I was on Kaieteur Radio with the Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Gerry Gouveia, and the social media personality known as “Guyanese Critic” when the latter asked me to explain the things some APNU+AFC were doing that seem so illogical.
I said to him, we will never understand humans, and I gave him an example from Germany during the Second World War. At the height of Germany’s domination in the war, Hitler’s deputy, Rudolph Hess, took a plane and flew straight into the UK, a country that Germany was at war with. No one at the time in Germany knew why Hess did what he did. Hess was captured and remained in prison until his death at age 95. That action remains a world mystery.
Trying to understand why people do things that appear so illogical will be with civilization until civilization ceases to exist. It is becoming more incomprehensible with each passing day to understand how a party like the WPA, whose leader and other cadres died in the fight for free and fair elections in Guyana, could participate in election tampering whose barefaced stratagems were far more depraved than the actions of presidents Burnham and Hoyte.
When one reads the WPA’s statement that it wants a full verified recount of the 2020 votes and the results must be accepted, the reaction was that it is becoming clear that organizations aligned with APNU+AFC are becoming realistic that only that pathway is available to Guyana. WPA had joined the Justice For All Party (JFAP) and African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA).
But there is a crucial missing link in the WPA’s position that is not present in the attitude of ACDA and JFAP. These two bodies are not represented on the GECOM commission; WPA is. The general manager of WPA’s office (a position he holds for over 20 years now) and its co-host of the WPA’s public relations programme, “Walter Rodney Groundings” is Desmond Trotman.
In the absence of David Hinds who lives abroad, the WPA’s office is virtually kept alive by Mr. Trotman. With Rupert Roopnaraine and Clive Thomas in retirement from active politics, Trotman is the key person in the WPA. If the statement is official and true, it would not have been issued by the WPA without Trotman’s input and approval.
The hidden factor in the WPA’s statement lies in the role of its GECOM Commissioner since March 4 when things broke down after Region 4’s returning officer, Mr. Mingo, stopped the tabulation of the statements of poll. Only five commissioners have spoken to the press the past sixteen days – Benn, Shadick and Gunraj from the PPP and Corbin and Alexander from the PNC. Mr. Trotman has not faced the media.
The pattern has been, since March 4, of the three PPP commissioners critical of GECOM’s role in the current impasse, and Corbin and Alexander always in defence of GECOM. One now has to ask, with the publication of the WPA’s call for a recount, how would this play out with Trotman?
The key to solving the election puzzle is a clean, transparent and verified recounting of the ballots. That is where we are at the moment. Many lawyers have argued that the constitution gives GECOM legal authority to order partial or full recount.
If you have four commissioners voting for a recount (Trotman responding to his party’s call) then the only way the recount could be rejected is if Chairman Singh vetoes it. I am not sure if there is a four versus two votes, the chairperson could intervene and reject the majority decision. I am not sure if the chair has that authority.
Given the WPA’s position on a recount, it is virtually impossible for Trotman to decline an advocacy for such a direction. I reiterate; he had to be a party of consent to the WPA’s recount statement. One does not know if the WPA’s statement is a desperate attempt to stave off the climax – the end of its legacy – but it is difficult to see how the WPA could survive this crisis, given the fact that one of its top leaders is a GECOM commissioner.
Sunday evening I went back and read the chapters written by Rupert Roopnaraine and Clive Thomas in the book, ‘Walter Rodney: A promise of Revolution’ and the chapter in Roopnaraine’s, ‘The Sky’s Wild Noise’ titled “Walter Rodney and the Answer of Power” and a chill went down my spine. How could one reconcile the descriptions in those books about the struggle for free and fair elections, and what GECOM is doing to Guyana, and the WPA has a GECOM commissioner?
Funny, strange or ghastly?
(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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