Jun 29, 2020 Editorial
We have a tendency in this country to give more listening and positive reception to outsiders when they step forward to share a word of guidance. The higher the foreigners are, the more hearing is given to what they have to say in respectful acknowledgement that it is worthwhile and, most of all, it is nonpartisan and progressive. Well, they do not come much higher than His Excellency, Gregory Quinn, the current High Commissioner from the United Kingdom to Guyana. His latest assist is that “Constitutional Reform should be high on the agenda after final declaration” (KN June 12). We completely agree.
Our country is in the most terrible state imaginable. As a national document, the Guyana Constitution has few saving graces. Politically, it is about the ways to holding on to power.
It offers every means to twist, evade, hide, derail, and deny rationales and logic relative to elections and to perpetuate power through many perverse interpretations leading to elastic outcomes.
The CEO of GECOM manifests that flexibility. In the shortest conclusion, the Guyana Constitution is a concoction for the crooked.
It is pointless, at this difficult time, to revisit the tired ground of who neglected to look honestly at this catastrophe of a compendium, and to work diligently to bring about genuine reform of this body of laws that has caused so much political distress, ugly division, and social unrest.
The document is there, and this country is trapped by its great many infirmities that allow, even condone, the deceptive and the dangerous to run riot. The self-defeating has been the record. All any Guyanese with a conscience left, with one patriotic bone remaining, has to do is to ponder where we are today.
We are divided and devastated, and lost and troubled, and this empowers Guyanese political class to weasel their way out from under any rock, exist in the spurious and scurrilous, and then to return to wallow under any new rock-pile created.
The Guyana Constitution is cursed with a vengeance by those out of power but embraced and loved by those who denounced it before, when they are in the driver’s seat of governance. For then it makes them unchallengeable and unconquerable.
Constitutional Reform, once high on everybody’s agenda, because of the endless cursing that it provoked when out of power, suddenly has nothing with which there is deep concern.
The hypocrisies of short-sighted, self-serving leaders are first glaring and then like the proverbial can get kicked up and down the street, while the status quo prevails. Reform is, indeed, so urgently required that it has to be of the highest priority, but the odds of determined and committed political leaders being takers are so low, as to be negligible to the point of uselessness.
Guyanese political leaders have lied too much, dissembled for too long, and been allowed to get away with any manner of evil rulership regime. It makes no sense, and is counter-intuitive, to fix what could lead to one’s group being removed from the corridors of power, the seat of government.
Which toiler in the political vineyard consents to his own demise? The reality is lip service to reform, playing along cleverly to make a mockery of effort and result, and stymie or dilute any reform provisions so much so that they return with worse lurking.
Yes, we are skeptical, though we support fully the call by the British High Commissioner that Constitutional Reform should be among the highest priority issues to be addressed.
We know our politicians too well to be hopeful or to believe that they have it in them to seek such a place. They will go through the motions, take part in the gamesmanship and make fools again of a helpless Guyanese populace that worships them and gives them the spiked whips with which to flay.
At bottom, the Guyana Constitution is a comprehensive criminal code and that is why it is so treasured by the political charlatans that find it so helpful to commit one crime after another against the Guyanese people. We agree that it should be reformed. With the current crop of politicos, reform is not happening anytime soon nor in any meaningful measure.
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