“Darkness at Noon” is the title Arthur Koestler gave to his allegorical novel that really described the imposition of brutal Stalin’s dictatorship over Russia. It alludes to the darkening of the skies when Christ was crucified at midday; something precious was being sacrificed. Today, a similar darkness has descended over Guyana, as our Constitution is being crucified by David Granger and his PNC in their bid to “fulfil the legacy of Forbes Burnham”, as promised by the present party leader.
Our Constitution describes the conditions we set on the Government for their actions when we conferred on them the power to oversee the state, which we created to facilitate our quest for a harmonious and prosperous society. But power is always seductive to those who don’t see it in terms of the greater good, but for their own personal aggrandisement and gain. The caretakers always have the potential to become dictators; and because of this, we, the people, always have to be vigilant to protect and defend our Constitution.
While some of you, dear readers, may accuse your Eyewitness of being hyperbolic, you should remember that dictatorships – including the first PNC dictatorship – weren’t built during the darkness of night, but in broad daylight, as its supporters closed their eyes to his early violations of the Constitution that had been conferred by the British in 1966. And it all had to do with gaming the elections process.
In 1967, some thought it was an innocuous innovation to compile a National Registration list (NRR) of all Guyanese over 14 years. Desmond Hoyte, a member of the elections Commission, swore it had nothing to do with an electoral list when PPP member Janet Jagan raised the question. But lo and behold, it was soon announced that the voters’ list would indeed be extracted from the NRR!! The law was only then amended to allow this!! And the rest is (our sordid) history.
So, against that background, when Granger — he is no longer “President” Granger — today insists his PERCEPTION of the Constitution allows him to UNILATERALLY appoint the GECOM Chair, and the latter is allowed to stack the organisation with PNC partisans, he is refusing to heed the crystal clear command that “the President and Cabinet” SHALL resign after the passage of an NCM; and when he refuses to set a date for elections and constructively confers that responsibility to his GECOM Chair, then there has to be a “darkness at noon”. That darkness is even more stygian when, as in Venezuela, the military is dominated by loyalists to the now illegal PNC regime.
But we can, by our peaceful expressions, show these usurpers that they have to go!!
If we need to understand the mindset of the PNC towards power, we just have to look at the letter in the press from old PNC strongman Hamilton Green. He rejected the efforts of the Carter Center to mediate in the present constitutional and governmental crisis. He intoned, “The thought of the Carter Center’s continued involvement in our political affairs is an anathema…the involvement of a group with roots in the deep south of the United States can hardly contribute to the dreams and aspirations of Guyanese to be one people, one nation, with one destiny.” So MLK, also from deep south Alabama, Georgia, can also teach us nothing?
But we know where Green is coming from, don’t we?? When, in 1992, the free and fair elections mediated by the Carter Center indicated the PPP was winning, he marched with a PNC mob and invaded the Elections HQ, and President Carter had to be evacuated. It took a call from the White House to Hoyte to call in the troops to quell the riot.
Granger, of course, brought back Green into the fold, and even awarded him with the Order of Roraima!!
Ah…the illegal regime really jumped into Phagwah!!
Now, will they introduce Indian and Amerindian music to join steel pan in the National School of Music?