Apr 26, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Surrealism and Theatricality…or Illusion and Delusion. Any of those could have been an apt theme for the unheralded and uninspiring pseudo-return of former President, David Granger, to the public eye last week via the return of his branded half hour of “Hello President Lite!”, better known as ‘The Public Interest’. For those who needed reminding, ‘The Public Interest’ was the name given to the highly curated engagement he created a few months into his presidency as a way of avoiding press conferences – after a paltry few episodes, he ended even that and disappeared from press scrutiny for the rest of his single term.
While his engagement with the media, or rather his refusal to do so, set an historical precedent in terms of the absence of presidential availability to the press, his disappearance after finally being toppled by increasing local and international pressure against his shameful attempt to retain power despite losing an election, was something that set its own standard of personal and political cowardice.
To be clear, Granger’s most recent reappearance has been prompted by several reasons, none of them in the public’s interest, nor frankly at this point in any way interesting to the public – even his own party members have been lukewarm at best in sharing the interview on social media, the one place it has any hope of hitting a significant audience. Of these, we will deal with the primary two.
The firs, is that he has finally been forced to address and fend off criticisms of his vanishing act as the, for now, mostly silent groundswell against his leadership gains momentum, particularly in the light of his party’s impending triennial congress where the leadership for the PNC is decided. From all indications, a besieged and unpopular Granger has zero intention to hold the congress, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse for the very sort of dishonest prevarication and temporizing he used to artificially extend his time as President, far beyond the No Confidence Vote of 2018. It must be cold comfort to the persons who cheered him on as he was violating the national Constitution while repeating a mantra of “I am abiding by the Constitution”, that during the interview, he said of his party members “”They know the truth about my performance and they know that I always abide by the constitution of the party.”
The second function of Granger’s miraculous reemergence has to do with the fact that today the Chief Justice will be handing down her decision in the second of two elections petition cases brought by Granger against the result of the elections he decisively lost. With the first petition already thrown out by what can only be construed as his own direct and deliberate sabotage, today will – if the paltry performance of his legal presentation is anything to go by, in addition of course to the complete lack of merits of the case – mark the final curtain on the expensive and pathetic theatre Granger has engaged in at the expense of his constituents. In brief, he is going to lose the petition.
It is precisely in expectation of this reality that he said the following during his interview last week:
“…it was reasonably close. We have won 31 seats according to the Guyana Elections Commission report and PPP/C got 33 and there is one independent seat.”
This marks the first de facto admission by the former President – who has still refused to official concede defeat to Dr. Irfaan Ali – that he lost the elections of March 2020, and by how many seats he lost the elections. That it should come as it did in as a scripted response in an in-house interview is both darkly comical and absurd in itself. It shows an absence of integrity, of character, that there is no public, open admission that Granger not only lied about winning the election for five months but threw the country, its citizens and even his own party comrades under the bus in seeking to perpetuate that lie. Party Chair Volda Lawrence and party stalwart Carol Smith-Joseph – granted, acting in part of their own accord – are facing what could very well be jail time by their actions in support of that lie, one that Granger did not take five minutes, after hiding for almost nine months, to backpedal on in under five minutes.
As covered in our reporting yesterday on part of his ‘The Public Interest’ interview, the former President is clearly suffering from some severe form of cognitive dissonance:
“Granger said he is convinced as well that the people on the ground, particularly those he met, are desirous of having the APNU+AFC returned to office. Granger said that, emboldened by the love he received from supporters during recent outreaches, the coalition will work harder in and out of Parliament to represent the interests of the people. He said too, that he is convinced once the citizenry sees this renewed commitment, they would not drift from the coalition. The former President assured as well that the coalition will continue to do what is necessary to regain office.”
In the wake of three defeats in local government elections as an incumbent, in the wake of the loss of the Presidency, in the wake of defeat of his political machinery’s attempt to rig the elections, in the wake of legal embarrassment after embarrassment, which will no doubt culminate today, the most delusional pronouncement made by Granger in that completely delusional interview was, “I am convinced we will continue to win.” Continue.
Today’s loss of the final elections petition case will hopefully provide those swept up in the former President’s macabre fever dream with a harsh but necessary dose of reality. That outcome would be the best thing in the public interest.
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