If you have read my columns throughout the five-month election saga, you would know I made the following observation more than three times. It is that when the legal process is completed and the rightful winner is constitutionally recognised by Guyana and the world, then those who were cowardly afraid to denounce rigging and those struck by a carcinogenic virus of silence will find their voice.
The examples are numerous. There is a group that covers the LGBT community named SASOD. This entity never uttered one word about one of the most disgracefully tampered national elections in the entire world in both the 20th and 21st century that occurred in Guyana, from March to August 2020. When Secretary of State, Pompeo, visited Guyana shortly after Dr. AIi was sworn in as President, SASOD denounced the visit. SASOD placed its signature on a letter signed by people you would never know existed when election rigging was taking place.
An entity was formed after the election results in July last year. This group chose to come to life after July 2020. Why not before isn’t hard to understand – cowardly fear and carcinogenic silence. The name is Election Reform Group (ERG). Here are the words of the ERG last Sunday in a published newspaper letter, “The current controversy over the US Government’s announcement of the electoral reform project… shows that the issue of electoral reform in Guyana continues to resonate with the public.”
What controversy is the ERG talking about? Only one civil society entity has rejected the project – ACDA. This is perfectly logical with emphasis on the adverb, “perfectly.” ACDA is closely aligned with the PNC and did not accept the PPP’s March 2020 victory. The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) and WPA have joined ACDA. But surely, no one sees the GHRA as a functional organisation. It has the same head the past 40 years and is virtually an inactive thing. Which person in Guyana recognises a political party named the WPA?
The Stabroek News sought a response on the election reform project from an entity named SAGE – Society for African Guyanese Empowerment. This is a one-man show headed by David Hinds. The past five years Hinds has birthed several one-man things, of which Cuffy 250 came and went. Now he has SAGE. About Hinds, we should ask him when he is coming back to live in Guyana and when last he visited. If he isn’t coming back to live, he should be honest and say it.
Now let’s get provocative with the ERG. Since ACDA’s statement made the election reform process controversial, can others make the existence of the ERG controversial? If this columnist, and an editorial in Guyana Times or the Chronicle or a PPP leader says that the ERG is a non-existent body, will the ERG agree that it then becomes controversial?
Here are more worrying emanations from the ERG, “We believe that civil society must have central involvement in the electoral reform process, and to that end emphasise non-partisanship as critical to our credibility.” Who or what is civil society in Guyana? The Bar Association is part of civil society and it has accepted the election project. The Private Sector Commission is part of civil society and it has accepted the project. FITUG is the largest trade union federation and it has approved the project. What is ERG talking about?
Can we ask the ERG for a list of civil society entities? Does it include SASOD, Red Thread, GHRA, TUC, those awful, hypocritical women groups that are shamelessly politically biased? Will the ERG include Transparency Institute, Guyana Chapter (TIGI)?
This body watched for three years the abominable lack of transparency at UG and uttered not one word. And guess who the head of TIGI was when all this was going on? A UG lecturer himself. One of the TIGI bigwigs told me at a picket exercise in support of Donald Rodney that he only reads one newspaper in Guyana.
Here is more pomposity from the ERG. It says it “will facilitate national ownership for reforms as a means of ensuring their implementation.” Who or what is the ERG to facilitate Guyanese involvement in election reform? Who are these ego-trippers in the ERG? I never heard of 99 percent of the names in this opaque group.
I end with some questions for the ERG. Does it accept that the half of 65 is 34? Does it accept that the constitution was violated when election was not called three months after the no-confidence motion? Does it accept that the March 2020 election was being rigged for five consecutive months until the world stopped the rigging?
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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