“We will not bend”- Joseph Harmon

—’govt standing strong in face of wrong’

—’Guyana’s elections clearly about other interests’

DPI, Guyana, Thursday July 16, 2020

Campaign co-manager of the APNU+AFC Coalition Joseph Harmon today said the government will continue to stand firm in the face of all attempts by forces to violate Guyana’s rule of law.

“We will not bend,” Harmon said this morning during a press conference where he addressed the ongoing attempts to prevent His Excellency President David Granger from being declared the winner of the March 2 elections, despite the polls showing so.

Harmon’s pronouncement also comes on the heel of a statement from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday announcing visa restrictions for persons he said are undermining democracy in Guyana.   

But the Coalition’s leader said everyone is aware that there has been no declaration made by the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). Further, he noted that there has been no declaration in favour of the opposition PPP on which the Chairman can act.

“So, to require you to concede or to hand over or step down in the circumstances is an ultra-constitutional action they are requiring us to take. I do not believe that any government who swore to uphold the Constitution of this country can, in fact, take any measure that is in violation of that Constitution,” he told journalists.  

Harmon said the PPP and the rest of Guyana are aware that the Coalition has the greater number of votes in the elections. However, “these elections seem no longer to be about the Guyanese people but about other interests,”. He reminded that the electoral process is still not complete and that calls to concede in the circumstance are premature.

Harmon said after three submissions by the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) showing an APNU+AFC victory, the PPP continues to place obstacles in the way of the Chairman in declaring “David Granger as President.”

One such obstacle has now taken the issue before the High Court. The PPP has been insisting that the GECOM Chair makes a declaration based on the numbers emanating from a national vote recount, a process invalidated by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

The Court on July 8 ruled that Order 60 or the National Recount Order used to facilitate the national recount was in tension with the Guyana Constitution and all other electoral laws. However, the PPP believes that the figures from that should be used.  

Harmon said the insistence is a “coercive ploy and violation of constitution and law and to this, we will not bend.”

Meanwhile, addressing the statement by the US Secretary of State, Harmon said the timing seems aimed at exerting undue influence on the Judge who has to deal with the matter in the high court.

He said while Guyana remains an independent sovereign state that respects and cherishes the relations at the diplomatic levels with all states, “We stand firmly against any threat or action aimed at violating the trust which exists between our leadership and our people.”

He reminded that Guyana has always had excellent diplomatic relations with those countries. And while the current issue may just be a “blip” with those countries, ultimately the government’s priority and major interest are for the well being of the people of Guyana.

“Today we assure the people of Guyana that we will continue to stand firm. Our cause is just and we are confident in the victory of good over evil,” he proclaimed.