In years to come, surely when those who’re today in short pants describe what the PNC did to rig the 2020 elections, they’d be accused of weaving a Guyanese version of “The tall tales of Baron Munchausen”. You know, like the one where the Baron’s sailing ship flies him to the moon or that time, when caught in a swamp, he rescued himself and his horse by lifting them both up by his pigtail!
Who, for instance, would believe that a grown-a55 PNC man – the heir presumptive even – would tell the nation that none of the 8000+ Disciplined Forces ballots weren’t stamped by the Presiding Officers at the hundreds of Polling Stations to which they’d been sent? When he KNEW he was “trying a thing” and the recount would show that not more than a few hundred ballots were unstamped in the ENTIRE count of 450,000 ballots!! In line with other elections. Didn’t he worry how he’d be seen when his tall tale was discovered – as he certainly knew it would be??
Or when the same fella insisted they’d received hard information that thousands of PPP votes had been cast by folks who’d long departed these shores, never to return. The elusive “migrated voter” which had become an urban legend – always invoked but never caught. In the beginning of rigging back in ‘68, when tracked down, a couple turned out to be horses grazing in an English field. Well, the Guyanese Baron (actually he’s just a retired Lt Colonel) went further than just making the outlandish claim – he actually submitted a list of these teleporting voters. Not, of course, the alleged “thousands and thousands” – of which his minions had confessed, when pressed, that it was collected from “field work”, which boiled down to gossip – but 217 names from the OLE that were identified to particular polling stations.
“Gotcha!!” the PNC faithful roared from the sidelines at the PPP. This was evidence of PPP’s perfidy, wasn’t it –- even though it would’ve hardly had an effect on the election outcome?? It was the “principle” of the thing, one suspects. So convincing evidently was the list, that backtracking on the vow she’d made just the day before about “he who alleges must prove”, the GECOM Chair unilaterally whisked off the list to no other than the CoP. He, in turn, dashed it over to the head of Immigration, who turned on a dime to report that he’d verified that 172 of the names had been out of the jurisdiction on March 2!!
The smoking gun, no? No!! The PPP quickly located these persons, who were actually here!!
Makes you wonder about how credible our Immigration was on those Haitians, doesn’t it??
If it’s one thing elections in Guyana have achieved is they’ve completely destroyed the notion that judges are paragons of probity. When Burnham was doing his thing with ballots boxes back in the day, both of the two heads of the Elections Commission were former Chief Justices and even knighted – first Sir Donald Jackman and the Sir Harold Bollers. Both of them left such a bitter taste on the tongues of Guyanese that when free and fair elections were imposed from 1992, the law was amended to include persons other than Judges.
So, when Granger insisted (illegally) on unilaterally picking a Judge (James Patterson, who actually lied about being a Chief Justice), a lot of folks thought that was a dead giveaway that mischief was afoot. But the PPP obviously holds the Judiciary in high regard, ‘cause they went along with Granger’s choice of another Judge (who thought she should’ve been Chief Justice!!) Claudette Singh!!
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Should Judges be barred from Chairing GECOM?
How come PNC’s Vincent Alexander alone in the Commission knew that Claudette Singh has sent off Harmon’s list of alleged “migrants” to the CoP? Did she whisper it into his ear?
Don’t they keep minutes of the Commission’s meetings?