2021 will be a blessed year for Guyana, a year that will break all records for economic growth. In 2021, Guyanese will together embrace our destiny as the country embarks on the largest economic (GDP) growth rate in the world. But it is not just the economic growth that will make 2021 a remarkable year, it is also the year in which the landscape of the country will forever be changed, with transformational projects in sheer numbers never before seen in any single year.
2020 was a terrible year. Guyana combated one of the worst pandemics we ever faced in our history – COVID-19. With more than 6,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 164 deaths, COVID-19 has been a scourge. We still have to contend with this scourge in 2021; however, we are confident we will take this brute, with vaccines almost within our grasp. But we also faced, in 2020, the scourge of dictators trying to thief an election. For five months, dictators tried to subvert our democracy by trying to rig the election results. The head of the dictator brigade trying to thief the elections was David Granger. He surfaced at the end of the year, shamefully justifying the theft attempt as “fortifying” democracy. This is akin to a burglar telling a magistrate the homeowners should be grateful to him, demanding he deserves a medal because his attempt to burglarise their home now makes that home safer.
The five-month siege that tried to rig the election results and thief a government was brazen, obscenely played out in full view of the whole world. However, the five-month siege was just the culmination of an effort to rig the election; the effort started from the very beginning of the tenure of David Granger as President of Guyana in May 2015. In May 2015, when Granger established a Minister of Citizenship, I wrote a column exposing APNU/AFC’s overt plan to play games with voter registration. Today we have an investigation of a system for issuing birth certificates in numbers that flummoxed people’s minds. The naming of a Minister of Citizenship in 2015 was an overt plan to recreate the role of the national registration system that existed pre-1992, when elections were rigged through several mechanisms, including bogus voters’ lists.
Granger advanced the plans to rig the 2020 elections when he breached the Constitution to appoint his hand-picked candidate for Chairman of GECOM. The well-established, tried and proven process for selecting the Chairperson of GECOM, which existed since 1992, was abandoned by Granger, and after unconscionably rejecting the names of eighteen prominent Guyanese, Granger proceeded to name Justice James Patterson as GECOM’s new Chair, in June 2018. But even in appointing his handpicked henchman, he delayed the process for more than a year. James Patterson was appointed in absolute violation of the Constitution to be the new Justice Bollers, who was the PNC’s front-man in rigging elections in 1968, 1973, 1978, 1980 and 1985.
Thankfully, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) was not intimidated by Granger’s APNU+AFC, and, in 2019, the CCJ ruled that Granger violated the Constitution when he arbitrarily appointed Patterson as GECOM Chair. It was the first signal that the plan to rig the 2020 elections was not going to be easy.
When the No-Confidence Motion was passed on December 21, 2018, and mandated elections by March 2019, APNU/AFC did everything to prevent the elections. Patterson became too ill to be on the job, and, without a Chair, GECOM was not prepared for elections. Interestingly, Keith Lowenfield and his staff declared, on December 22, 2018, one day after the NCM was passed, that GECOM was ready for the March 2019 elections. But later GECOM insisted it could not be ready for the elections, using the illness of James Patterson as one reason why GECOM was behind arrangements for an early election. When it became clear that GECOM’s readiness status was not going to be enough to prevent an election, Granger’s APNU/AFC decided to engage the courts to decide whether 33 is more than 32. The Guyanese Appeal Court shamelessly agreed with Granger and APNU+AFC that 33 is not more than 32. Again, the CCJ saved the day and inserted a roadblock on Granger PNC’s plan to rig the elections.
After the March 2, 2020 elections, when it became clear that Dr Irfaan Ali and the PPP had won the elections, the election thieving ensued. The GECOM staff, led by Keith Lowenfield, Roxanne Meyers and Mingo, are now faced with charges of fraud. Their attempts to change the votes in full view of the world were fully exposed, being live-streamed to the world. When rigged numbers were exposed, they proceeded to make up excuses such as dead people and phantoms voted. During the national recount, they could not produce any evidence. When they identified a name on the list as a dead voter, the person showed up to debunk their egregious allegations. Nothing in these many attempts to thief and rig the elections, which started as early as May 2015 and lasted through August 2, 2020 served to “fortify” Guyana’s democracy. David Granger is totally delusional if he believes any of us accepts his stupidity.