Mr. Freddie Kissoon has had a long career as a political commentator and social activist and I have always respected his independence and courage and valued his insights into political matters. We have never met and I know him only through his writings and news reports. However, his most recent commentaries have caused me to take a different view of his political activism. He seems to increasingly revel in self-pity and self-promotion, intemperate language and abuse of those he seems to disagree with, wild imaginings and speculation and pandering to crass political interests.
Earlier this year, Kissoon had declared that he believed that the sitting, majority, APNU/AFC government had instigated a coup d’état because it did not resign following the supposed passage of the NCV in December, 2018 but chose to pursue available legal and constitutional remedies to continue in office. Kissoon’s coup clearly did not employ military force to usurp power or overthrow a legal government. Moreover, Mr. Kissoon is aware that members of the National Assembly of Guyana are representatives of a Party List and not independent actors and that the APNU/AFC government won 50.3% of the vote at the 2015 elections and were awarded 33 of the 65 seats in the National Assembly. Charandass Persaud’s vote supporting the PPP/C’s NCM was not an act of patriotism, heroism or democratic virtue.
More recently, in his May 16, 2019 Kaieteur News column, he claims to “ believe the upcoming poll in Guyana will be tampered with by APNU+AFC” and that he sees “an improper general election where the West gets involved to bring about an APNU+AFC majority or APNU+AFC by itself rigs the poll”. He also believes that “the result of a free election, one of the two major parties will win a plurality, but not a majority” but does not provide any basis for these contradictory, self-serving and partisan claims intended at political destabilization. Mr. Kissoon knows that the PPP/C was defeated by APNU+AFC coalition politics and that there is no logical reason to resort to illegal means to continue in office; in the last two election cycles, during which the PPP/C were in government; the PPP/C lost the popular vote having secured 48.60% in 2011, and 49.19% in 2015 in elections deemed free and fair by Kissoon. It is not clear if he is now suggesting that those elections were fraudulent and that APNU+AFC were the architects. The PPP/C has never accepted the results of the 2015 elections alleging electoral fraud and collusion with the international community. Mr. Kissoon is also aware that given Guyana’s system of apportioning seats in the National Assembly it is possible for one party to significantly increase their representation without a commensurate increase in vote count.
In his May 18, 2019 Mr. Kissoon chooses to claim as settled fact what has always been disputed and to deliberately misconstrue developments to support an absurd and scandalous proposition when he claims that “for over 23 years the Carter-Price article in the constitution produced free and fair elections, and suddenly a new political leadership in government derecognizes it and went in the unilateral direction”.
It is common knowledge that the opposition PNC/R in 1997 and APNU in 2011 as well as the governing PPP/C in 2015 disputed the results of those elections and certainly did not consider those elections free and fair. Moreover, it was the PPP/C which demanded, and secured, the resignation of the previous GECOM Chairman, Dr. Surujbally, who was appointed by a PPP/C President, because of their electoral loss, thereby instigating the process of selecting a new chairman more amenable to the PPP. Kissoon knows as well as anyone that the Carter-Price formula, which allocated three seats each to the ruling and opposition parties, never intended to grant the opposition a fourth seat, but sought to have a compromise, good faith, selection as Chairman. That the formula failed to work as anticipated cannot reasonably be attributed to President Granger. It is the President, whether PPP/C or APNU/AFC, that selects and appoints the Chairman of GECOM with the participation of the Opposition Leader in the nomination process; the Opposition Leader does not, and never did, choose the GECOM Chairman as Kissoon asserts. It is a simple fact that our politics, at this time, does not contribute to compromise or consensus and Kissoon clearly desires neither but is purposefully engaged in the unfolding campaign to drive racial hostility and political instability in the run-up to the next general elections. He seems to suggest that a Leader of the PNC appointing a judge as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission is evidence, in itself, of fraudulent intent and that elections in Guyana are only free and fair under PPP administrations.
His purpose now seems to be to use his media platform to sustain visceral attacks on the APNU/AFC which he is determined to portray as the enemy of the Guyanese people and to produce evidence of criminal intent and conduct before the commission of a crime.
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