Mar 05, 2021 Editorial
Our national poet, Martin Carter, begin his poem, “After One Year” with the following three lines.
“After today how shall I speak with you?
Those miseries I know you cultivate
are mine as well as yours…”
Kaieteur News – The poem was written and published in 1964, a year after the massive socio-political disturbances and was Carter’s meditation upon how the divisions of the society would be healed in the wake of the fact that only a year before the situation existed where “everywhere wrong deeds are being done.” What Carter was concerned about was, in light of the atrocities, in light of the feelings of mutual hurt experienced by ordinary people, how would a conversation of those who cultivated mutual miseries begin and proceed.
Today effectively marks the first year since this country, and the rest of the world, had the first clear indication that David Granger, at the helm of his incumbent political machinery, colluded with elements of GECOM, not restricted to Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, to thwart the will of the people in the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections. What would follow, to quote Carter, was a “carnival of misery”, of misinformation, of gaslighting, of sheer insanity and of unbridled cowardice coming out of the executive office to a degree unheralded in this country.
For most Guyanese, March 5 of last year and the five months that followed, up until August 2, was a blur, a surfeit of information, a surfeit of withheld information, and a surfeit of outright absurd lies emerging from those in high office in a bid to distract from their engagement and support of electoral fraud.
It was on March 5 that Mingo – after two days of obfuscating and seeking to thwart the process – made his first fraudulent declaration, one that was signed off on by the Granger coalition, to the shock and dismay of everyone else in the room at the time.
The embarrassment was not only national – every international electoral observer mission vehemently opposed the travesty that had taken place that day. The late Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister of Barbados and Head of the Commonwealth Observer Group wrote in response to this first act in the attempted coup:
“Members of the Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) have been present at the Office of the Returning Officer, Region 4 in Georgetown over the last 24 hours. This morning and this afternoon, 5 March 2020, I personally visited the said office. It is the clear view of the Group that the tabulation of the final election results has not yet been completed and verified according to the established procedures and relevant legal and statutory provisions. We strongly urge the Guyana Elections Commission and all parties involved to ensure the process properly follows the legal steps dictated by the laws of Guyana and is in line with the country’s international commitments.”
Complementary to this straightforward and shameless collusion with GECOM was a macabre sideshow theatre that debuted on the same day. It was on that day that then Foreign Minister Dr. Karen Cummings threatened to expel observers, including Arthur, for daring to point out Mingo’s obvious attempt at manipulating the Region Four votes in favour of Granger. It was also on March 5 that then Minister of Telecommunications, now APNU+AFC Member of Parliament, Cathy Hughes posted on her Facebook page that about a week earlier, the government of Guyana had discovered the presence of three Russians who were in the country to hack the elections, had detained two of them and ‘deported’ them, with the other one going missing. It did not matter that, even to this day, no actual evidence of the Russians was presented – Hughes and the rest of the coalition leadership would double down on this inane farce even as the Granger machinery continued to contort itself to both delay and corrupt the results of the election.
What finally ended the dementia of Mr. Granger’s attempt, which started on March 5 last year, to continue to run the country despite being demonstrably voted out of his office, was the threat and application of sanctions from our more powerful Western allies, including bipartisan condemnation and visa revocations from the very country that the Coalition was spending millions of dollars to convince that its attempts were justified, including pathetically presenting the Granger administration as a foil for China’s influence in the region.
Of course, after one year, the missing equation in all this is the man who throughout the indecent coup insisted and affirmed that he was at the helm of the political machinery engaging in that coup. As his machinery is – albeit unconvincingly – insisting, the elections of March 2 were stolen from Mr. Granger by an international conspiracy, the man himself remains in hiding, despite being the leader of the largest opposition party and the head of the list of the parliamentary opposition, minus one.
The former President does not have the honesty, integrity or decency to appear in front of the public to either admit the campaign of fraud his political machinery conducted from March 5 onward, or to placate his misinformed base that he is even sentient at this point. After one year, the dishonesty continues, the absurd theatricality continues, and demented cognitive dissonance of David Granger continues unabated.
After one year, this country needs an honest conversation that will lead to bridging the political and social divide, one that was strained. The chief architect of last year’s conspiracy has taken his voice out of the conversation, whether out of shame or basic cowardice – those echoing his royal madness need to stop doing so, or they can be no conversation in this country, at least involving them, on the way forward.
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