For 24 years after Independence, the PNC, through massive systemic fraud, had vehemently and in a most brazen display of lies, deceit and hooliganism, denied the Guyanese people their inalienable right to freely elect their Government.
This democratic right was trampled upon election after election from 1968 to 1985 by an oppressive regime, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of Guyanese fleeing to all parts of the globe.
Each election was rigged to give the PNC dictatorship an increasingly bigger majority, while the Guyanese people became increasingly impoverished, barely eking out a meagre livelihood, punctuated by harsh sufferings.
Everyone knew that the PNC massively rigged the elections. In 1968, when Burnham rigged that election, the UF leader Peter D’Aguiar, who was in the Coalition Government with the PNC from 1964 to 1968, made a profound statement; he said, “To call it an election is to give it a name it does not deserve -it was a seizure of power by fraud, and not an election”.
This honest conclusion had been echoed far and wide, not only in 1968, but in 1973, 1980, and 1985. As the PNC used its rigging machinery to keep itself in power by padding voters’ lists, PPP supporters were deleted from the voters’ lists, and several were told they had already voted; the dead voted; votes were not placed in the regular ballot boxes; ballot boxes were stolen or hijacked by the military, and tampered and stuffed with fake PNC votes; ballot boxes of PPP areas went missing, and were found floating in the rivers; PPP supporters who dared to safeguard the ballot boxes were killed; violence was directed at Indians to drive fear in them to go out and vote. The list was unending, and the PNC knew no shame, even in 2020.
Then came the first free and fair election in 1992 and onwards until 2015, when the Coalition formed by the AFC and the PNC came to power. It was the PNC’s ‘Total Recall’, as its leaders went on a quest to invoke Burnhamism, and, in just about 5 years, they brought back poverty and deprivations to its ‘glory’ days, while they reminisced of the ‘good old PNC days’.
The famous No Confidence Motion passed in December 2018 signalled the end of a brief episode of the corruption-invigorated PNC, and they knew that, after many legal outings, they were ripe for banishment. But they did make one last stand, which lasted for 5 long and arduous months and saw the Guardians of Democracy, Guyana’s legal Colossus Anil Nandlall, and Guyana’s premier statesman Dr Jagdeo, along with his indefatigable team of patriots, fighting to preserve and protect our fragile democracy; and at the end they did. This time, the PNC, supported by the AFC, was willing to just do a Mandrake the Magician act and present a conjured spreadsheet, which was presented by the Chief Elections Officer. They had simplified their rigging modus operandi.
Why go through all the shenanigans which Burnham and Hoyte practised? After all, they did try a Patterson, they did try a few constitutional violations which were rejected at the CCJ, and they did try to spin the law to their benefit; but they failed miserably.
Therefore, should this barefaced attempt to rig the 2020 Elections be allowed to be swept away with time? Should this shameless act of villainy and treason not be properly documented for posterity? Especially when the PNC and the AFC are trying to convince themselves that it was the PPP that actually rigged the Elections?
The PNC simply hates CoIs. Remember the Rodney CoI? In 2014, the PNC refused to take part in the Dr Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry, and in this 2020 Elections CoI, it refused once again to participate. It must be recalled that the WPA gave the justification for Rodney’s murder by stating that the WPA was stockpiling arms at that time. The million-dollar question is: If the PNC and the AFC are so sure that they won the Election, and that the PPP rigged this Election, then why not be a part of the CoI and present their witnesses and evidence to support their audacious claims? They could have merely presented their ‘winning’ SoPs. Perhaps Mandrake’s magic wand has failed to make these SoPs materialise.
Those who felt that the CoI commissioned by His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali did not satisfy their expectations, but only served to invoke their lust for controversy, should read the Terms of Reference on page 17, which specified the areas which would highlight the focus of the CoI.
The Executive Summary stated as follows: The TOR was stated thus in the Executive Summary: ‘It mandated us to, among other things, inquire into and report on attempts, and by whom, to undermine and frustrate the legally prescribed process for the counting, ascertaining, and tabulation of votes in the General and Regional Elections of March 2, 2020, and on attempts to prevent a true declaration of the results of that Election’.
The mandate of this CoI was carried out by the ‘tireless and unwavering work’ of the entire CoI Team, including the witnesses whose veracity of the accounts of the events is beyond reproach and doubt.
In conclusion, the summary of the findings reflected accurately what transpired during that period of another PNC infamous strategy. It stated that: “our inquiry reveals that there were, in fact, shockingly brazen attempts by Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield, Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) Roxanne Myers, and Returning Officer (RO) Clairmont Mingo to derail and corrupt the statutorily prescribed procedure for the counting, ascertaining, and tabulation of the votes of the March 2nd election, as well as the true declaration of the results of that election, and what they did so – to put it in the unvarnished language of the ordinary man for the purpose of stealing the election”.
The words of Dr. Jagdeo come to mind: They attempted to steal a whole country. I must congratulate the President to ensure that that period of infamy is well-documented and preserved for posterity. The PNC had done it too long with impunity.