Editor, reference is made to a letter by one Harry Hergash, “David Hinds presents a skewed perspective on electoral rigging” (Kaieteurs News, May 24, 2020). In this letter, the author suggested to readers that Dr. Hinds presentation was centered on mere claims about rigging by some political actors and entities in Guyana. He makes a clear distinction between ‘facts’ and ‘claims.’
Hergash states, “Unfortunately, his letter conflates two issues, i.e. actual rigging of elections based on evidence and accusations of riggings from a disgruntled loser in an election.”
It is therefore useful that we examine this distinction that the writer brings to the issue of historic rigging of elections in pre and post-independence Guyana. Here, the assertion is that one side brings facts and truth to the debate while, on the other hand, others bring unsubstantiated claims about rigging. Editor, this is a clever and well trotted out device by those who themselves are selective or, simply dishonest when it comes to the history of rigging and elections in Guyana.
Harry Hergash regales us about documented rigging of the then PNC administration in the 1968 and 1973 general elections. Indeed, as conceded by most Guyanese of that time, those elections were rigged for the benefit of the government of the day. However, in constructing his “mere claim” arguments, Hergash, referenced the 1961 elections, and the documented electoral fraud case of the Houston constituency.
There was a court proceeding where evidence was presented and accepted by all parties that the PPP engaged in using ineligible (under the legal age) voters and imposters to vote for its list in that constituency. In sum, the PPP was the beneficiary of an executed electoral fraud. As the result, the learned judge voided the elections in the Houston constituency and ruled that a by-election take place so as to determine a credible winner. The court result was unambiguous, yet, the author pushes his “mere claim” narrative.
Editor, if the court proceedings in the Houston constituency were not enough, the writer introduced Governor Sir Ralph Grey in this tortured logic in this facts vs claim narrative. Let us be clear, at no time was Sir Ralph Grey a member of the PPP, therefore a beneficiary either singularly, or, collectively of that electoral fraud. It was the PPP as a party and its members who authored and engaged in electoral fraud. To introduce the then Governor and the administrations of those elections into the issue of rigging is an adventure in intellectual dishonesty.
Indeed, what is skewed and dangerous, is that of the deliberate efforts on the part of some to project and present their narratives as facts. Certainly, Harry Hergash is entitled to his own opinions. No one will deny him of that. What he is not entitled to is his desire to present said opinions as actual facts.
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