Kaieteur News – What has happened in Guyana is adequately described by Mr. Dominic Gaskin during the election rigging. Gaskin who rejected the rigging wrote on his Meta page of July 17, 2020: “While I empathize with many who do not wish to see the PPP return to power, the harm that will ensue can never justify what is contemplated.”
What has happened since then is that those who did not want the PPP to rule again, have substituted the PPP for the existence of the country. What happens then is that every move by the government is seen as a conspiracy by the PPP and it has to be condemned using both political and racial vitriol. The emotions come from the usual suspects.
There is no policy-making process in Guyana anymore. For these people, anything government does is a racial and ethnic conspiracy. And the output is characterised by unmitigated propaganda. They hate the PPP, do not want the PPP to rule and certain sections of the media feed these people’s phantasmagoria.
And who are these people – the usual suspects. Not the opposition which naturally has to oppose and that is logical. By the usual suspect is meant certain civil society organisations, certain frequent letter writers in the newspapers, certain type of middle class, non-Indian personalities. These people’s mental flow is easily predictable.
It should come as no surprise that as soon as the amendment to the Representation of the People’s Act (RoPA) was published, the usual suspects were on the rooftop. It should come as no surprise that propaganda would replace academic analysis and anti-PPP venom would be substituted for decency. The usual suspects will shut out from their minds that hundreds of thousands of citizens in this country want to see legal and constitutional changes that would make a repeat of the Mingo/Lowenfield/Myers playbook impossible.
The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) as predicted sees nothing positive about the changes. This is the same body that didn’t have psychological functionalism to condemn five months of election rigging but could condemn legal changes that would ensure those five months are impossible to return.
Then they are those who lost their prominence and friends when the APNU+AFC was defeated at the poll last year and in the process lost their minds. They welcome the dishonest content of GHRA’s output and on reading that, I silently exclaimed – what a mind!
No one in this country who believes the government of the PPP does wrong things and want them corrected can retain their credibility by citing the GHRA as a signpost of human rights activism. The GHRA is plain and simple a non-functioning body that seeks publicity by periodic issuing of press releases specifically designed to attack the government because the PPP is in power. This moribund body is kept alive by a certain section of the press to whom it is grateful because the GHRA writes frequent editorials for it.
For anyone to look at the silence of the GHRA during the five months of election rigging and see it as a credible civil society group has a contorted mind. One letter writer attributes racial motive for the amendment to RoPA. I read the amendment and someone has to tell me how Indian voters in this country, who vote for the PPP, will have a strategic advantage in voting over other ethnic groups.
These letter writers, the GHRA and others have knocked the amendments because GECOM remains untouched in the proposed changes. Either this is dishonesty or downright intellectual incompetence. The Carter/Price formula that has shaped GECOM is a constitutional article. It cannot be changed. Only a two thirds majority in the House can do that.
You can change RoPA to ensure the procedures are legally water-proof, for example – making the statements of poll immediately available to all and sundry after polling closes. But the ruling party cannot pass legislation to amend the anatomy and physiology of GECOM. Here is an interesting story of how untouchable constitutionally GECOM is. Three of the commissioners must be from the opposition. Then opposition leader, Robert Corbin requested Vincent Alexander to resign so he, Corbin, could have him replaced.
This was at a time when Alexander and Corbin were locked in confrontation over the leader position in the PNC. Alexander refused to resign citing his position as a constitutional one not subject to recall by any human in Guyana, including the president.
He was right. The Opposition leader Corbin could not have fired a PNC GECOM commissioner because the constitution only recognises GECOM commissioners, not party commissioners. I guess tomorrow the usual suspects will come up with more of their anti-PPP madness. Decent Guyanese should know better.
(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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