The Story Within The Story…
By Leonard Gildarie
Sigh! More than 130 days since the March 2nd elections, Guyana has descended into more madness.
An elections executive has told his boss to go to hell and a number of political parties have killed every chance of ever being able to participate credibly in future elections.
As I write, the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Ret’d) has ordered Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, to present the results by 11am.
On Friday, reportedly, Lowenfield left the GECOM headquarters as he was about to be issued with a second ordering him to do his job.
He said that he received a death threat. He walked out of a meeting with his bosses.
There were bets that he won’t comply and that he would be a no-show as of yesterday.
Well, as of 11:30am, it was true…he and three of the Coalition commissioners- Vincent Alexander, Charles Corbin and Desmond Trotman- were no-shows.
Since December 21st, 2018, the people of Guyana, no stranger to hardships, witnessed several jaw-dropping moments.
It was unbelievable the maneuverings of the Coalition.
I said it before and will say it again.
There were tears in my eyes in 2015 when David Granger was sworn in. He was the embodiment of goodness. I interviewed him months ago and was impressed.
This grandfatherly man was decent. He had taken a country that was at crossroads and despite surrounded by a number of incompetents and corrupt persons, he was singing the right songs.
Even when there was deep worry over the army-izing of Guyana, with former soldiers at the helm of key institutions, I believed that he had a right to surround himself with people he felt fit the bill.
The statements of his disillusioned son-in-law, Dominic Gaskin, were a wake-up call. Here was a family member and a former minister brave enough to warn about the pitfalls ahead if the coalition marches ahead on the wrong path.
Last week, shortly after the decision by the Caribbean of Court of Justice, the good Brigadier did the unthinkable. He raised doubts about the authority of that regional court, which is Guyana’s highest court of appeal.
I heard such talks of distrust from a few but believed the president was above the fray.
For him to stand there surrounded by police and making a mockery of the courts was a shock. Unmasked, and literally he was, my president instead of placating supporters, who naturally want to hear positive words, he made it clear that recount figures, as witnessed by CARICOM and the world for 33 days were null and void.
He is saying that the same court, the CCJ, that ruled that Bharrat Jagdeo, cannot run for a third term, was no good.
Columnist Freddie Kissoon, in ‘Room 592’ on Kaieteur Radio on Friday evening said that any actions to swear in Granger would trigger a collapse of CARICOM.
Guyana helped found CARICOM. The headquarters of that regional body is in Guyana.
We have used CCJ on a number of cases.
The world is looking at astonishment at Guyana. The United Nations, yes, you got it right. The same body whose court in The Hague is looking at the Venezuela border, has warned Guyana.
The UK Foreign Minister, Elizabeth Sugg in a statement, said that every vote must count and Guyanese have waited too long. She called on GECOM to declare the results.
The messages from all over the world have been the same…declare the results according to the recount.
Guyana is heading to a collision course that will have no good outcome.
The ambitions and greed of a few threatens the future of this country.
There are some ugliness which have come to the fore. Through selfishness, we have brought our people back to more than a century when people of different ethnicities fought because of sugar plantation politics and greed.
GECOM’s Commissioner, Sase Gunraj, described Lowenfield’s behaviour as an eyepass. That is the understatement of the year. He reportedly submitted a second list yesterday which did not reflect the recount.
As I write, I could not but reflect on the rumours that the Coalition wants to trigger a situation where a state of emergency could be enacted and as such hold in abeyance the elections results.
The buck stops at Granger’s feet. He is the one to be blamed. History will remember this time and it will not be fond ones.
Someone wrote it is the beginning of a full-fledge dictatorship.
I have started living my life without fear.
The world will not tolerate this. The region will not tolerate this.
I started off by saying that David Granger, I believed, is a decent man.
I will end by saying that I hope he proves me right. I would hate to remember him this way.
(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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