Kaieteur News – Following the defeat of the PNC at 1992 elections, a strongman of the party began to exhibit signs of post-elections trauma. He began to lash out at his party and to claim, on the one hand, that Desmond Hoyte had sold out the elections; and, on the other hand, that Jimmy Carter came and tampered with the elections.
So concerned was Hoyte with the traumatic behaviour of this individual that he dispatched an envoy from Congress Place to the individual. And the end of their conversation, the envoy said that the individual was traumatised by the loss of the elections. Right now, there are thousands of persons who are suffering post elections depression. This seems to have been a case of delayed onset. Many middle class persons are suddenly awoke to the reality that they no longer enjoy the perquisites to which they are accustomed. As such, they are lashing out at the government with the most outrageous claims.
But this deflection of responsibility is merely a symptom of their trauma. But it is not as dangerous as what they are trying to do to preserve the status quo ante. After every election, there is usually an inquisition in which the leaders of the losing party are supposed to be held to account. In order to forestall this reckoning, the political elites of losing parties normally try to deflect attention from their own shortcomings in order not to be asked to step down.
This happened following the 2015 elections when the PPPC took to protest action to claim that the elections were rigged. Moreover, while there was some evidence of wrong votes being allocated a few polling stations, this would not have altered the overall result of the elections, which led to an APNU+AFC victory. The PPPC even filed an election petition. No one called the PPPC leaders to account but the very elites within the PPPC decided five years later to go with a new Presidential candidate. The PPPC elites were not dethroned.
In 2020, the APNU+AFC failed to benefit from an attempt to rig the elections. However, the elites told their supporters that the elections were fixed and that the American installed the PPPC in office. This is the ‘Big Lie’ which was pedaled and which the majority of the Guyanese people know to be untruthful. But in Guyana, a sucker is born every day and there are tens of thousands of Guyanese who not only believe the ‘Big Lie’ but they also do so because they want to. They cannot come to grips with losing. It is a traumatic experience.
At the same time, the Coalition did not wish for there to be an inquisition into their rule and especially into their poorly administered elections campaign. For example, there has been no public release of the Cummingsburg Accord which caused much division between the APNU and the AFC. There was no central command centre also for the Coalition. The AFC had their own operation on the train line and the APNU had a center on Lamaha Street and the PNCR had a setup in Congress Place where it is believed certain decisions were taken after it became clear that the Coalition had lost.
The elites are into self-preservation mode. They do not want to shift aside and allow for the rebuilding of both the PNCR and the AFC. They are also fearful that their support base will crumble after the humiliating loss of the elections.
And what better way to galvanize their support base than by contending that the ruling PPPP/C is practising ethnic discrimination. There is no better way than to ask supporters to forget the grouses which they may harbour against their parties than by creating an external enemy. In this case, the enemy is the PPPC which it is being contended is practising discrimination. But this narrative will change nothing. All it will do, and all it appears intended to do is to ensure the preservation of the political elites.
By making their supporters feel that they are victims of racial oppression, these supporters will cling more firmly to the APNU and the AFC and forget about holding their leaders accountable for the elections loss. This is how the middle class political elites manipulate the masses. They do so in order to protect their own skin and preserve their own standing within the political parties. Many middle class persons lost their lucrative political appointments. They want to be around for the next elections to regain those positions. And many of them are behaving as if they are suffering emotional trauma. It is time that Guyanese begin to reject this form of manipulation by the political elites. Those who are traumatised should seek mental health treatment.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of this newspaper and its affiliates.)
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