Last Updated on Friday, 16 April 2021, 13:06 by Denis Chabrol
Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon on Friday said there is no law allowing a Commission of Inquiry into general elections, even as he ruled out A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) participating in such a probe.
“The law is very clear as to how matters that have to do with elections, how they are settled so he will now have to create some new law that will then call for a Commission of Inquiry into these elections. Our position is the courts, that is where the authority lies,” he said.
Mr. Harmon said the opposition coalition would not be participating in any such Commission of Inquiry into the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections. “We are not going to be part of any pappy-show! We are not going to be part of any pappy-show! To show what? That the results that are there are not credible?,” he queried.
President Irfaan Ali said eventually he would order a Commission of Inquiry into the polls that had been marred by months of controversy over the accuracy over the results, in particular Region/ District Four (Demerara-Mahaica).
But Mr. Harmon said the inquiry was really being done through the two election petitions that have been filed in the High Court. “The two petitions that have been filed, that is where the inquiry will take place so this sham that Irfaan Ali is talking about a Commission of Inquiry. To what? ,” said the Opposition Leader.
One of the petitions into the details of what transpired throughout the election process has been already thrown out by the High Court and is now the subject of a hearing by the Guyana Court of Appeal. Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire will on April 26 decide on whether to dismiss the second petition that is largely based on the legality of the recount process by way of an order.
Restating that statutory documents were missing from more than 40 ballot boxes on the East Coast Demerara is a matter for the High Court, the Opposition Leader publicly told the President that “you can keep the Commission of Inquiry to yourself. That is not for the people of Guyana.”
A Presidential Commission of Inquiry can subpoena witnesses and order that documents be provided.
The governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and sections of the private sector have said there were blatant attempts by APNU+AFC to cheat the 2020 elections.