On the day in this month that APNU+AFC achieved four years in office, the Caribbean Court of Justice metaphorically handed that government a
horrible birthday gift. That generosity came in a package with several items, but three important accoutrements need emphatic discussion. One relates to GECOM’s attitude the day after December 21, 2018, when the no-confidence vote (NCV) was passed. The other is connected to the constitutional amendment that was designed to remove possibilities of national instability over the shape of GECOM.
One of the judges observed that the elections machinery should be in a state of preparedness, because there was a NCV coming up. Then the judge made an enlightening observation. He asked why after the NCV, wasn’t GECOM active in arranging for a national election. He said that should have been done, because after the NCV, there was no court case.
It is this kind of rotten society that has caused our CARICOM neighbours to ostracise us for more than seventy years. I don’t travel anymore, but when I visited CARICOM countries, you encounter one of the world’s amazing ironies. Caribbean folks are floored by our wealth and large size, but still they don’t factor those two essentials into their conceptualisation of Guyana. And that conceptualisation uses biased lenses because of our sickening political culture. Caribbean people do not evaluate us based on the richness of the largest CARICOM land, but the permanent societal instability that we have been drowning in since 1953.
GECOM knew a NCV occurred, but for weeks and weeks, GECOM did not raise a pen, pencil or voice in the direction of holding a national election. And there was no excuse, because there was no challenge then to the NCV and the President and the PM conceded that an NCV took place. What is the world thinking when it reads those remarks by one of the judges of the CCJ?
You were either deemed a racist if you were Indian or a PPP supporter or if you were African Guyanese you would have been characterised as a betrayer of Black people. None of the people making those sickening declarations ever mentally acknowledged that people were concerned more with the future of their country rather than being driven by ethnic impulses. I have stopped opening emails by certain diaspora folks who do not appreciate my support for the NCV and Charrandass.
My family lives in Guyana. They and their families live in post-modern societies far away from Guyana. I want a future for my country. I want the PPP, the PNC and AFC out of my country. They are rotten carcasses that have destroyed my homeland. I don’t care whose hair is curly or straight or who is Muslim or Christian or who is Black or Indian. I want to see my country stable, calm, and be a functioning democracy. Unlike the dual citizen politicians who want to rule my country, I have one type of citizenship – Guyanese.
The second accoutrement is the observation by President of the CCJ, Justice Saunders, that the constitution was changed to remove the old structure, whereby the president appoints the chairman of the election machinery (see my Saturday last column, “The CCJ judges’ questions are giving the APNU+AFC angina pains.”) all by himself.
The constitution was amended after 1990 to extirpate from the entire biology of this nation, the Harold Bollers symptom. Bollers is a bad memory which we should forget. Bollers reminds me of the untold years of my youth, picketing for free and fair elections. Bollers was the exclusive choice of President Burnham to head the election machinery.
So Justice Saunders enquired of one of the lawyers for the Guyana Government that if the constitution was amended to do away with the Bollers syndrome (my use of words), then if the president can still pick his person, then what purpose does the amendment serve? What Justice Sanders maybe didn’t know is that the Guyana Government consists of a coalition of parties.
One is the party that Walter Rodney gave his life for – WPA. That party fought courageously for the abolition of the Bollers syndrome. But last year, it supported the unilateral action of the president in appointing Justice Patterson as GECOM’s chairman. Another party is the AFC, which promised Guyanese that it would rid Guyana of the political culture of the PPP and PNC. Its three leaders – Nagamootoo, Ramjattan and Trotman – endorsed the president arrogating to himself the privilege of appointing the GECOM Chairman.
Finally, another judge wondered that based on the nature of the NCV, why our judicial system didn’t hear the cases earlier. Our judges took a long time to hear a case that should have been given absolute priority.
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