Jan 04, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Last year was supposed to be transformational one for several reasons, not the least of which would have been our first revenues from our newly established oil and gas sector. The year 2020 had all the potential of glamour and goodness, the twentieth year of the twenty-first century, a name analogous to absolute clarity of vision.
Division is what we got instead, one fomented as has happened in the past within the post-election period although the aftermath of the March 2 elections was by any measure unprecedented and historical wherein the essential attempt at hijacking the democratic process was not done, as it was in the 1970s, by soldiers in the relative secrecy of a tiny third world state, but by lawyers and politicians, with the complicity of course of persons within the electoral machinery, and in full glare of global focus on the worlds newest emerging oil and gas economy. The repercussions of what took place, even if it failed, will echo across this society for decades having tainted, once again, one half of our zero sum political dichotomy with the brush of intrinsic despotic intent.
There is no way that in five years any machinery associated with the David Granger administration of 2020 is going to earn the trust of the majority of the voting public after that obscene coup attempt that its leader, still delusional and impotently attempting to be deceptive, in his New Years message called a fortification of democracy.
That weak attempt at doublespeak notwithstanding, therein lies the greatest initial challenge of 2021 the actual fortification of democracy in Guyana in the wake of the most rabid assault on it since the height of the Burnham regime. This year has to begin with a commitment to reform the Guyana Elections Commission and cleanse the detritus of last years indecency from it. Clairmont Mingo, for example, should have nothing to do with the electoral process, and as he is being afforded due process in the elections fraud case. The same has to apply to CEO Keith Lowenfield with the jury still out, so to speak, on Deputy CEO Roxane Meyers. In brief, GECOM cannot carry over its abject failure of 2020, holding its own Secretariat accountable, into 2021, particularly the holding of the constitutionally due local government elections.
Of course, any legitimate claim regarding the fortification of democracy cannot be considered effective or genuine without a concurrent sustained effort to set this country on the path to ethnic reconciliation. The Ethnic Relations Commission continues to be moribund in this regard, despite its constitutional mandate to take leadership in this area, although what seems to be coalescing in this newspapers letter and column pages is a sometimes harsh, combative but necessary discourse on the contours of our ethnic division. Unless we develop and extend this momentum, we will continue to fail to establish and maintain a truly cohesive state, a true republican democracy governed in the interest of all our people.
Without good governance for all, there will never be development for the majority. Our laws will continue to be unevenly applied and enforced and our justice system will continue to be subpar, despite the most valiant efforts of the best and brightest (Madame Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire, for example) within our judiciary.
And, finally, there is no area in which our failure to evolve (and to innovate) our governance systems will be more viscerally impactful than in our economic development. The harsh reality is that unless something truly transformational happens in this society with regard to democratic systems, social reconciliation and governance, the majority of the citizens of this country will continue to live in abject poverty indeed, the likelihood is that that poverty is going to substantial increase with a widening economic gap between a tiny clique of ultra-rich and a vast mob of persons ironically impoverished by their countrys newfound wealth. This new year offers far more challenges against the backdrop of the great pandemic than it offers opportunities, but there is nothing that we as a people cannot overcome with the requisite will to do and be better.
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Kaieteur News – The material on which to build one’s analyses of the year 2020 is literally mountainous. There is... more
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