Home Letters The remnants of the coalition are self-destructive
Immediately after the polls closed on the March 02, 2020 Regional and General Elections, incumbent President David Granger showered praise on the Chair of GECOM, Justice Claudette Singh, and on Chief Election Officer Mr. Keith Lowenfield for a well-executed election. Despite all the doom and gloom peddled by naysayers, the elections were held without violence — a precious first in Guyana, with no hint of rigging by any of the eleven contesting parties. But then came a series of bizarre incidents reeking of a putsch to grant the Coalition victory.
It began with Region Four Returning Officer Vibert Mingo’s blatant and barefaced attempt to change the figures in favour of the Coalition, while disregarding the Statements of Poll of his own party, not to mention those of GECOM. His malicious attempt to rig the elections, not only in front of Guyanese, but in full view of the entire world, including Caricom, was ridiculous, stupid, and bizarre. It was a cynical move by the APNU+AFC to steal the elections from the PPP.
Not only was it a futile attempt by Mingo, Lowenfield and others in the coalition to rig the elections, but it seems that they did not understand the psyche of the people who craved for the democratic process that was inaugurated three decades ago by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter et al.
Missing from the rigging cabal’s calculations was an obvious fact. Since oil was discovered in Guyana, the world, especially the ABC countries (America, Britain, and Canada), the European Union (EU) and CARICOM, has taken keen interest in the country’s political posture and its glowing economy. Maintaining and upholding democracy was uppermost on their agenda, given the history of election-rigging from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s by the late Burnham and Hoyte governments to maintain power.
What went wrong? Every senior member of the Granger-led Coalition knew in the wee hours of Tuesday March 3 that APNU+AFC coalition had lost the election, and that the PPP was victorious. But they were bent on maintaining power by any and every means necessary. In most countries in the Caribbean, when the ruling party loses an election, it would resign and leave office, as the PPP did in 2015 and the People’s National Party in Jamaica did in 2016. The same is true for the rest of the Caricom states — most recently in Suriname, where President Desi Bouterse relinquished his 40-year grip on power.
But, in Guyana, the leaders of APNU+AFC were power drunk, and many were prepared to create mayhem across the country rather than to resign and leave office. This fits neatly into Lord Acton’s 1887 maxim: ‘Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’
For five long and gruelling months, David Granger and his surrogates waged a relentless and seemingly endless legal battle in the courts to stay in office. And even though the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) issued their final decision in July 2020 against the Coalition, still former President Granger held on to power — refusing to acknowledge that the PPP had won the election. However, severe and blunt threats and the revocation of visas of senior members of the coalition by the U.S. Secretary of State forced Granger to resign. Their last hope was their election petitions, which were dismissed by the High Court.
Instead of regrouping and preparing for the 2025 elections, they have decided to appeal the case. Let me be blunt, the coalition will not win the appeal; instead, its leaders will continue to defy logic and deceive their supporters by telling them that the Courts in Guyana, the CCJ, CARICOM, the ABC countries and the EU are biased against them. Only a handful of their supporters would believe these sore losers’ fairytale stories.
Their foolhardy behaviour shows that the leaders of APNU+AFC are unhinged, silly, and are in denial, to say the least. Even today, they have not realised that their irrational and disruptive actions would lead them into the wilderness and likely to remain in opposition for the foreseeable future.
Granger and his surrogates have no respect for the rule of law and the citizens of Guyana’s right to elect a government of their choice. The autocratic actions of these comics are self-destructive, caustic, and damaging to the PNC and the country. Words are not enough to describe injudicious and ill-advised actions, only to say: ‘Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.’