by Khemraj Ramjattan
It is a powerful statement indeed. A number of statements of similar messaging have come my way. Indeed it is stressful and debilitating to have to answer all the time. But as best as I could, I have fallen back on what is the best policy and posture in moments like these: the law and history.
As regards to the law, if we dispose of it we are all doomed! We must stick with it to the end. It will be bruising but it is all we have to cling to. Now that the Courts—both Chief Justice, Roxane George-Wiltshire and Justice Franklyn Holder—have ruled, there is a basis for what is to be done.
Secondly, as regards to history, I know of the Janet Jagan saga where a recount occurred and was overseen by Caricom, Cross Commission I think, but after she was sworn in. An elections petition had to be filed by Esther Perreira. I was in that case. Again, in 2006 when AFC won that Region 10 seat and we pleaded to have it corrected before results declared, then Chief Elections Officer, Gocool Boodhoo said, “Go file an elections petition”.
There must be a presumption of regularity of what Gecom does. We may suspect, have our concerns, be going crazy with what we believe might have gone wrong. But we have to believe until that presumption is rebutted. It is rebutted after an election ends and is completed by a swearing in of a President, and then by a Court with jurisdiction to hear witnesses, open and recount boxes…the whole gamut.
So Retired Major-General and former GECOM Chairman, Joseph Singh can say as he has done and we wholly respect that, but he must also respect the law. He has already made up his mind that some faction of the party has hijacked the process from His Excellency. This is utrageous!!!…unless I am behind the clouds.
This country will be in huge problems whichever party wins. And we must not abdicate any responsibility to ensure these problems are solved. The surest way there is, is being guided by the law and lessons of history.
Mr Khemraj Ramjattan is a long-serving Guyanese politician and prominent Attorney-at-Law who has fought a number of election-related cases. He is currently a government minister and Leader of the Alliance For Change which he co-founded.