For centuries, those who want to emphasise that hurdles sprout up whenever you want to accomplish something important like to cite: “the path of true love never ran smooth”. No more. After what’s been going on in Guyana to fix the elections date after the NCM, it’ll be “the path to free and fair elections never ran smooth”! It’s been like this for decades, of course, under the PNC. But Brigadier (rtd) David Granger, the PNC leader since 2011, has taken matters to new lows.
Granger’s fighting nothing less than a “war of attrition” against the PPP since Dec 21, 2018 after the initial shock of Charrandass’ vote had sunken in. As our friendly Wiki reminds us, “Attrition warfare is a military strategy consisting of belligerent attempts to win a war by wearing down the enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and materiel. The war will usually be won by the side with greater such resources”. Granger is a military man…and after the Opposition’s lightning strike with the NCM— which the PNC never thought the PPP could pull off (“bring it on, big boy!” crowed Aunty Amna!)— he weighed his options and launched his strategy.
Firstly, he occupied the strategic high ground of incumbency, which guaranteed him access to all the state’s resources. And those resources could always trump the Opposition’s. Just look at the PNC’s first line of counterattack. After setting up their Attorney General with a battery of advisory legal “old heads”, they could still afford any number of Senior Counsels from the Caribbean to argue the most specious half-man argument to bog down the PPP’s legitimate call for elections within three months.
As the war ebbed and flowed through the High, Appellate and the CCJ Courts, the PNC just kept coming on like “Smokin” Joe Frazier. While the PPP didn’t play “rope a dope” – but sought to put up a fight— the PNC just kept opening up and widening new fronts. With the benefits of hindsight, after his battles to unilaterally appoint James Patterson as Chair, one can see that Granger always had GECOM in mind as one of those signal fronts. The very fact that GECOM is supposed to be an “autonomous” constitutional entity, was subverted though his appointive power to weaponise this institution.
And this is where the war of attrition is now being waged by Granger, where they’re stretching any one of the scores of statutory rules for GECOM conducting elections – such as number of days between “Nominations” and “Elections” Days.
We’re told that setting that as 55 rather than the statutory 32-33 days, isn’t REALLY delaying elections!!
The road to unity also never does run smooth – and it matters not what kind of “unity” we’re talking about. In Guyana, we’ve been moaning even before independence that our disunity was caused because we were of different “races”. But over in South Africa, we’re seeing their citizens of African origin rioting against African migrants because they claim the latter are “taking their jobs”. The former indignantly points out that “they’re all ‘Africans” and they’d worked very hard to acquire the little wealth they may possess – like small shops.
In the home country of the migrants, like Nigeria and Zambia, there have been retaliatory riots against South African interests and matters look like they’ll escalate to governmental levels. But these unfortunate events have a message for us here in Guyana. To wit, that our problem, which sounds suspiciously like that now roiling Africa, isn’t really “racial” but economic. More specifically, that when any group believe they’re coming up short economically, tensions will be generated.
As is happening now in Guyana after the PNC government’s skewed, racial policies!
It’s long been said that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. So where does the road paved with bad intentions lead?? Dante’s 9th circle?
This is an urgent matter in view of the sordid intentions of the PNC to delay elections.