In the recording of history, one’s objectivity becomes enmeshed with my story, his story and history itself. How do we separate my story, his story from history itself? My long standing friend, Devo (Professor Hubert Devonish from the Linguistics Department of the Mona campus of the UWI) in a 2004 research presentation titled, “Black My Story not History: The Walter Rodney Story,” puts it this way; “The study of the story of one’s society is not an objective factual “his- story” but of how each one of us came into being, a very subjective My Story.”
Understanding the story of the 2011 general elections falls into this line of thinking. The focus is on the My Story of Tacuma Ogunseye, the PNC’s story and objective truth. What really happened on November 2011?
Tacuma Ogunseye has become the first high ranking member of the broad coalition APNU to have publicly asserted that the poll was rigged.
On Sunday night on television, Ogunseye argued that the 2011 election was rigged but did not elaborate. The statement is pregnant with analytical angles. Why would a formidable force in the Guyanese social structure, the PNC accept to be cheated out of power by an organization, the PPP that itself accused the PNC of rigging elections? Why would the winner of a general election just fold its arms, and walk away from its rightful ownership of the governmental machine?
Ogunseye briefly mentioned that he believes that the PNC avoided confrontation because it accepted a deal involving the PPP and foreign powers. This writer is in possession of a statement from accountant Nigel Hinds, who was asked by the leadership of APNU to analyse the statements of poll. His conclusion communicated APNU was that the election results were not reliable. The words “not unreliable” were chosen by Hinds over “rigged,” “fraudulent,” “flawed,” and other similar adjectives. What does Hinds mean by “unreliable?”
This columnist has heard many influential figures in the PNC say that the PNC won a plurality of the votes but these were spoken privately and the speakers will not allow themselves to be quoted. So far only Ogunseye has come out publicly. But Ogunseye has always been a fierce voice of independence and for the forty years I have know him he will not hesitate to speak his mind.
What post-election arrangement is Ogunseye talking about? A very prominent lawyer who was a close confidante of President Burnham explained to me why the PNC did not take to extra-parliamentary roads to force a confrontation over the results. He said the Americans made promises to the APNU leadership.
When I write a commentary of this nature, I usually get bombarded the next day for my opinion. What follows then is my assessment but it is informed by my presence on polling day, and speaking to many informed political actors including my friends in the WPA and the AFC.
It is my opinion that APNU won the plurality of votes in the 2011 elections by a very tiny majority. I would put it as no more than two percent. I also believe the AFC got about one percent more of what was declared. I also believe that Ogunseye is in the right direction when he spoke about a brokered deal by foreign powers. He meant the Americans.
It is my understanding that the Americans requested no action from the PNC (not APNU; APNU is not a national political party in the way the PNC is) out of concern for the resulting consequences – violence, extensive instability, effects on the Caribbean and refugee problems for the Americans.
In turn, the Americans gave the assurance to the PNC (with Rupert Roopnarine from the WPA included) that the ABC countries will pressure the PPP to implement power-sharing.
Mr. Corbin put pressure on the PNC leadership to accept this covenant and Dr. Roopnaraine felt that given the little years left in his political career, it would be in his interest to go along with the agreement. I believe Dr. Roopnaraine has not shared this sensitivity with the WPA at both the formal level or through his personal relationship with selected members of the WPA leadership.
Mr. Granger chose to please Mr. Corbin but without Corbin, Mr. Granger would still have bought into the American rendezvous. Whether the AFC liked it or not there was nothing it could have done about the post-election scenario. And there is division in the AFC about whether the elections were rigged. In any case, the American-led arrangement is also within the AFC’s interest because it feels the PPP will lose future elections.
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