Home Letters APNU/AFC’S sinister messages, “dog whistle”, overt threats to avoid elections
The newest element of a strategy to avoid elections totally or, at least, delay elections for as long as possible, even if laws are violated, is to issue threats in the form of a dog whistle. The obvious and sinister threats contained in the messages are clear and these threats are directed to certain people, including the new Chair of GECOM. Make no mistake, David Granger’s meeting with GECOM was a dog whistle in itself. APNU/AFC deliberately telegraphed to the media that Granger was meeting GECOM with a December date in mind for elections. That never happened, but the speculation fueled by APNU/AFC was sinisterly intended to telegraph to Claudette Singh that she should not consider any date before December.
Speaking on behalf of APNU/AFC/PNC, George Norton contemptuously declared they will consider GECOM’s new Chair’s position on House-to-House (HTH) Registration in determining the way forward, thereby withdrawing the onus they placed on GECOM to determine the date for elections. Previously, with their hand-picked, illegally appointed Chair, a man placed at the head of GECOM to do the bidding of Granger and APNU/AFC, their position was whatever GECOM decides APNU/AFC and the country are bound by. Granger abdicated his presidential duty to name a date for elections to GECOM, insisting the date for elections is the mandate for GECOM. Now that a new legally appointed Chair is in place who APNU/AFC is uncertain will unreservedly follow APNU/AFC’s dictum, their posture has changed. This is the genesis of Norton’s statement, giving notice, APNU/AFC has no obligation to accept GECOM’s decision, even if that decision is based on the law and on judicial mandates. It is a dog whistle, directed to the new Chair, she has no responsibility to determine elections timeline.
From their previous position, it was GECOM’s responsibility to determine when elections must be held, APNU/AFC has shifted to a position that the responsibility is entirely that of the President. Of course, both positions are wrong. It is only the responsibility of the President to name a date within a constitutionally-mandated timeframe. At as this time, that date must be on or before September 18.
GECOM’s present HTH Registration, embarked on through the direction of the previously illegal Chairman, is in contravention of that constitutionally-mandated election timeline. The new Chair has responsibly indicated she is obligated to adhere to the Constitution and the law. In that case, she has no alternative but to support the legally available mechanism to have a list available for elections within the constitutional timeline, presently by September 18. That legally available option is a Claims and Objections period, even the Chief Elections Officer conceded that. With Claims and Objections, elections is possible within the constitutionally-mandated three months. HTH Registration will not permit elections by September 18, it will extend the time unreasonably way beyond this date.
Every day, there is more evidence added to the already overwhelming evidence trove, APNU/AFC/PNC, from the beginning, have done everything possible to prevent the holding of elections, which, in accordance with the Constitution, should have been held since March 21, 2019. George Norton’s vulgar pronouncement on HTH Registration and Granger’s seemingly useless visit to the Commission are signals to the Chair, a dog whistle, telegraphing their intention to accept nothing other than a continuation of HTH Registration and elections sometime in the far distant future. These are clear signals to the new GECOM Chair that GECOM’s decision must be in accord with what APNU/AFC/PNC wants, not what is legal, not what the Judiciary says, not what the Constitution demands, or else.
APNU/AFC/PNC is determined to violate the Constitution, avoiding an election like the black plague. Each time, their delaying tactic faces a stern rebuke and a possible wall, they resort to bullying. When the Attorney General told an audience last Monday there will be “dire consequences”, invoking the fear of mayhem on the streets of Guyana, it was a frontal threat not to dare stand in their way. It was not just a threat to the public, it was a warning to the GECOM Chair that she will be responsible for the mayhem in the streets if she adheres to anything other than what the PNC wants.
The nation is being held hostage by the PNC’s DNA, the genetics of fear, dictatorship and authoritarianism. They do not believe in democracy, in peacefully giving up control of Government through free and fair elections. So far, they have bought an extra six months and it looks like they are on their way to expire another three months. How long will they defy the people, how long will they defy the courts, how long will they defy the Constitution, how long will they defy democracy? Too many people are still aiding and abetting them with their silence.
Dr Leslie Ramsammy