Please permit me space to respond to two letters by GHK Lall, both published on June 1st, 2020. The first is captioned, “Truths now confirmed in ongoing drama of Guyana’s elections” (Stabroek News); and the second is captioned, “George Floyd protests should make all Guyanese pay attention” (Kaieteur News).
I can’t begin to wonder how destroyed we are as a nation. It is a fact that there is a lot of healing needed after this election is resolved, because of the animosity of people towards groups and organizations, which was evident because of biases they held, or for other reasons. For whatever reason, it is clear that these elements stood willfully blind to good, and rendered themselves incapable of giving credit when same was due.
In the Kaieteur News piece, Mr. Lall is claiming to be a realist, but then said: “I submit this on the firmest of grounds: That losing group, whichever it is…” How can he claim to be a realist, but still fail to accept that there has been a clear case of an attempt to rig? In the words of the former Jamaican PM and head of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission, Bruce Golding: “I have never seen a more transparent effort to alter the results of an election.”
How can you not know? Deduce from everything that has happened following Election Day. The sore losers ran to court to stop the recount after the CARICOM team first arrived.
Secondly, in the Stabroek News piece, Mr. Lall said: “…the opposition PPP…The party, its pathetic leaders, and their surrounding casts talk a loud game but do not have what it takes to walk upright proudly on their own strength. but is unnerved by the requirements, the sacrifices, that are essential components of any victory to be earned…” This is a clear example of painting an entire organization with a broad brush to fit the single-story narrative that he has told himself, and is now using to convince others.
In the eighth paragraph of the letter in Stabroek News, Mr. Lall said: “The private sector is too populated with persons working against the best interests of this nation for the sordid personal benefits of particular members.” The private sector represents approximately 75% of the money circulated in Guyana’s economy. As a financial Analyst and my former Economics teacher, Mr. Lall should recognise the importance of the private sector. In response to the claims that these people do not have the interest of the nation at heart, Mr. Lall should first identify the contributions of these businesses. Where do you think Guyana would be without entrepreneurs?
These businesses are mostly Guyanese-owned, and staying and fighting for this country should be considered patriotic, as they are capable of moving abroad for a better life, but they chose to improve the state of affairs right here in Guyana by creating jobs, contributing to the economy, and engaging in corporate social responsibility activities, as well as improving the standard of living and quality of life.
The APNU+AFC Coalition leader David Granger has been quoted over the years as emphasising the importance and the role of the private sector by stating that the Government isn’t capable of employing everyone, and the private sector is meant to fill this void.
As a Guyanese, I am astonished to be told that the private sector, in attempting to survive during the pandemic, is considered to be “neither principled nor patriotic”. Some persons are unappreciative of the private sector, but I would like to thank them for their service and continued developing of Guyana.
It is downright unscrupulous to not take a stand in the face of blatant electoral fraud, regardless of which political party you support. The example of Mr. Granger’s son-in-law Dominic Gaskin easily comes to mind, given that he spoke out against electoral fraud despite being part of the APNU+AFC Coalition and despite personal ties to the leader of the APNU+AFC Coalition, which was seeking to benefit from electoral fraud.
This is not the time to be a soup drinker.
It is time to stop divisive statements that continue to fuel the fires of animosity; fuel the contentious political situation.
The current situation needs de-escalation, not a sympathiser of an incompetent regime further adding to the confusion.
Now, more than ever, there is need to remind the nation that Election Day was free and fair. On this point, I wish to remind of the following: • The GECOM Chair, Claudette Singh, on March 4th, 2020, said: “GECOM has delivered free, fair and credible elections.”
• The APNU+AFC Coalition leader, David Granger, on March 4th, 2020, said: “The General and Regional Elections were free, fair and orderly.”
• The APNU+AFC Coalition’s own dossier, which was circulated to US lawmakers, on page 11, said: “The various comments from the observer missions convey that the voting process in the elections was well managed, peaceful, proceeded largely without incident and was free, fair and transparent. It is, therefore, reasonable to conclude then that the voting process was not fraudulent.”
There is no doubt that the proceedings on Election Day were free, fair and credible. We are in the current situation because of the tabulation process in Region 4 and the barefaced attempt to rig the results in that Region.
On that note, Mr. Lall also mentioned the EU Ambassador in his Kaieteur News’ letter. Let me remind you that he also said other notable things. He said: “We said it very clearly. This tabulation process for Region Four was NOT credible. It was not reflecting the will of the people. It has clearly followed a process that was not the right process…”
While the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, said: “It is clear there are forces that do not want to see the votes recounted.”
In the letter published in Kaieteur News, Mr. Lall said: “The anticipated communal and national peace will not be forthcoming. I submit this on the firmest of grounds: That losing group, whichever it is, will have conditioned itself and people, and readied both through the indoctrination that they have been deceived and defrauded and disenfranchised. It is that their votes do not matter, their lives and the quality of existence yearned for from the oil do not count. I do not think that there will (be) much need for too much inciting, as the bitter antagonistic seeds have had the longest of sowing seasons. There will be no conceding by anyone…”
I agree with that, because of the constant tunes being sung since the fraudulent declarations were challenged in court, and the attempts at rigging have been quashed by the fighters of our democracy. The de facto regime should stop contradicting itself and start being decent and honest. That way, when the recount is over, we won’t end up in turmoil.
I urge you and all my fellow Guyanese to understand that this is not the time to let our biases cloud our judgement.
It is heartbreaking to see educated people blindly accepting obvious fake news and satire (remember Freddie Kissoon’s Tuesday, May 19th piece).
Mr. Lall, you’re an analyst, be analytical. One can deduce who won and who really and truly is the sore loser in this election. Please, this is not the time to push content with divisive undertones. The recount should be over soon, we need to stand united, we need to move forward, we need to heal from this. On August 13th, 2019, via email, you said: “My own vision is what is best for this country as a whole, and no less. Remember, by God’s grace, I can take this position, as I have no vested interest in who wins or loses, but only what is best for this society.”
What has changed since then? Is a democratic nation not the best vision for this country? Is a Guyana where the most competent, diverse group at the forefront of policy development in an inclusive environment not what is best for the nation?
Do better. Be better.