My wife looked at “Dancehall Queen” for the second time recently (we kept the movie) because there is a one-second scene that she finds utterly hilarious. The dancehall contestant put her mentally challenged brother to run the vending stall. When the rogue cop saw he was selling, overcome with disbelief, he exclaimed, “madman ah run tings now.”
One of the most macabre election processes, that perhaps has never been seen in modern times, took place in Guyana at the beginning of this month. There have been countless election frauds over the past hundred years by military dictators and in Latin American banana republics. But even in those places, the madmen that perpetrated electoral fraud went the usual way of rigging the process.
The usual egregious stratagems include physical take-over of the operation then announcing that they won. Prevent people from voting with barefaced denial. Using the military to hijack the ballot boxes then declare victory. Rush thousands of persons into the ballot stations, coerce officials to let them vote, then include these fake ballots as part of the official count.
I have seen some aspects of these things in my own country, but what has taken place in March this year was oxymoronic – comical yet bizarre. I know that persons may not read all that I have written, because this is a daily offering, so just in case someone reads this piece here and not the other columns on the 2020 election monstrosity, I will describe the oxymoron once more.
A normal tabulation is taking place and in a few hours, the results will be declared. The tabulation is mysteriously stopped for the day. It resumes the next day and the tabulator falls “ill.” He puts another person to continue the process, but that person is not an authorized election official. He engages other officials. They become tired and want a rest. The tabulation is halted once more.
The tabulator returns and resumes operation, but he has a piece of paper that guides his enumeration and no one knows where he got it from and what’s on it. When he reads out what’s on it, consternation pervades the room, because what he has on the paper does not correspond with what was published on the documents given to party officials and posted up on the walls of the polling stations. The operation goes into hibernation once more.
The original tabulator himself goes into hibernation. Two persons doing the counting want a rest because of pregnancy, but are seen entering a room engaged in discussion rather than resting. A young man enters the tabulation room, takes a laptop and flash drive and disappears with them. He is followed and discovered to be in a room doing things.
The next day, the original tabulator, announces election results from the balcony steps of the election centre. He says that is the only route to travel since the noise in the building has unlimited decibels. It becomes funny because on many of the statements of poll (SOPs), there are more votes than electors for particular districts.
The court declares that what the tabulating man did was invalid and orders him to do it again with transparency. He leaves the election building with a projector, goes to another election building, throws a bed sheet over the projector and reads again from SOPs that are questionable. But this time, he reads so quickly that the average person can’t catch up with him. He declares an election result again.
Things look so bad that the tabulator and his SOPs are swept aside. The real big man, the president, meets with the other big man from the other side – the opposition leader. They agree to recount all the ballots. This brings an end to the ignominy of a show that makes Guyana look like a tenth rate banana republic.
But the show doesn’t end there. It goes on. The decision of the two big men is decapitated, because a lady doesn’t want the recount. She asks a judge to stop it. He stops it. The big man from the opposition asks the very judge to finally end the show by having all the SOPs brought before the court. The lawyers for the election officials say; “no, no, no.” The judge says no too.
Against this oxymoronic backdrop, madmen continue to run tings. They ignore the concatenation of events that made the world laugh at us, and when the world stopped laughing, the world told Guyana that the show is funny alright, but it has a huge sickening ring to it and it must stop, or it will punish the madmen who at all cost want to run tings.
(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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