Aug 22, 2020 Editorial
We are now approaching the fourth week since official results of the March 2 General and Regional Elections were declared. At this point, all parties would have submitted their list of parliamentarians and the business of the people, particularly in the legislature, should continue.
We have delayed that business of the people for five long, traumatic months, during which the entire country – and our regional and international allies – were fed disprovable fiction after disprovable fiction as justification for, as Bruce Golding summed it up, the “most transparent attempt to alter the results of an election” he had ever seen.
With so much going on and with such intensity – an economic downturn, a country under lockdown, rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, and with the country still smouldering from the racial divisions stoked during the half year – active measures have to be taken towards national reconciliation. Our people have bled enough.
On the part of the government, it has to ensure that it does not engage in triumphalism, and while it has given the commitment to bringing the corrupt members of the previous administration to justice (a commitment made and not honoured by the previous administration), theatricality, gamesmanship and propaganda do not constitute justice. Due process and the truth should be foundations for any action taken by the Dr. Irfaan Ali administration, wherein justice is not only done, but also seen to be done.
For its part, a similar burden lies on the political opposition, but a far greater one. The primary responsibility for undermining the rule of law and a sickening attempt to try to steal an election lies squarely on the collective shoulders of the David Granger administration, and individually on the former President himself. Considering the continued revelations about corruption and thwarting of the democratic process since March 2, the campaign slogan of Honest Integrity Decency has taken on an Orwellian irony, comical, absurd, deluded and dangerous.
In the wake of a lengthened great trauma, human memory tends to be both short and self-protectively curatorial. We either don’t remember the worst events of the trauma or we reflexively block them out – forgetting allows us to cope, to move on, to recollect some sense of normalcy and cast our eyes towards the future. However, as the philosopher George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”
With this in mind, we should be reminded about certain key things that happened shortly ago, and which were used by the Granger administration to justify its corrupt action post-elections. The first has to do with the Statements of Poll by Region Four Returning Officer. As this paper has covered extensively, Mingo’s figures were pure fiction, inventing 15,000 votes that did not exist to give the Coalition a false electoral win, yet not once but twice Granger surrogates put their signature to that corrupt invention, with the President himself endorsing it repeatedly. It is only when forced into a recount by international players that this was abandoned, and even then only temporarily.
Next, there was the not so clandestine attempt by coalition candidate Ulita Moore, notably a recipient of generous State contracts over the past year, to block the recount, an attempt originally described by the former President as being an attempt by a private citizen, before subsequently owning up to that and similar litigation by Eslyn Davis and Misenga Jones as part of a direct, and deliberate strategy by his political machinery.
After that, there was the ironically and aptly titled Operation Eagle Eye – a similarly titled Republican Party initiative in the 1960s in the United States was aimed at voter suppression and electoral manipulation including through the massive spread of misinformation. In the Granger administration’s case, the misinformation was based on two main pillars: persons voting in place of the dead, and persons voting in place of persons who had migrated out of Guyana. As also exposed in this paper, both claims were completely ludicrous and based on no credible evidence. No evidence whatsoever was presented with regard to dead voters, although repeated lies by the administration had persons swearing that this was so. The same applied for the supposed migrant votes, except in this case literally dozens of persons – including their own supporters – that the coalition claimed to have been out of the country on E-day and having voted provided ample, clear and credible evidence that they were in fact in the country. The most embarrassing case was prominent lawyer, Devindra Kissoon, who was not only in the country and voted but served as elections observer.
Forced into a legal cul de sac and his government, likely including himself, being sanctioned by the Western powers, Granger finally accepted that he had lost the election on August 2, but claimed he has not conceded, vowing even before the declaration was made that he would file an elections petition based upon the numerous ‘irregularities’ highlighted during the recount process. By the end of that same week, that adamant commitment to the elections petition had mellowed to a nebulous and lukewarm promise of “legal action.” In a subsequent and predictably restricted and prerecorded interview early last week, the former President committed to filing an elections petition by last Monday, the 17th.
This deadline of course was not honoured and in another predictably restricted and prerecorded interview earlier this week, Granger glossed over his failure to file the petition. To be clear, elections petitions are – here as elsewhere – part of the theatre of failed leadership. The PPP lost the election in 2015, and filed their own petition to tie into their “Cheated not defeated” narrative. What makes the Granger petition significantly different however is that the premises of the promised petition constituted the administration’s indecent attempt to retain power months after it knew it lost an election. The quandary the former President now finds himself in is that the standards of evidence for a propaganda war and the standards of evidence for even an unsuccessful court case are completely different. Presenting a concocted claim of evidence to rouse gullible supporters is one thing, particularly when only the claim of the evidence is necessary. Putting concocted and easily refutable evidence on the record in a court of law threatens the removal of the last thin thread of respectability in which the Coalition has tried to clothe itself. The other option is to tender paper thin ‘evidence’ in stark contradiction to the tens of thousands of votes that they had claimed were invalid. Let’s see what the next eight days hold.
Pres. Ali begging for loans!!
Feb 03, 2023Kaieteur News – The Guyana Squash Association (GSA) local calendar started on Wednesday with the first international Squash tournament – the BCQS Squash Masters. This tournament consists...
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States of America and the Organization... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]