As a historian, Granger’s certainly aware of Marx’s famous aphorism that history repeats itself – first as tragedy and then as farce. So when he announced his vow to fulfil Burnham’s legacy – which was the greatest tragedy in the history of Guyana – he had to’ve known his efforts would end up as high farce. As so said, so done!!
Let’s look at the particular aspect of Burnham’s legacy that’s been unfolding as we speak, since March 2: rigging elections. Granger had cogged for his master’s playbook with the fiddling with the lists by claiming it was “bloated”. But after all his shenanigans, he had to go along with a voters’ list that was even larger than the original one he’d whined about!! He then shuffled voters out of their districts, closed borders, had PPP voters stand in cow pastures in the sun to vote in tents, etc.
He figured those manoeuvres would be enough to put him over the top – especially after he’d come to believe his own propaganda about Irfaan Ali not being popular; more Guyanese emigrating, and his army buddies mobilising his traditional base. But as the votes from the regions started to come in, Granger realised he had to do something radical to save his skin. He couldn’t bring out the army to collect the votes as Burnham had done in ’73, so he had to make do with the Reg 4 mega voting population and a made-up ace-in-the-hole: RO Mingo.
Burnham’s army intervention was, of course, was a brutal tragedy from which Guyana really never recovered. And inevitably, we see Granger’s farce playing out as he ludicrously tries to step into his master’s shoes. The hapless Mingo’s efforts were doomed from the very beginning: he had to do his counting of SoPs in front of the largest collection of Foreign Observers assembled in the hemisphere!! Did Granger really think Mingo having the vapours would fool even a schoolchild?
Not only the observers but the western diplomats were insulted: was this what Granger thought of their intelligence? Jeez, even if they wanted him back in office, surely he could’ve given them a smidgen of deniability!! The vapours were only the first act in the comedy of errors – clerks tired; clerks creating spreadsheets out of thin air; flash drives walking out of secured rooms; Chair locked in another room and finally Mingo’s balcony scene.
More of a Cyrano than a Juliet, Mingo’s dramatic announcement of the concocted “result” from the Ashmin’s balcony, was the grand finale to the farce! He didn’t even have the presence of mind to realise that having Volda Lawrence serve as his witness blew his cover!
But then he’s THE Mingo!!
…and the recount that never was!
The balcony scene was derided as the farce it was…and even the diplomats had to undiplomatically walk out!! So Mingo had to repeat his klutzy performance in a tent – which was a more fitting location for the low comedy into which the matter had descended. What followed couldn’t have even come from that manic director Baron Sasha Cohen, who came up with that classic farce of dictators named…well…” the Dictator”!!
Suddenly out of the blue, Granger, with the agreement of Opposition Leader Jagdeo, invited Caricom to send a delegation to supervise a recount of ALL the ballots countrywide! This took the farce to a whole new level. Three GECOM Commissioners – the ones Granger had appointed! – immediately objected, insisting, “Excuse me! GECOM is an autonomous body!!” More delay as the ball was thrown into GECOM’s lap to make a decision on the recount. Before the decision could be made, however, an APNU candidate applied to a court specialising in commercial matters (!) for an injunction to prevent GECOM from calling for the recount.
And having them announce the results!!
…the denouement (for now)
So can the farce get more ridiculous than Granger’s party going against HIS agreement to have a recount – to make him President??
Bashful or Machiavellian?