E-mail-Gate

Weekend Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By Mo­habir Anil Nand­lall, MP At­tor­ney-at-Law

No

one can ra­tio­nally dis­pute that emails, whether hacked, leaked, deleted or con­cealed, played a for­mi­da­ble role in de­ter­min­ing the Pres­i­dency of the most pow­er­ful na­tion on earth, USA, in 2016.

In Guyana, the Coali­tion Govern­ment of the APNU and AFC is hem­or­rhag­ing from the leaks of a con­stel­la­tion of emails of lead­ers of the AFC made pub­lic, re­cently.

A clear dis­til­la­tion of these emails de­void of their es­o­teric frills, clearly il­lus­trate how spine­less, du­plic­i­tous and im­po­tent the AFC is as a po­lit­i­cal party it­self, and as a part­ner in the Coali­tion Govern­ment and how frac­tious the re­la­tion­ship is be­tween the two ma­jor coali­tion part­ners.

These rev­e­la­tions do not sur­prise me.

The Peo­ple’s Pro­gres­sive Party (PPP) knew this all along and has of­ten al­luded to these re­al­i­ties in our press re­leases, dis­courses and writ­ings. These emails have vin­di­cated those pro­nounce­ments.

I have writ­ten vo­lu­mi­nously about the au­thor­i­tar­ian and un­demo­cratic na­ture of the PNC. The cold hard truth is that they are sim­ply in­ca­pable of en­joy­ing any al­liance with any other force, un­less that in­sti­tu­tion is equally au­thor­i­tar­ian and un­demo­cratic, or, is pre­pared to stand idly by and spine­lessly al­low them to act upon their nat­u­ral au­to­cratic in­stincts and is will­ing to sur­vive in ser­vil­ity in that dic­ta­to­rial en­vi­ron­ment.

I am not sure which is worse, but there is an abun­dance of ev­i­dence, in­clud­ing the re­cent emails, which com­pel to the con­clu­sion that the AFC is guilty of both trans­gres­sions. I will now ex­am­ine some of this ev­i­dence to es­tab­lish my point.

The AFC is part of a Cab­i­net, which re­viewed and stamped its im­pri­matur to the con­tro­ver­sial park­ing me­ter con­tract. When the protests ac­tions in­ten­si­fied and the pub­lic out­rage reached a fever-pitched tempo, the AFC is­sued a pub­lic state­ment dis­tanc­ing it­self from the park­ing me­ter con­tract and promis­ing to can­vas the “Govern­ment” to re­view the same; con­vey­ing the clear but mis­placed im­pres­sion that it was not part of the same Govern­ment that gave the park­ing me­ter its bless­ings, just weeks prior.

A sim­i­lar volte-face was com­mit­ted by the AFC in re­la­tion to the im­po­si­tion of VAT on pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion. The AFC was in the Na­tional As­sem­bly when the Fi­nance Min­is­ter im­posed VAT on pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion. The Fi­nance Min­is­ter did so upon the “sig­ni­fi­ca­tion of Cab­i­net”, as is con­sti­tu­tional re­quired of all fi­nan­cial Bills.

This means that the Cab­i­net, of which the AFC is a part, ap­proved this tax im­po­si­tion. More­over, the AFC voted in sup­port of it in the Na­tional As­sem­bly. Yet when the avalanche of pub­lic crit­i­cisms came, they cow­ered, again, pub­licly pro­claim­ing that they would lobby the “Govern­ment” for the re­ver­sal of this mea­sure. “Un­fit and im­proper” Min­is­ter Raphael Trot­man at­tended al­most every meet­ing be­tween the Pres­i­dent and the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion in re­la­tion to the ap­point­ment of a Chair­man of the Guyana Elec­tions Com­mis­sion (GECOM).

I have dis­closed else­where that he par­tic­i­pated in craft­ing a joint Pub­lic State­ment is­sued by the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion and the Pres­i­dent on the mat­ter. Mere hours there­after, Mr. Khem­raj Ram­jat­tan, Leader of the AFC, en­dorsed the Pres­i­dent’s ap­point­ment.

How­ever, when the del­uge of pub­lic crit­i­cism erupted upon the Pres­i­dent’s uni­lat­eral and un­con­sti­tu­tional ap­point­ment of the GECOM Chair­man, the AFC started to, char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally, wig­gle.

They is­sued a pub­lic state­ment claim­ing that they were nei­ther con­sulted, nor did they par­tic­i­pate in the se­lec­tion of and ap­point­ment by the Pres­i­dent of James Pat­ter­son. This state­ment was re­in­forced by another pub­lic state­ment re­it­er­at­ing the AFC’s dis­claimer of their in­volve­ment in the uni­lat­eral ap­point­ment of the GECOM Chair­man.

Lo and be­hold, a mere few days af­ter, emails were leaked in which Mr. Ram­jat­tan dis­closed that he ad­vised the Pres­i­dent on the GECOM is­sue; that he ad­vised the Pres­i­dent to re­ject the sec­ond list and to uni­lat­er­ally ap­point a person of his choice.

This email clearly con­tra­dicted the AFC’s dis­claimers in two pub­lic state­ments. It has se­verely dented the cred­i­bil­ity of that party. Even more sig­nif­i­cantly, it only be­came pub­lic be­cause of the Canadian Chap­ter of the party, pub­licly and for­mally with­drew from it be­cause of its sup­port of the Pres­i­dent’s uni­lat­eral ap­point­ment. That very sec­ond list, which Ram­jat­tan ad­vised the Pres­i­dent to re­ject, had the names of at least three (3) per­sons whom I know, voted for the AFC.

Be­fore we could have prop­erly re­cov­ered from those star­tling emails, a sec­ond set of even more shock­ing emails were made pub­lic. This dis­clo­sure came upon the heels of the US branch of that party sig­nal­ing its in­ten­tion to break ranks over the GECOM ap­point­ment.

These emails are very re­veal­ing and they il­lus­trate vividly, the qual­i­ties and char­ac­ter­is­tics, which I have at­trib­uted to the AFC, above.

These emails show the level of in­dis­ci­pline and uni­lat­er­al­ism, if not lack of democ­racy, which ex­ists within the AFC. Ap­par­ently, Ram­jat­tan con­sulted no one in his party when he ten­dered his in­fa­mous ad­vice to the Pres­i­dent.

It is this sin­gu­lar act, which has pre­cip­i­tated the dev­as­tat­ing im­plo­sion rock­ing the AFC. Mr. Ram­jat­tan’s de­scrip­tion of the per­sons on the sec­ond list is also most un­veil­ing. He la­beled them “un­fit and im­proper”.

I am aware that three of them voted for him.

“Coolie” and “Black­man”

The email from Dr. Ro­han So­mar con­tains some strik­ing rev­e­la­tions. He rec­og­nizes the flaw of the AFC’s pub­lic dis­clo­sure of non-in­volve­ment in the ap­point­ment process and ac­knowl­edges that it makes the AFC looks “weak and im­po­tent” and be­ing seen as “treated like a step-child or a poo­dle in the coali­tion”. He mocks at the AFC’s as­sur­ance against elec­tions fraud. In­ter­est­ingly, he said this:

“Many of us who par­tic­i­pated and wit­nessed the last two elec­tions knew how the re­sults were rolled out. We know where the com­puter servers were and how the count was be­ing ma­nip­u­lated.”

These are damn­ing dis­clo­sures!

These are the two elec­tions at which the APNU and AFC did their best. In the 2011 Elec­tions, to­gether they got more votes than the PPP and held a one-seat ma­jor­ity in the Na­tional As­sem­bly. In the 2015 Elec­tions, as an al­liance, they al­legedly got more votes than the PPP and were able to form the Govern­ment.

Here you have a top rank­ing mem­ber of the AFC ac­knowl­edg­ing “i nside knowl­edge” of what can only be de­scribed as elec­toral mal­prac­tices. This person needs to tell the Guyana Po­lice Force (GPF) what he knows. Some elec­toral ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties are se­ri­ous crim­i­nal of­fenses. This an­gle will def­i­nitely have to be pur­sued vig­or­ously.

Then there is the email from Ms. Cathy Hughes, in which she lib­er­ally uses the terms “coolie” and “black man” and stereo­types In­di­ans as a pack of un­civ­i­lized, fright­ened and racist group of peo­ple with­out a mind of their own and who are in­ca­pable of mak­ing ra­tio­nal po­lit­i­cal choices.

Bhar­rat Jagdeo was crim­i­nally charged for sim­i­lar lan­guage at­trib­uted to him. Sig­nif­i­cantly, Hughes speaks about knowl­edge of “fake State­ment of Polls” (SOPs). Like her col­league Dr. So­mar, Ms. Hughes needs to tell the Po­lice what she knows.

More on this later. How­ever, it is David Pat­ter­son’s email, which takes the cake.

I would be in re­miss if I do not ac­knowl­edge that Mr. Pat­ter­son es­poused the em­brace of sound po­lit­i­cal prin­ci­ples and demo­cratic pos­tures and prac­tices. How­ever, the re­al­ity has shown that he demon­stra­bly lacks the for­ti­tude to act in con­so­nance with the po­si­tion he ad­vo­cates. In­stead, he spine­lessly not only suc­cumbs but ends up pub­licly en­dors­ing, in the end, the very wrongs, which he so em­phat­i­cally crit­i­cized. Pat­ter­son fur­ther ex­poses the du­plic­i­tous na­ture of the AFC when he asks and an­swers as fol­lows:

“Were we out of of­fice, would we have ac­cepted such a de­ci­sion to uni­lat­er­ally ap­point a Chair­man? The an­swer is NO!…Why are we ac­cept­ing it now?”

The re­al­ity is that the AFC has al­ready ac­cepted the de­ci­sion, has en­dorsed it and is de­fend­ing it at great po­lit­i­cal cost to it­self. This po­si­tion fur­ther demon­strates that the AFC is pre­pared to sac­ri­fice all of their prin­ci­ples for po­lit­i­cal power, perks and ben­e­fits.

Pat­ter­son also re­veals that the AFC views Dr. Bart­land Scot­land as too old to be the Speaker of the Na­tional As­sem­bly. Yet they sup­port his elec­tion as Speaker: another act of hypocrisy.

I have learnt so much f r om t hese emails. No doubt, you have too. Based upon my read­ing, these are not all the emails in the thread. Brace your­self, more will come.

Will the AFC and the Coali­tion sur­vive this email on­slaught?

Only time will tell.

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