This columnist is of the inflexible view that when people fall ill, depending on who they are, humans must sympathize. By “depending,” I mean that some humans are terrible and should not be part of civilized society.
Just in case you forgot, the world has horrible people that would do horrible things to innocent lives. An obligation in civilized society is that we must always, at all times, extend our good feeling to those who are ill.
The Chief Elections Officer (CEO) has taken ill. I would like to think that we can see him in perfect health in literally days. But the work of GECOM must go on, and has to go on. People have reduced their country to PPP versus PNC. Guyana comes last. You can violate the constitution, throw laws out the window, trample upon sacred, legal values, once these things are done either to favour the PNC or the PPP.
For me, as someone trained in history, I know it comes back to haunt you. When you come to power and you make it legal to go through a red light because you want someone to have a special privilege in a certain village, when the shoe is on the other foot, it will come back to hurt you.
I am tired of telling people – up to this morning (yesterday) – that I will not vote for the PPP. I do not want to see the PPP back in power, but I do not see the difference between the PPP and PNC, so I do not want to see the PNC and AFC back in power. I believe either one will win a minority presidency, but I want to see that the minority government’s wings clipped. It is simple, because of a lack of majority in the House, the minority regime will have to compromise and offer concessions that could deepen democracy.
Against this background, I am in support of the process whereby the ruling party must give meticulous recognition to what the sacred paper of Guyana stipulates. Our highest law-making body has ruled that a no-confidence motion (NCM) was passed. The Speaker of the House admitted he had the power to overturn the decision based on arguments presented to him, but he chose to allow for litigation in the court. Our highest court has ruled that the December 2018 NCM was passed. It also ruled there must be elections three months after the NCM.
The president did not call a date for elections, because his party had a right to litigate. It was not the president who held up the elections by months. The court procedures are responsible for that. Court drama is over. Elections should be held this month. That is too late now. But elections should be held not far from September. If the list of registered voters has to be fumigated, it can be done without a period that takes us to March.
It would appear that there is a chairperson in GECOM that has accepted that our constitution is the requirement for a country to be democratic. It would appear she has seen the legal need for GECOM to observe the constitution. And while we are on this promising moment, Mr. Lowenfield became ill. But the work of GECOM has to go on, and must go on right away.
The most important person in Guyana, even if Guyana has multi-billionaires, is the president. He spent time in Cuba and the government continued, because it has a deputy. The man charged with preserving national security, the Police Commissioner was on leave, and national security was preserved, because the force has a deputy.
In July, the University of Guyana’s Vice Chancellor resigned. The university’s administration is continuing because of the three deputies – one is senior and is carrying on the university’s business.
The CEO of GECOM cannot be indispensible. There cannot be and must not be a situation in GECOM where, for logistical reasons, once the CEO is not there, the nerves of GECOM cannot function.
One would hope that the CEO is back at his desk today when GECOM will make some important decisions that will have to do with the timetable for elections. If the CEO is not there, one would like to think the machinery will be set in motion for the preparation of a national election before December 2019.
I leave with a warning to short-sighted people. If the election produces a minority PPP government, the APNU-AFC coalition has a chance to topple it through an NCM. Do not curse the bridge you have to cross.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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