) when injunctions were granted in relation to certain matters brought by Miles Fitzpatrick and a battery of Senior Counsel, a couple of years ago.”
He said that Harmon’s comments must be taken “in good stead”.
“The important point here is Freedom of Expression is the hallmark of our democracy too. Respect for the Judiciary, yes, but Freedom of Expression too,” Ramjattan noted.
He added that in any ruling, there will always be those who will be ‘vexed’ and level criticisms. He accused the government of “exploiting” Harmon’s comments and “carrying it too far” to say that he attacked the Judiciary.
“Indeed, we tend to get disgusted with certain judges’ decisions, but after accepting it, we have to live with it. I’m certain that the Leader of the Opposition will abide by the decision, until of course, we get an appeal to reverse it,” Ramjattan said.
It seems that over the years, you have learnt how far you can push your tongue in Harmon’s asshole without swallowing too much shit. Same for Grainger and others blacks.
A thousand blacks were given jobs under the APNU-AFC when they were not qualified – or the jobs were created. What did you say to this?
Harmon is the most viciously racist: what do you say to this?
And you, asshole, are from the oldest civilization on earth. God help us