The Stabroek News ran two editorials condemning Volda Lawrence’s advocacy at the Kitty Market Square campaign meeting of her party. I will liken Ms Lawrence to her leader, David Granger. I accused Mr. Granger in my column of Sunday, January 19, 2020 under the caption “David Granger epitomizes the inherent flaws of Homo sapiens”, of not learning from the past.
In case you missed that analysis, my condemnation centered on his description of the existence of a clause in the constitution, the no-confidence motion (NCM), as nonsense, and his intention to get rid of it if he is reelected as president. I suggested to Granger that he was being impertinent to history and needs to learn from the mistakes of the past.
The early holding of general elections by President Ramotar in 2015 and his prior prorogation of parliament was a result of Ramotar’s paranoia that the AFC’s NCM, introduced in 2014, brought about. Ramotar prorogued parliament, thus preventing the NCM, because the NCM would have toppled him. I reminded Granger of those series of events and further suggested that if the PPP wins the 2020 poll by one seat, an NCM can remove President Irfaan Ali.
Back to Lawrence. She told her attendees that after the polls close on voting day “At 6 o clock, you return to work at the places of polling and you will remain out there and let our staff inside know you are out there … Comrades, you have to remain there until they get it right, until they have counted all ballots and the returning officer comes outside and paste up the statement of polls and then our nice strong men will be mobilised to follow that ballot box for it to go into that container and have the APNU+AFC padlock and chain placed on that container to protect our ballots.”
In my opinion this is dangerous advocacy. There is a subliminal message in that emanation. If you chose not to see it, I have seen it. Ms Lawrence has not learned from the past. Is she capable of? Or is it that she is capable but for Guyanese politicians, power is a priority not the stable, peaceful future of Guyana.
Ms. Lawrence has to know that it is such deportment over the past seventy years by PNC leaders that has caused other sections of the community to see the PNC as having an inherent willingness to use inflammatory rhetoric, thus distancing themselves from the PNC.
One should not be naïve to think that the PPP has not resorted to violent demagoguery over the past seventy years. They have, but maybe they are smarter than the PNC mandarins. They boil their inflammatory brew at the bottom house meetings where the world misses it, because the press was not there. In the case of the Kitty Market Square advocacy, it was made public the next day by the media who were there watching, listening and recording.
The Stabroek editorials offer a reason why Ms. Lawrence went the route she took at Kitty Market Square – fear of losing and when that happens, the PNC will fall back on the “street thing.” This is not the first time since the NCM in December 2018 that acidic rhetoric has been generated by PNC leaders.
Remember Winston Jordan’s outburst at Bartica after the CCJ ruled that the NCM was validly voted on? Addressing a Cabinet outreach meeting in his capacity as minister and not in his capacity as a politician, he told the attendees; “comrades, from today, war break” in reference to the ongoing national registration. He shouted, “no registration, no election.” GECOM stopped House to House Registration and the election is about a month away. Jordan is yet to tell Guyanese if in stopping House to House Registration (HTHR), there will still be an election in March. Has Jordan’s war break call turned into break wind?
At the same Bartica Cabinet event, Nagamootoo, donning the green colours of the PNC, told his listeners that if there is no HTHR then the youths will not be on the list, they will not accept being disenfranchised and there will be trouble in the country. HTHR has ceased, there are no youth rebellions, and no one has since claimed that the youths will be disenfranchised. Of course, the youths in Nagamootoo’s home village of Whim in Berbice may rebel, but not against the ending of HTHR, but against Nagamootoo himself.
Can one say that the mouths of Jordan, Nagamootoo and now Lawrence betray a Freudian fear inside their minds of losing, thus the tempestuous rhetoric, the incitement, the subliminal message? Is Guyana’s future at stake if there is a loss?
(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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