Guyanese must demand an end to this mockery of Democracy
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.