The warning signs are clearer by the day. The APNU/AFC Coalition and all others, including those within the electoral machinery who are found to be involved in any way in preventing a fair and credible outcome of the March 2, polls, will face the wrath of international powers.
During a press briefing at the US State Department on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo could not have been any clearer when he disclosed that he has instructed his Department to ensure that all of those who undermine Guyana’s democracy are held accountable for their actions.
Pompeo’s statement, along with many others within the past weeks, certainly sends another strong reminder that the international powers will do whatever it takes to ensure that, at the end of this process, a democratically elected government will be in place.
Caretaker President David Granger has been sending mixed signals about his intention to accept the certified results of the National Recount. In fact, he has now become famous for causing confusion in the minds of Guyanese with his pronouncements. He plays with words when the nation expects him to be straight up and honest about his intentions.
Today marks exactly four months since the March 2 General and Regional Elections were held. The voting process itself was credible and endorsed by all stakeholders, with even the President and his APNU/AFC Coalition saying that the events on E-Day were very transparent.
However, what ought to have been a straightforward process in relation to the tabulation and subsequent declaration of a winner turned out to be a very contentious process due to the actions of certain elements within the APNU/AFC Coalition and the Guyana Elections Commission to derail elections and prevent the rightful winner from being declared.
We do not wish to rehash all that has happened following the blatant attempts to alter the results of the elections and to illegally hand a ‘victory’ to the incumbent Coalition. All this drama unfolded in front of the watchful eyes of the world, and was fully reported by the media.
Certainly, the post-elections events have been a national embarrassment, and have made this country a laughing stock in the eyes of the Caribbean and the world at large. It clearly shows that, after more than fifty years of independence, some of our leaders have not matured politically and are not willing to do the right thing in the national interest.
President Granger has always claimed that he would abide by the Constitution, but he has done very little to convince the nation that he is a man of his words. His firm grip on power following his government’s defeat via a no-confidence vote in December 2018, and now, more recently, his Coalition’s refusal to concede following its massive defeat at the polls, raise more questions about his commitment to what he promises he would do.
Both Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had brokered an agreement with the Caricom Chair, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, to have a high-level observer mission sent to Guyana to observe the National Recount of the ballots of the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
Both leaders had publicly committed to accepting the results of the recount, as well as the report of the Caricom Team.
The team completed its task and submitted its report, which confirmed that the PPP/C won the elections by in excess of 15,000 valid votes. However, Granger is yet to come out and say unequivocally that he accepts the results of the recount.
After being in the shadows for some time now, the President appeared on a friendly radio station on Monday evening and indicated that he accepted the report of the Caricom Team, but in fact it seems he does only partially. During the programme, he spent much time cherry-picking certain sections of the report, which while important, are not considered to be the meat of the document. The President conveniently failed to identify the main aspect of the report, where it was concluded that the recount was transparent and credible, and should form the basis for the declaration of the results of the elections.
The President’s leading officials have since been engaged in a dangerous game by fooling Coalition supporters that they have won the elections, when the world knows that this is not true. We appeal to the President to be honest and bring a halt to this irresponsible and dangerous behaviour. The truth is the PPP/C has won, and should be allowed to govern in peace.