I offer my congratulations to President-elect Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the Presidential Candidate of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic, the political party which to the best of my knowledge gained the majority of votes at Guyana’s General and Regional Elections held on March 2, 2020.
It is very unfortunate that the fraudulent conduct of some representatives of GECOM, enabled by the incumbent regime and with the continuing abuse of the court process, has delayed a democratic transition and the swearing in of a new President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
The Father of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine, once said: “He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”
I am in favour of no precondition as a prerequisite for Dr. Ali to be sworn in as President of Guyana; it is sufficient that we have a democratic transition that is in keeping with the legislative mandates of our electoral system.
What I look forward to is a new government that is inclusive, consultative, transparent, and participatory, in keeping with the type of democratic governance that Guyana desperately needs.
One aside that I feel necessary to include in this congratulatory note is an extract from page 41 of the “1997 National Development Strategy” anchored by The Carter Center, Former President Desmond Hoyte, then President Cheddi Jagan and then Finance Minister Bharrat Jagdeo, re: “Afro-Guyanese dominate state-run agencies and the public service – the targets of privatization and downsizing; Indo-Guyanese dominate agriculture and the private sector – the main beneficiaries of economic liberalization. Local actors better understand such structural realities.”
It is my fervent hope that after being sworn in as President of Guyana, the new administration takes a no-vendetta approach to governance and focus on working assiduously towards bringing our people together by creating an environment and dynamism that will foster the accelerated economic and social development of Guyana.
To my friends in leadership positions in APNU-AFC-WPA, I plead with you to take swift action and align yourselves for a democratic transition. We Guyanese will be so much stronger when our major political parties can accept an election loss, use it as an opportunity to learn from mistakes made, and prepare for the next elections.
As we struggle to put Guyana’s fledgling democracy back on track, I close by using the wise words of the slave-born Epictetus, the Greek Philosopher: “No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”