One of the happiest days of my life (before the day that my daughter was born) was when Forbes Burnham died. To me, that man was the worst and most evil person who had ever lived. He took it upon himself to take our freedom and to decide what the citizens of this beloved country should own to some extent or even worse of all what we should eat. Nobody does that to me, nobody. I hated everything about him, except when I got the message that he had died. I can’t (and really don’t care) to even remember the year or date that he died, I was a lad then and I was just glad that he had died. However, every era has its share of experiences and if a person is smart and fair-minded you can put things in better perspective as you get older and be able to compare and learn from events of the past. Even realise that you made some mistakes in judgment of people or places that you were affected by. That being said, in retrospect, I probably owe Mr. Burnham an apology, he had some steadfast core values and not everything was bad about him. I’ll explain in a bit.
Fast forward to present day, in fact, let’s back up a bit to December 2018. As we all know, a no confidence motion was carried against the Government by the Opposition mainly because of severe neglect of the citizens, the ill and tyrannical use of power and unbelievable blatant corruption by them in such a short time. It became too much to bear by anyone of sound mind and integrity. Something had to be done to stop them before it was too late for the country to recover. Thankfully, the no confidence motion was validly passed in the National Assembly on the 21st December, 2018 and the government was toppled. Here is where an incredible chapter in history begins. President “Credible Elections” Granger boldly announced soon thereafter, that he and his government would respect the result of the no confidence motion. As per normal in any democratic society, the cabinet has to resign, parliament dissolved and elections held within 90 days. The government then adopts a caretaker mode until another (or incumbent) president is sworn in. Nothing difficult to understand there…well for the average person I should say. No confidence motions are nothing new, unusual or shameful, it has happened many times in the past and will happen many times more in the future in many parts of the world. So, as the law prescribed, elections were to be held in Guyana on the 31 March, 2019.
Today is the 18th September, 2019 over eight months after the motion was passed and nothing near to honouring the constitution or the simple rule of law is even attempted or in the making by this government! Forget the corruption, forget the stealing of tax payers’ money, forget the excessive waste of government funds, blatant abuse of power and total neglect of the citizens – which was the very instrument that triggered the no confidence motion in the first place! Forget all of that for a bit, let us just deal with the solid facts here.
Soon after publicly announcing that the government would respect and abide by the decision in the National Assembly they took action to appeal! The honorable Speaker of the House upheld his decision. They then moved to the High Court. That court upheld the decision. They then moved further to the Court of Appeal (someone there probably got nicely paid off) and that ruling was in favour of the government. Here now the Opposition was forced to counter with several lawsuits in order to protect the Constitution of Guyana and approached the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) for a final decision. There the case was held expeditiously I should say and the CCJ upheld the rules of the Guyana Constitution and they handed down the judgment. The clock started ticking again on 18th June, 2019. Plus, the (CCJ) ruled in favour of the Opposition that the chairman of GECOM was illegally appointed by “Credible Elections” Granger! Due to shame the illegal chairman almost immediately resigned. After immense pressure by the Opposition we finally got another chairperson of GECOM whom Mr. Granger is taking credit now for “working expeditiously” with the Opposition in appointing! This government is shameless and low and it is always possible for them go even lower and be worse than the outer limits of worst.
Here is where I will make reference again to Mr. Burnham. He was a tyrant and a dictator, he (along with his right hand Granger) allegedly rigged elections in the past. However, Mr. Burnham was honourable and wise enough to always remain within the laws and the Constitution of Guyana. Mr. Burnham was never ruling in any illegal capacity for even one minute. He had integrity and obeyed the law.
Thanks to this retroactively illegal (now absolutely illegal) government, we definitely have our place marked by this dirty bunch. It is really unfortunate for us that throughout history only infamous people and events are synonymous with Guyana. Nobody knew Guyana years ago unless you mentioned Jim Jones. Now on this 18th day of September, 2019, we will be famously remembered once again as the first country to boldly disobey the rule of law and the constitution, which is the heart of any democratic country.
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