They say a leopard cannot change its spots. But we do not know.
All of the socialist parties of Guyana now have an anathema towards anything that can be associated with socialism. Today, all of the parties that once brandished socialist dogma are now keeping their distance from anything that even remotely is associated with that ideology.
So some things do change. Yet there remains a great deal that has not changed, and when it comes to the PNCR, one should not expect a great deal of change in their politics, because historically that party has hardly ever come up with anything original.
The antics that are presently playing out with the results of the elections should surprise no one. We have seen this all before. It is nothing new.
The PNCR is yet to convince the Guyanese people that it can respect the democratic will of the people. Even after the 2006 elections, the PNCR tried to create suspicion over the electoral process and demanded a new and costly house-to-house registration. Well that has not helped them to do any better than they did in 1992 and 1997, despite rebranding their electoral image by entering the 2011 elections as a partnership.
The PNC has never won an election in this country, yet it is notorious for contesting the results of elections in the public domain. It freely enters into an electoral contest knowing the rules, and when it loses it, either cries foul or tries to alter the rules so that it can secure a better chance in the future. When it fails again, the same thing goes. The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Economically, the PNC has never produced an original developmental concept. When in office it staggered its way through, borrowing here and there, playing things by ear. But it is its reaction to electoral defeats that is almost consistently always the same.
In 1997, the PNCR lost the elections. However, it had thousands of its supporters marching through the streets under the mistaken belief that the elections had been stolen from them. The poor supporters of the PNCR were saying that their votes had been taken from them, indicating that the results of the elections had been tampered with.
Eventually an agreement was reached for the PPP to reduce its term and for an audit of the elections. The auditors were from Caricom and they came and went through every single ballot box, cross-checking these with the statements of polls.
At the end of it all, they found nothing that would have altered the overall results of the elections. This was the verdict after the PNCR had spent weeks having its supporters march throughout the streets of the city crying foul about the election results.
When the report was handed over, the most memorable scene was the sight of former President Desmond Hoyte flipping through the pages of the report, frantically trying to find a line that would give him some respite from the disgrace that he and his party were about to face in the eyes of the world. Having all along claimed electoral fraud, the results of the audit confirmed the results of the elections.
The PNCR however demanded as part of the deal, constitutional reforms, and it got that. It will demand that again, beginning with a call for the reconstitution of GECOM.
GECOM has to be made the scapegoat for APNU’s failure and in particular, without any just cause, APNU wants the removal of the Chief Elections Officer and the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission.
But perhaps APNU needs to be reminded that it was one of its main partners that recommended to Mr. Desmond Hoyte the name of Mr. Surujbally to be included in the list of persons submitted by the leader of the opposition, then Mr. Desmond Hoyte, to the President of Guyana, from which he had to choose one as Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission.
The public and the supporters need to be told that the present Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission was not foisted on that body by the government. He was a nominee of the opposition and found favour with the president. Let the truth be told.
Let the truth be told that that man and the Chief Elections Officers have delivered the best elections this country has ever seen and the only reason why these two men’s reputations are being dragged into the mud is because APNU is looking for a scapegoat.
Yet APNU did very well in the elections, but simply could not close the gap on the PPP, despite the PPP underperforming due to overconfidence on its and its supporters’ part.
But as everything else, this is no new story. Everything that has unfolded so far since November 28, 2011, has happened before, and almost everything that follows would have followed some past script.
There is nothing original in what is taking place and there will be nothing original between now and the next elections.
AUBREY NORTON FRIGHTEN RENEGOTIATION AND RING-FENCING
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