Kaieteur News – Last year, on March 2, Kaieteur Radio hosted a programme on the election to run until the process was completed, maybe the next day. It was shaped by me and Leonard Gildarie who was the substantial host. The format was to invite guests.
The next day, Tuesday, March 3, eerie things began to happen with the March 2, 2020 national election. It was Gerry Gouveia for me that pointed the direction of dangerous waters that Guyana was sailing in. The Tuesday morning, Gouveia told me and Gildarie in the studio that the counting had stopped and as an accredited observer with the Private Sector Commission he didn’t know the reason.
Gouveia described a situation at the Ashmin Building, where the GECOM command centre was located, where no activity was taking place, and this was less than 24 hours after the polling stations had closed. In other words, counting of the votes had ceased for no known reason. He spoke with a deeply somber tone and indicated that later in the morning he will join the American Ambassador who will be visiting those places where the counting had stopped.
Anyone in that radio studio looking at Mr. Gouveia as he spoke, and saw his countenance knew that he was telling us something terrible was taking place with the election. As he rose to leave, my heart sank and I tossed my coin and wished. I was in my late sixties and in my entire youth, not partial, but my youth in its entirety I had participated in the dire, desperate, defining moments of Guyana’s existence for free and fair elections.
It was a struggle that would shape our lives for the rest of our lives. No one who confronted and fought the insanities of unelected power under Forbes Burnham from 1968 until his death in 1985 could remain unshaped. Our minds, souls and psyches were to be transformed forever.
To see the horrors that rigged elections bring, you had to live in Guyana under Burnham. A fleeting second under Burnham’s administration would tear your heart apart. Men and women who acquire power knowing that it will last forever normally lose control of their emotions and rationalities.
They simply live in a world where reality is something alien to them. They cannot see how wrong they are. They cannot see how disliked they are. They cannot see how misdirected their impulses are. They become immune to the sufferings of their own subjects. In a simple phrase – power corrupts and rigged elections make corrupted power absolute.
On this day last year, as Gouveia left that studio, I sat silently as I tossed my coin and wished. I wished that Guyana would never have rigged elections again where powerful leaders lead a nation into destruction. To say that on March 3, 2020, I was in a state of shock was to understate my mental laceration.
I looked at Gildarie and I didn’t see any mental perturbation; he was too young to comprehend Burnham descent into depraved power. Glenn Lall came into the studio after Gouveia and mumbled a few things but Glenn didn’t look depressed. I guess like, Gildarie, he didn’t know too much about Burnham’s rigging.
Do not ever attempt to predict life. When in that studio on March 3, things went astray with the election, no human on Planet Earth would have imagined that Guyana was about to make a piece on history in world politics. No one in this entire world would have thought that an election in a country with just over 400, 000 voters would take five months before the result was known.
They say life is full of blessings in disguise. On March 3, 2020 when power-crazy politicians conspired to bring back 1968, 1973, 1978, 1980 and 1985, Guyana had one of the world’s youngest populations. Those vast numbers of young people, including the countless teens who couldn’t vote because of age requirement, they now have experience of what a country looks like when people are not allowed to vote for the leaders of their choice.
One year ago on this date, Guyana came close to returning to tragic, sad, lugubrious days when almost all Guyanese wanted to leave. They saw no future under the dictatorship of Forbes Burnham. They knew they had no say how their country was being administered and silence was the only mode of survival. The young generation of this land on this day last year got a taste of what could have happened if Guyana had leaders whom they could never change. I believe those young people would never open the door for unelected leaders ever again.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Apr 16, 2021Kaieteur News – Yesterday, Chelsea Edghill, Guyana’s highest ranked Table Tennis player, earned Team Guyana’s first victory in the Latin American Singles and Mixed Doubles Qualifying...
Kaieteur News – Truth no. 1 – Gregory Smith concealed an explosive mechanism in a walkie-talkie and it exploded... more
Kaieteur News – When last did Guyana have a flu outbreak? At least not in the past year! It was reported in the media... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – Officials of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)... 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]