plea to President Granger
Businessman Yesu Persaud has sent an impassioned public letter to President David Granger, urging him to work towards an amicable solution to the country’s post-elections crisis.
In his letter, the venerable businessman expressed concern that the nation’s political stalemate “threatens Guyana’s reputation as a functional democracy, and the livelihoods of the poor.”
More than three weeks has passed since Guyana’s 2020 General and Regional Elections were conducted, but the official results have not yet been announced.
Persaud said that a duly elected democratic government should have already been in place.
The conclusion of the electoral process in a credible process has been stalled by resistance to two contentious declarations made by Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, for the largest and most contentious region. The second occurred, even after the Chief Justice handed Mingo clear instructions on the proper execution of the tabulation process.
The tabulation processes leading to both declarations were adjudged by independent international observers and political parties as lacking credibility and transparency.
Persaud said that it appears as though the electoral process was suddenly abandoned after the other nine electoral districts were counted, with a result that handed the national victory to APNU+AFC.
Efforts to have a CARICOM-supervised recount of all votes done, based on an agreement brokered by the leaders of the two major parties, were obstructed by a series of interim injunctions sought by APNU+AFC candidate, Ulita Grace Moore.
The result of all of this is a long and winding electoral process that has drawn the attention of the international community, which has called on Guyana to take all necessary steps to preserve its democracy.“Guyana needs to take corrective actions and find a solution to this issue immediately so that we can have a democratically elected Government in place. By failing to do this, we shall face condemnation globally and we will not be recognised as a functional democracy anymore,” Persaud urged.
He explained that his experience as an entrepreneur, businessman and analyst, has taught him enough to know that the sanctions Guyana could face if it abandons fair and democratic principles will hurt not just politicians, but the economy and the people.
“It will bring tremendous hardships to businesses; create huge unemployment, high level inflation and currency depreciation. Such a situation will mostly impact on the livelihood of the vulnerable lower income citizens as they are dependent on the commercial and business activities.”
“Guyana is in a situation now like so many other places that people will be starving,” he posited.
Persaud urges not to let this happen, and for all to work on an amicable solution as early as can be arrived at.
A bigger issue Persaud noted, that has been illuminated by the current political crisis, is the need to reform Guyana’s Constitution.
“Our Constitution is not an ideal one,” Persaud said, “it gives unlimited power to an individual which is not good for any democracy.”
He said that the nation’s Supreme Law must not only be “defended by political parties and our citizens”, but by democratic norms and unwritten rules of tolerance and restraint.
“Without robust norms, constitutional checks and balances do not serve as the bulwarks of democracy we imagine them to be. Instead, institutions become political weapons, wielded forcefully by those who control them against those who do not. This is how elected autocrats subvert democracy, and other neutral agencies. This requires to be amended immediately which will benefit all Stakeholders and not only the political parties.”
Persaud said that Granger still has an opportunity to redeem himself, and he must act.
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