The ruling delivered by the High Court on how the Constitution should be interpreted when it comes to appointing a Chairman to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), was nonchalantly brushed aside by President Granger. But of course while many were cheering to the Chief Justice, Roxane George-Wiltshire’s pronouncement, some of us remained unmoved as we awaited the typical slap-back from the PNC-led Government, and unsurprisingly, Granger didn’t disappoint us in this regard.
The man didn’t even bother with an embellished response; he simply dismissed the verdict by declaring: “I will act in accordance with my perception of the Constitution”.
What begs for worry is not so much the predictability of Granger’s response, but rather the passive acceptance of it by the people. When many were quick to march against the corrupt Smart City Solutions parking meter contract, few appear as moved today by the Government’s repeated violations of their Constitutional rights much less the president’s.
In the meanwhile, his minority party loyalists continue to cheer him on in his irrational governance of our country. Yet, this is the clearest Granger can make himself on how little he actually cares for our democratic rights, for the Law and for the founding text of our nation.
If he refuses to obey the Law and be guided by it, then he is setting precedence for and encouraging lawlessness by the Government of Guyana in a way never seen since the country’s first free and fair elections.
And by lifting himself above the Law, Granger has formally assumed that familiar posture flaunted by autocratic leaders – Burnham being no exception to the lot.
The President and his Government is paid to work for me and every single citizen of Guyana impartially. They are not paid so that we may debate and be hindered by their personal, unguided and unlearned perceptions, but rather, so that they may use our institutions for the greater common good and development of the nation.
Until such time as this would have been understood by our leaders, they cannot purport to represent the people nor have our interests at heart. And if our leaders are to slow to learn, then it is our role as a nation to teach them, the way we taught them in1992.
As someone said, “if we can March against parking meters then we can also March against violations of our Constitution. Time to be vigilant and proactive. We have come too far to regress.”