I note with interest the expanded role the Carter Centre intends to play in our upcoming General and Regional Elections.
On the face of it, every right-thinking Guyanese should welcome individuals and groups offering to help by sharing their experiences and affection.
However, I boldly express a view held earlier. This involvement, monitoring or intervening by external elements in important matters such as National Elections could be interpreted as a negation of what true Independence and sovereignty means.
It is and has always been my view, that if we are truly independent, is incumbent that our leaders and people be able to demonstrate the characteristics of maturity and have the intellectual strength to navigate through every troubled water.
Elsewhere, there are issues affecting powerful nations related to the question of “interference” in National Elections. These have made headlines. Guyanese should draw lessons from the underlying principles of what involvement or interference by external agencies, really means.
Sensible people with responsible Leaders must be able to identify the problems and difficulties and talk, talk and talk to find a modus vivendi.
When the Carter Centre became involved in Elections, you recall that there was abroad, the belief, that the mantra of the Carter Centre was regime change.
In 1992, it is apt to be reminded that many voters whose names appeared on the posted Voters’ List in certain areas turned up on voting day to discover that their names were not on the list being used by the Staff of the Returning Officer.
There were three such examples in the Polling Division in Lodge, where I was a registered voter. It was clear that some lists given to the Elections Officers for use at some Polling places were compromised.
In the case of Lodge Housing Scheme where this flaw was observed, I complained to Mr. Rudy Collins, then Chairman of the Elections Commission. He immediately dispatched the Senior Elections Officer, Mr. Stanley Singh, who confirmed and was satisfied that the three names that did not appear on the list given to the Election Officials, were there on the original list posted at the ground floor of the Enterprise Primary School in Lodge.
Mr. Singh removed that list which had the names of the three persons and suggested that that list be used since it appeared to be the authentic list, which was posted up earlier and seen by the Community.
The Elections Officer informed Mr. Singh that the instructions were to use the list supplied to them that morning and no other.
It is no secret, that some of those lists were printed late the evening or early Election Day. In fact, in one Polling place in West Demerara, the list arrived after the official opening of polling (6 am).
The situation referred to above was replicated in other parts of Georgetown, and we should recall there were near riots on Election Day in the City due to the frustration of persons who had earlier seen their names on the list posted, and names had disappeared on the list being used.
At the instance of the then President Hoyte, certain functionaries of the Carter Centre and Dr. Reid, they proposed and apparently accepted that persons finding themselves in this dilemma should be allowed to vote using a “Tendered Ballot”. This was intended to appease the angry disenfranchised. Of course, a “Tendered Ballot” is not counted.
Editor, you recall my strong objection to this recommendation and deemed it the response of a schoolboy to a serious and vexatious situation.
My other concern was that the Carter Centre personnel seem to concentrate their scrutiny in areas, which were known PNC strongholds and seem to cast a “Nelson’s eye” in certain of the areas.
I mention the above because I sincerely hope that GECOM and the contesting parties ensure that equal attention is paid to each and every area throughout Guyana by these foreign observers.
If these “friends” cannot with equal fervour cover all areas in Guyana, and I state each and every area, it would be difficult to extend a warm welcome to them.
People who come from certain States of the USA will appreciate my concern expressed, for it was Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S President who said “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”
I pray for a fair Elections process, with a list that is not bloated.
Feb 28, 2020Guyana’s ‘Lady Jags’ go down to Mexico; focus now turn to round-of-16 Guyana’s ‘Lady Jaguars’ went down to group winners Mexico by a 0-3 margin last night at the Olimpico Felix Sanchez...
Feb 28, 2020
Feb 28, 2020
Feb 28, 2020
Feb 28, 2020
Feb 28, 2020
I refer readers to my column titled, “Claudette Singh, Lennox Shuman, GECOM and tragic Guyana” of Saturday, February... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]