The ultimate objective of any judicial system is to resolve disputes in accordance with law. Any time a Court obstructs, rather than facilitate the resolution of a dispute before it, in any form or fashion, that Court would be departing from its conceptual role and indeed, its constitutional duty. The very survival of Guyana, as a Nation State, being part of the civilized and free world, is currently before the Courts of Guyana.
The quintessential issue of controversy is whether a recount of the ballots cast should be done. The law says that it is a mandatory facility available to any political party desirous of a recount. This request for a recount, made by eight (8) political parties, was denied for the most dubious reasons by a Returning Officer, whose credibility is damaged beyond redemption. Every major local organization has called for this recount. So, have all the political parties contesting the polls, including, the APNU+AFC. Every accredited international Observer Team has done similarly. Almost every diplomatic mission in Guyana and the Governments that they represent have called for this recount. CARICOM has gone as far as brokering an agreement between the President and the Leader of the Opposition to facilitate this recount and in this regard, an Aide Memoire was signed by the nation’s two foremost leaders to give effect to this recount.
The Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has given an undertaking to the Court, orally and in the form of a sworn Affidavit, to conduct this recount. The Chairperson, a former Appellate Court Judge, has submitted to the Court that GECOM has made a decision to conduct this recount; she emphasized that GECOM has the constitutional power and mandate to carry out this recount. She reminded the Court that GECOM is an autonomous independent body, exclusively charged with the responsibility to conduct elections. She has pleaded a case for GECOM to be allowed to discharge that mandate and has confirmed that GECOM was in the process of so doing, when injuncted by the Court. She implores the Court to recognize that GECOM must at all times act with fairness and impartiality and that it is imperative that GECOM be allowed to do so in a manner that will continue to inspire public confidence in the electoral machinery and the results generated therefrom.
The world has said to Guyana that no government, which assumes Office through the current declaration of the Region 4 results, would enjoy legitimacy and that a repertoire of sanctions will be unleashed upon Guyana, and personally against those who aided and abetted in the derailing of democracy at these elections.
Against this backdrop, why would a Court stand in the way of such an imminent resolution of the dispute before it by the authorized constitutional agency? In such a circumstance, any Court that hinders the resolution of this dispute becomes part of the problem and not the solution. The fair, just and expedient thing for a Court to do in these circumstances, is to hold its hands, while the constitutional institution discharges its mandate. After all, no Court has the jurisdiction to give legitimacy to that which is plainly illegitimate.
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