Jun 21, 2020 Editorial
However poorly the coalition looks currently, the president appears worse, as all responsibility tiers up to him for the continuing deceptions and delays, that all seem to point to only one conclusion. That is, unless developments and decisions leading to what is now a declaration in the coalition’s favour, then it will not relinquish power. Even more simply, that unless it (the coalition) is declared the winner of Elections 2020, then it is not demitting office.
However generously anyone looks at this year’s elections, this is the vulgar undemocratic state of electoral affairs in this country: unless we are declared the winner, then the governance status quo remains.
This is what any clear-headed and rational citizen is presented. It is what brings recoiling in a world that no longer exists in the primitive and impenetrable darkness that characterized the Dark Ages. This is the modern era of the 21st century, where cleaner and clearer standards are the norm, and which principled men make their mantra and guiding star. We thought that the president held such things dear, was the embodiment of such a man and leader. To our great regret, we cannot think so or believe so anymore, since his very actions stand in damning judgment of where he is today, given where he has allowed things to deteriorate. This is where we are driven, against our wishes, when he and his people keep shifting the goalposts and changing the rules in the middle of the proceedings, when events go against them.
The developments of last week rear up and strike in the face like scorpion stings. This is what is felt in the many sharp accusations and denunciations hurled at the coalition, and with the gravest disappointments laid at the doorstep of the sitting head of state, President David Granger.
To repeat: No matter how charitably examined, the conclusion is that his coalition of political parties will only accept one and only one outcome. It is that when all is said and done, counted and recounted, analyzed and added, and appealed to the courts and adjudicated that only one result is found acceptable. That is, the president’s group-the coalition-is declared the official winner of Elections 2020 and none other.
To repeat, every indication confirms and reconfirms the conclusion that, when the noise is silenced and the dust fully settled, no other party and nothing else, but that of his group winning is what has to happen, or it is nothing doing, and nobody going anywhere.
As its world ruptured into many fragments, and its elections calculations and expectations melted like wax in the midday heat of the Tropics, the coalition and its leader, Mr. Granger, repeatedly found refuge in one subterfuge after another. One of the sadder aspects of all of this is that many members of Guyana’s hurting, and misled, population gave the president the benefit of the doubt, only for them to be taken advantage of, used, and betrayed ultimately.
The Guyanese people, including his not-so-public and vociferous supporters, trusted the incumbent leader of this nation. They did so at several crucial and sensitive intervals during the elections impasse, when he stood up before the world, stated very clearly his position, and made promises before friend and adversary, as well as keenly interested observers, that many interpreted as the honourable commitments of a true statesman. But only for him to distance from those very commitments that were received as unalterable truths.
Though, the opposite may now be accepted as part of the national culture of Guyana, principled men and women do not give the bond of their word, or their promise sealed with the equivalent of a handclasp, and then break them. But this is clearly what the president has done to his severe disfavor, when he abandoned his position relative to GECOM and CARICOM. In both instances, his uttered word given with great gravity, and similarly trusted, have been retreated from, and have fallen apart by the force of unfavourable circumstances on the ground. They are of circumstances that only the coalition found unfavourable.
People trusted the president and depended on the president to deliver on his side of the vow made, regardless of what came. We at this paper did. Now he has retreated from where he stood on GECOM and CARICOM, and this has blown up, not just in his face, but that of all Guyana. This is just not done at the levels of heads of government. For in the final analysis, when all the pros and cons have been worked through, the leader of Guyana comes across as having little to no credibility. This is savagely ironic, since it is he and his group that are protesting the loudest and longest about the credibility of everything related to Elections 2020.
The first promise made in solemn word given was to look to GECOM only, listen to it, wait on it, and accept from it “whatever” declaration is issued by it as to the final and official outcome of Elections 2020. A lot of things have happened, since the president gave his word, from which he and his people have since studiously distanced by subsequent actions. It is as if there was no such promise. In recent days, the work of GECOM has been questioned, pulled apart, put to shame, denigrated at will, delayed, and thrown into disarray and disrepute. Moving to the Guyana Court of Appeals was the last in the chain of disgraceful developments, given the place where GECOM was poised, with the much-anticipated declaration.
The word given by His Excellency to recognize and accept “whatever’ declaration is made by chair of GECOM was thwarted within minutes prior to that being made a reality. This is how men abandon and assault the law in this land. We may pontificate at length about the majesty of the law and the sacredness of the constitution, but this is how both are trampled upon, when such shabbiness of self-respect and cheapness of character are exhibited. For all intents and purposes, this is what happened when people associated with the coalition marched to the Court of Appeals to block the then imminent declaration by the Chair. It does not get any lower than this.
As we see it, when the clear and unmistakable writing on the wall indicated that the game was up, the Court of Appeals was hurried to delay the inevitable. For what the coalition gained was a momentary respite. And when it did so, the standing of Mr. Granger and the coalition took the heaviest of hits: both lost the right to any residual trust.
The president suffered the worst, since he is now seen as lacking in sincerity and authenticity, and as someone who will resort to anything to gain the upper hand, which is to win at all cost and by any means known.
In seeming confirmation of significant national, regional, and global misgivings, and to the chagrin of dejected Guyanese, what the president failed to do with GECOM was repeated a second time, with CARICOM being the hapless object and recipient, through what can only be interpreted as premediated leadership disingenuousness, at best; or deliberate leadership betrayal at its worst.
Earlier in the recount process, it was the president himself who hailed CARICOM as the single entity with the highest credibility. The EU, the OAS, and the Commonwealth teams were all kicked to the sidelines of non-recognition and nonfactors. But not CARICOM, which was embraced and accorded the highest esteem.
That was then, when the CARICOM team was expected to go along with the sleazy trickeries unveiled by the coalition. But not now, when CARICOM refused to go along with its many deceptions perfected. Instead, the CARICOM team concluded that the elections were credible. And this is what is more or less given short thrift for one and one reason only: the report did not align with the expectations of the coalition. Hence, it was not acceptable.
What follows next must be faced unflinchingly: is there any group, any observation conclusion, any report that goes against the positions of the coalition ever going to be found acceptable? Regrettably, after all that has happened, our answer can only be a resounding NO! To state differently, the only thing that the coalition will accept is that it won. Or that it was the victim of such blatant cheating that it was denied victory. Nothing else will find favour.
All along the coalition has maintained the pretense of respect for the law, while it probes for any opening to buy time, to seize any advantage available. Pretenses and options are almost exhausted. Thereafter, only the unlawful and the unmentionable are left. Since winning is remote, this could be where all roads end.
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