Mar 23, 2020 Letters
Your editorial (March 22) is right that “we are now alone in Guyana” but in reality we are not alone as the world cares and is watching what has been taking place since March 2. There are Guyanese who would prefer for us to be left alone so that they can do their thing. But the world would not allow it. Regardless of which party one supports, Guyanese must accept the will of the electorate.
I have been listening, reading and surveying public opinions (and views) through various media (including newspaper and social media, chatter groups, and personal conversations) since the several foiled attempts to rig the results of the March 2 elections. These views were obtained from outlets and interactions in Guyana and in the Guyanese diaspora. I was (am) more interested in Guyanese reactions to the American position of “serious consequences coming if an illegitimate government is formed” (from a fraudulent count) that does not reflect the true will of the electorate. But I paid particular attention to their views on ABCE (and international observers’) position on the declaration of (fraudulent or bogus) results; ABCE refers to America, Britain, Canada, European. The findings are most interesting though not largely unexpected. It was on partisan lines as also reflected in the actual authentic results of the elections.
What I have found is that those who support the APNU+AFC Coalition are not pleased with the American or foreigners’ position on the fraudulent count declared by Mingo and GECOM. More specifically, APNU+AFC supporters’ position is that America and foreigners (BCE countries and international observers) should mind their own business and don’t instruct GECOM on the vote count or declaration of results. It is interesting to note that this position is also taken by Guyanese Americans who support the Coalition. (Are they not pleased with the generosity and hospitality of the US that has been so kind to Guyana since the period of the rise of the dictatorship in 1966?). On the other side, those supporting the PPP and the other (small) opposition parties welcome (and cheer) the position taken by America and the other countries that GECOM must produce credible results that truly reflect the will of the voters. Those supportive of the opposition parties want greater involvement of the US, Canada, UK, and European countries in Guyanese affairs as guarantors of free and fair elections and democratic governance. They want sanctions to immediately kick in to force GECOM to declare the real results and the Coalition Government to allow for a democratic transition. They also urge some kind of foreign intervention to force a democratic transition.
What is most interesting from the views is that the position adopted by supporters of the Coalition is the complete reverse of that taken in 2015. Then, supporters of the Coalition wanted ABCE involvement and financial support to assist in the removal of the PPP from office. They welcome and cheered the toppling of the PPP administration in May 2015. But now, they seem opposed to any foreign involvement that may or would result in the democratic removal of what they consider as “their government”.
As people and regimes throughout the Americas have recognised, one cannot rig an election and get away. One cannot tell the USA to mind its business and don’t expect consequences; PPP learned that lesson in 2015. It is virtually impossible to defy the might of the US or the BCE countries in the Western Hemisphere – authoritarian regimes learned the hard way from sanctions and even military intervention. Those could very well come to Guyana sooner than expected.
Guyanese must be willing to accept the will of the electorate in free and fair elections. It is not the end of the world if one’s party loses an election. Opportunities would rebound for victory next time around. Who would have thought that PPP would lose its majority in 2011 and government in 2015?
The world will not leave Guyana alone. The party that lost the election is urged to concede so as to save the country much grief coming from international sanctions.
Dr. Vishnu Bisram
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