…”free and fair elections”
A professor from the US War College in Washington – which advises the US administration on global strategy — visited Guyana late last month. He opined, “In the context of Guyana’s current constitutional crisis, Washington has both an important role to play and a complex set of strategic imperatives to consider in doing so.” Your Eyewitness was pleased that he wasn’t coy but “told it like it is” in true “realist” style.
The gentleman noted that in the interviews he had with Guyanese leaders (the owner of Oases qualifies?) they all stressed the actions of the US back in the 1960s, but advised that the US had now moved on from the imperatives of the Cold War and was today more concerned with corruption in those running the Government – now and in the future. Stability is needed in light of Exxon pushing us into the ranks of the world’s top 20 oil producers.
In terms of the politics evolving after the NCM, the analyst opined that “recent APNU-AFC attempts to avoid or postpone an early election do not, for me at least, seem to pass the common-sense test. The challenge for the U.S. is not to allow its good relationship with the Granger government to lead it into condoning behaviours that could undermine the credibility of advocacy of healthy democracy elsewhere.” He had to be referring to the US strong advocacy for the return of democracy via “free and fair elections” in next door Venezuela and in the hemisphere.
Against that background, we must view the newly accredited US Ambassador, Sara-Ann Lynch, urging President Granger for “genuinely free and fair elections” very significant. The Ambassador is clearly in consonant with the professor’s observation that the US must be seen as not speaking “with a forked tongue” on its promulgation of democracy as a pillar of its foreign policy strategy.
As your Eyewitness has pointed out in this space before, corruption of the electoral process is the threshold issue in Guyana if we’re ever to entertain hopes of controlling “corruption” writ large. After all, while the Government’s supporters will close their eyes to the patently transparent efforts of the administration to stall the elections, they know this can only be because the PNC needs to buy time to implement some scheme on rigging the elections, originally scheduled for 2020.
And it’s this knowledge of the Govt corrupting the most important value of Guyanese – the power to freely select our governors – that causes Guyanese, from Minister to commoner, to excuse corruption in other sections of national life.
Let’s support the US Ambassador’s call for free and fair elections, and head off corruption at the pass.
Rally on March 21st!! Constitution Supremacy Day!!
Your Eyewitness notes the irony of four Government Ministers – including VPs Greenidge and Ramjattan — commemorating the 1913 killing of 15 sugar workers and wounding of another 56 by the colonial police! Those workers were then protesting the high-handedness of the planter class, who wanted to wring blood out of stone to extract as much profits as they could, and violate the contract with the workers. But this Government has fired over 7000 sugar workers countrywide and doomed them to destitution, since no alternative employment was created.
Trying to keep life and limb of their families and children, some workers went to fish on the abandoned estate of Skeldon – and were forced to pay for “the privilege”!! Your Eyewitness is willing to wager that, since the estates were closed, more than 15 have already perished through depression, suicide or malnutrition and its attendant illnesses. And this is a “Guyanese” Govt??
Yet these Govt Ministers could utter platitudes of being inspired by the sacrifices of 1913!
Irony is lost on these philistines.
So now we have the former Deputy Chief Elections Officer of GECOM – who should know about these things – vouchsafing that there’s no question the organisation was always in a position to conduct elections in 90 days!!
What says Patterson now??