Justice system unresponsive to Opposition – Ganga Persaud

first_imgScores of protesters picketed near GECOM’s building, calling for its Chairman and CEO to be removedPPP General Secretary Clement Rohee protesting in front of the High Court for the election petition to be expedited…as PPP/C supporters protest election petition delaySupporters and members of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) turned out in their numbers to protest against the delay of the election petition in the High Court, calling also for GECOM Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally to be removed along with Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield.PPP Member Ganga Persaud remonstrated that the petition was filed since June 2015 and it was yet to be heard in the court.“What we are doing is expressing our concerns that an elections petition that has been filed for many months now is still to be heard by the High Court. There are many Guyanese who would like to know that this petition is heard and a decision is made,” he said, noting that justice entailed a concern being echoed and addressed.Therefore, he stated that the holdup of the hearing did not bode well for the justice system. He stated that the Chief Justice had to openly state what was preventing the case from being heard.Persaud had filed the ex-parte application shortly after the PPP/C lost the May 2015 General and Regional Elections to the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition. The Party has since claimed that the elections were rigged by the present Government, and has insisted that GECOM’s Chairman and CEO be dismissed.The petition was filed on the grounds that there were voting by unregistered persons, multiple voting, unsealed or improperly sealed ballot boxes, PPP/C ballot attendants and counting agents prevented  from accompanying ballot boxes and the counting of PPP/C votes in favour of the APNU/AFC coalition. The petition also asked the court to order a recount of all the ballots cast on that day.Persaud said that “the results that have been derived from the process cannot be credibly deemed to represent accurately the will of the electorate.”Surrounded by picketers, who were holding up placards saying that “justice should be served”, Persaud stated that the system, at this time, seemed to be extremely unresponsive to the call of the PPP/C and to what the Constitution dictated.“This is an elections petition. Election matters ought to be given first preference in our country and for not doing that something seems to be terribly amiss,” he contended.PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee also called for the petition to be heard. However, he was more adamant that Dr Surujbally should be removed from office, along with Lowenfield.  He said the picketing exercises would continue until there was reform in GECOM.Other protesters screamed that Lowenfield lied about the batteries and the pliers for which GECOM controversially overpaid. Rohee argued that while Lowenfield was contending that the batteries and pliers were tendered for under the PPP/C Administration, the evidence revealed that GECOM was the sole procurer of the equipment.“There is no transparency and a lack of accountability, and so we hope that the audit that is currently being done will reveal all the facts and those who are found responsible will have to face the full brunt of the law in terms of whatever the audit recommends,” he said.last_img

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