What has started out as suspenseful drama has transformed into a full-out horror show. Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen King, and Brian DePalma of Hollywood lore would have been proud of this particular production. That can be the only verdict relative to Elections 2020, while this hanging nation waits for the climax of this melodrama. In Guyana’s elections count and recount, we have deteriorated from the bizarre to the ghoulish, and with everything else in between.
The latest spectre that threatens to haunt this already too macabre spectacle is that there are plans afoot to scuttle Elections 2020, as was alleged by the opposition PPP (KN May 15). If that is not a sick joke – a rash cruel one – then we are hard-pressed to find its equivalent. We would hope that that was just a political covering of the bases, is based on some tactical political preemption by the opposition and that it is completely out of the considerations of its mortal political foes. Regardless of the source of such a conjecture, or the possible political calculation behind such premeditation awaiting introduction, the reality of an annulment would be the absolute worst thing that could happen to this society at this time.
This country and its peoples are not ready for any such thing. Considering what we have been subjected to over the past few months, this would be as unconscionable as it would be untenable. As is, the population of this country is simultaneously at its most tense and its weakest. The mere contemplation of having to go through such a grueling exercise once again is unsettling and savaging to the psyche. Moreover, we are faced with the additional storms of a crippling economic slowdown and a rising pandemic for which we are ill-prepared.
Surely, we cannot be this shameless before the world, or uncaring before the local voting populace. And just as surely, we would hope that no political group is this far gone to subject the citizens of this country to returning to the same well for still more punishment; still more abuse and humiliation from regional and wider international community at the national and leadership levels, and such dismissive scorn from contemporaries, wherever they may be.
Surely, we can do better, and have what is required to see this existing process honestly and all the way through to the end of what has been more than nightmare and living daylight torture combined. For certainty, it has had more than its share of revealing ugliness and acrimonious partisanship, and all the rest that have become standard features of Guyana’s elections. There is nothing essentially new about this acrimony, only the greater intensity in expectation for the greater stakes ahead, which we all know is all that oil money. There is nothing essentially new about this year’s elections, save that it is longer and more problem plagued than its priors.
To start over would question Guyanese wisdom, seriousness, and any sense of fair play and justice. Worse, as this farce plays out before the world, it would question our capacity for self-determination, even as our apparent inability to add and subtract has already been the subject of regional embarrassment for the past year and a half. What is necessary going forward is not annulment but the adherence to a credible, mutually agreed recount process and a commitment by all actors to respect the final outcome as first step towards an acceptable, if not outright happy, ending.
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