Home Letters GHRA has no moral rectitude to pronounce on anything electoral
Let me preface my views on the Guyana Human Rights Association’s call about abandoning the International Republican Institute’s project. Overall, this GHRA is not just a failed entity, it is biased and pro-opposition to the core.
“The blow-blow still blowing,” on Nov 11, 2020 (Peeping Tom) emphatically states that “The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) is a blow-blow organization… (as) during the election crisis, not a whisper was heard from the GHRA. It did not condemn the attempts to rig the elections – a human rights issue. Its deafening silence led to the assumption that the GHRA had become defunct.”
In “Trumpism or Burnhamism” (Nov 17, 2020 Freddie Kissoon), the author states that “Guyana has a group named the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) and an organization titled, Guyana Transparency Institute. These two entities were completely silent for those five months.
“A country goes through one of its deadliest moments in its evolution and these two bodies just barefacedly refused to discuss the danger of rigged elections for democracy and the country’s future. After the factual election results were accepted by Guyana and the world, the GHRA arose from its slumber.”
wow! This is incontrovertible rhetoric that gets worse. Why? “The said GHRA took to the press in its call for forensic experts to come from Argentina to investigate the murder of the three youths in Cotton Tree in Region Five” in such a way as though the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) were to be blamed and were responsible for some kind of heinous racial crime. Shame on the GHRA.
Now, Readers, I repeat a most obvious question: “How can any society show any respect to the GHRA? How can any young mind tolerate such a deeply disturbed entity?
So now, the toothless and voiceless GHRA, in a most anti-Government and undemocratic gesture, is questioning the IRI in its requested role to help in ‘Electoral Reform in Guyana,’ an area which needs buttressing, as was seen when the A Partnership For National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) sought to rig the March 2020 Elections.
I thoroughly condemn the GHRA. Its notion is fallacious too, saying that “…if (the 18-month project) launched prematurely, the reform process will inevitably become embroiled in the endless bipartisan recrimination over the last elections, rather than address the decades of structurally dysfunctional elections.”
First, how can this project be prematurely launched? Why wait? Was the GHRA blind during the five-month election impasse? What the Coalition Opposition ‘carried on with’ was so disgusting to one and all, locally, regionally and internationally, that Electoral Reform to preclude such a repeat is not only necessary, but urgent.
Secondly, this project is not an in-closet operation conducted by some overnight entity. The Opposition members were invited, and still they are not satisfied, even with being a part of initial talks, seemingly wanting to be the architect of such a venture. Then the International Republican Institute (IRI) is not some mediocre body. It is a top-rated international democracy-development organisation, noted for being non-partisan and non-governmental. Its history is most illustrious, having done high class work in more than 100 countries going back to 1983. It has contributed significantly to electoral work in places like Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa, and currently has offices in 40 countries worldwide.
Preposterous indeed are the remarks of the GHRA. Now the GHRA, in the role of the Opposition, in wanting to be the crafters of the Electoral Reform, says that “If external electoral assistance is needed in Guyana, Caricom in general and Jamaica in particular would be the place to start.”
Well, let me do a bit of revisiting back to June 2020.
Guyana’s then caretaker David Granger-led administration had publicly denounced the Caribbean Community (Caricom) national vote recount report during its participation in a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS). During the same period, then Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Karen Cummings, in reacting to remarks by the People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) Prime Ministerial candidate, Retired Brigadier Mark Phillips, had said that the Caricom recount did not reflect the overall scrutiny of the 2,339 boxes of ballots.
“In our estimation, it was not a representative sample even though the Caricom team of scrutineers had stated that despite some reservations, the votes counted could be used to declare the results as they reflected the will of Guyanese.”
And let us not forget Chief of the OAS Electoral Observer Mission to Guyana, former Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding, who actually chronicled the electoral process had declared that the recount confirmed that efforts had been made to inflate the declaration for Region/District Four. “These results, but for minor adjustments, reflected the results contained in the original statements of poll, and conclusively established the extent to which the figures for Region Four were altered to give the APNU+AFC coalition an overall majority”.
Now, since even the OAS and Caricom were objects of derision by the APNU+AFC coalition, then Guyana has to move ahead. The incumbent is the legally chosen and declared governing body running the country, and it must not stop at every bit of time-wasting effort by the Opposition.
Todd A Morgan