…and polarising the society
One of the debilitating features of Guyanese life that your Eyewitness has tried to highlight in this space has been the PNC’s proclivity for flouting the highest laws of the country, then whipping up their supporters’ emotions to defend them. This causes the ethnic tectonic plates in the society to drift ever further apart, and one wonders when they’ll become permanently disjunctured.
Take the fallout from the NCM moved by the PPP. The PNC and their propaganda tentacles have refused to acknowledge that this is a valid procedure with its basis in the very bowels of democratic parliamentary governance. It’s meant to ensure the government of the day maintains its legitimacy by demonstrating it has retained majority support in the Assembly of the peoples’ representatives. It’s been used on numerous occasions in Britain and India and other democracies. It was passed on by the British in the 1966 Independence Constitution; removed by the dictator Burnham in 1980, and replaced in the mass constitutional amendments on 2000, demanded by the PNC and approved by them!!
Ironically, the NCM was raised by the AFC with the support of the APNU in 2014, when they together held a majority of seats in the Assembly. It was only averted by the PPP when President Ramotar used another constitutional device: the power to prorogue parliament and call elections — in which the latter were defeated by the AFC/APNU coalition!
But when the PPP were successful with their NCM, the PNC convinced their supporters that it was “a coup d’etat”, which is an illegal overthrow of a government!! The PPP were “underhanded” and “cunning” and connived to “bribe” the AFC’s Charrandas, who voted with them.
The Police Chief said he was “investigating” claims, but 4 months later – blank!! Never mind there’s been no proof of any bribery, circulation of accusations by the PNC partisans of gold purchases and money passed in T&T was enough to convince their supporters that bribery was in fact used!!
One supporter with a column in the Chronic – the representative of African Guyanese on the ERC – repeated the slander of “bribery” without any qualification, and even implied that Persaud, not being a Christian, was more prone to offering bribes. This charge, of course, is part of the stereotype that “explains” why Indians are more successful in business!!
Today, it’s an article of faith that the NCM was precipitated by PPP bribing Persaud.
The rearguard action by the PNC to prevent the workings of the NCM by jumping from limb to legal limb with their selective observance of the courts’ rulings have only continued to widen Guyana’s polarisation. But the PNC don’t care; they’re only interested in power.
…on the voters’ list
One of the excuses invented by the PNC to delay elections – in addition to their opportunistic use of the courts – was that the voters’ list had to be “sanitised”. Never mind that when the NCM was passed on Dec 21 2018, the list was valid until April 30 2019, and preparations for elections by then could’ve been consummated
But the PNC were forced to reveal their “wrong and strong” face when their unilaterally appointed GECOM Chair first dilly-dallied for months in calling for elections’ preparation. He then used his casting vote to strengthen the PNC’s agenda of stretching out the elections date to “the end of never”.
Once again, the polarisation is exacerbated as half of the country seethes in frustration as nice sounding platitudes about “clean lists” are used as a fig leaf for what is obviously an attempt to game the elections. Guyanese, after all, know that the bullyism of the PNC will always be used to entrench their hold on power.
The prospect of oil money flowing from 2020 just gives them an extra incentive.
If anyone epitomises the “wrong and strong” attitude of the PNC, literally it’s Simona Broomes. It was on show when she bullied those poor security guards over fried rice.
Where’s that promised “investigation by the party (PNC)”?