Guyanese must de­mand an end to this mock­ery of Democ­racy

Weekend Mirror - - EDITORIAL -

The

fail­ure of the Pres­i­dent to se­lect a Chair­man for the Guyana Elec­tions Com­mis­sion, af­ter three weeks of re­ceiv­ing a third list from the Op­po­si­tion Leader, can only be at­trib­uted to a de­lib­er­ate pol­icy to frus­trate the demo­cratic process in Guyana. Most Guyanese, ex­cept the few of seek to ben­e­fit from the de­lay, are right­fully pan­icky over the sit­u­a­tion and are har­bour­ing neg­a­tive thoughts about the fair­ness of fu­ture elec­tions.

This is the first time that such a show is be­ing put on the road. The Pres­i­dent is mak­ing a laugh­ing stock of the coun­try’s demo­cratic gains since the vic­to­ries over rigged elec­tions un­der the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Congress. The Pres­i­dent has been close to that Party and its Leader, Forbes Burn­ham, who es­tab­lished au­thor­i­tar­ian rule.

The Of­fice of the Pres­i­dency, has in­di­cated that the Pres­i­dent is hav­ing a “crit­i­cal” look at the lat­est list of six nom­i­nees. The sar­casm has not been missed and es­tab­lishes the flip­pancy which char­ac­ter­izes this gov­ern­ment’s deal­ing with such a cru­cial as­pect of the coun­try’s demo­cratic ed­i­fice, in­clud­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion.

This dan­ger­ous game that is be­ing played with our fledg­ling demo­cratic cul­ture, in a nor­mal democ­racy, should have been of se­ri­ous con­cern of sup­port­ers of the coali­tion. Un­der such nor­mal sit­u­a­tion there would have been un­qual­i­fied con­dem­na­tion of such be­hav­ior and the gov­ern­ment would have been called to ac­count.

Here in Guyana, how­ever, apart from a few muf­fled voices, there has been a re­sound­ing si­lence on the mat­ter by coali­tion sup­port­ers. Some of the most vo­cal ad­vo­cates of a re­turn to democ­racy un­der Forbes Burn­ham are now within the coali­tion but their cozy jobs and fat salaries have muz­zled them.

It is left to op­po­si­tion voices to speak out on this alarm­ing state of af­fairs.

It was the si­lence of PNC sup­port­ers dur­ing the Burn­ham au­thor­i­tar­ian rule that saw Guyana go down the path of poverty and op­pres­sion and kept Guyana in a de­graded state. PNC sup­port­ers suf­fered as all oth­ers and many are hop­ing that the lessons of that pe­riod are not lost.

This is a na­tional af­fair and should be the con­cern of all. At some point, a stand must be taken as to how far can the gov­ern­ment be al­lowed to make a mock­ery of such a vi­tal part of the coun­try’s busi­ness.

It was hoped that when the PPP left of­fice more than two years ago, and the gov­ern­ment, the new gov­ern­ment held Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment elec­tions, that the ed­i­fices of the elec­toral process would have been strength­ened through dis­cus­sions among all stake­hold­ers.

Un­for­tu­nately, this did not hap­pen and in many cases there has been ret­ro­gres­sion where this as­pect of gov­er­nance is con­cerned. In fact, what has been un­fold­ing over the past two years is the fright­en­ing specter of a re­turn of the days of rigged elec­tions.

There are peo­ple out there who are openly say­ing that the next elec­tions will be rigged by the APNU/AFC coali­tion in or­der to re­main in power.

The ques­tion be­ing asked these days is how to pre­vent any scheme to de­rail the demo­cratic process and thwart the will of the peo­ple. The ear­lier Guyanese take a stand on this mat­ter the bet­ter off will be coun­try and peo­ple.

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