It is almost five months since the March 2 elections and to my mind we have entered the zone of a stalemate. When a situation gets to that point, it is time for the major stakeholders to act in the interest of the country. Failure to do so amounts to a dereliction of their responsibility to the Guyanese people as a whole. Currently, the APNU+AFC is fighting its case in the courts while the PPP is grounding its case in the feeling that it has won the election, a position supported by the diplomatic community and other observer groups.
This past week the APNU+AFC said that despite its view that it won the election, it was ready to talk. But the PPP promptly said no; it would only talk after it is declared the winner.
Ours is a fragile polity that bends easily. That should be uppermost in the minds of all stakeholders—local and “foreign. “ For me we had reached the point of a stalemate long ago. On May 3, almost three months ago, I rang that bell. My views then are my views now. I end today’s column by repeating those words.
“When historians look back at the aftermath of March 2, 2020 elections, they would ask some very searching questions. One such question would be this—where was the leadership? In times of crisis, a country looks to its leaders for reassurance. Regardless of which side of the political divide one happens to be one, at the end of the day ordinary, regular citizens want to be assured that at the end of it, life would resume and perhaps better would come. Or two major leaders are not giving hope to the nation. They seem preoccupied with their short-term battles at the expense of the long-term political health of the nation.
After almost two months, Guyanese want answers. Why is this thing not ending? When will there be a winner? Unfortunately, our politicians are unable to provide plausible answers to these questions. Some would claim that they do have answers. Others would argue that their answers are not really answers. Early in this process, I spotted where this thing was headed, and I told some close friends that this would be a prolonged process. I arrived at that conclusion based on my study of elections in ethnically divided societies. But more importantly, I have paid keen attention to recent Guyanese political history, both as a student and as an activist.
As I observe the back and forth between the two sides and the public discourse it spawns, I cannot help but being disappointed. The whole thing is reduced to a simple question—who wins and who loses? No matter how and what else we discuss that question is inescapable. It is the central question. Yet, the length of time it takes to arrive at the conclusion suggests that there is need for a radical intervention by the leaders even as they await the results of the recount.
Mr. Granger and Mr. Jagdeo need to start talking about Guyana’s future—at least the immediate future. Maybe because we have been able in the past to dodge the inevitable, the leaders are somewhat flippant about the effect the last eight weeks have had on the society and beyond. Studies have shown that the scars of these moments of crisis tend to persist beyond the moment. One would think that the so-called Civil Society organizations would be the ones to facilitate the conversations I reference. But Civil Society has for all intents and purposes been consumed by what has transpired since March 2.”
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
More of Dr. Hinds’ writings and commentaries can be found on his YouTube Channel Hinds’ Sight: Dr. David Hinds’ Guyana-Caribbean Politics and on his website www.guyanacaribbeanpolitics.news. Send comments to [email protected]
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