Friday, March 13th, is often marked as a dark day on the calendar and what happened in Guyana last Friday delivered in spades. Ms Akola Thompson’s column, `Is power sharing an illusory dream?’ was part of the darkness. Perhaps, it comes from her being young, perhaps from a sheer shallowness.
Ms Thompson seems unaware of Guyana’s political history. In 1992 when the PNC dictatorship was overthrown after nearly three decades of misrule, its supporters took to the streets and looted parts of the city.
In the post elections violence of 1998, the PNC supporters terrified the city once again with the “mo fyah, slow fyah” campaign authored by their leader Desmond Hoyte.
These all followed the pattern of the riots of the 1960s which rocked Premier Cheddi Jagan from power.
The current apprehension in the city that has led to boarded up windows and doors makes sense from a security standpoint. Businesses have suffered “black people’s wrath” before (to use Ms Thompson’s words) and are displaying an abundance of caution.
The hooliganism displayed by the PNRC/APNU/AFC supporters outside the GECOM offices is nothing new and is exactly the kind of behaviour that erupted into the political/criminal violence that Guyana has suffered before. If Ms Thompson is looking for a “narrative of violent opposition actors” she only has to look at the PNC’s history of violence and bullyism.
The unrest in the Indian Guyanese communities following the impasse over the elections, Ms Thompson attributed to “ethnic domination and control and who has the right to rule”. Ms Thompson appears completely deaf to the statements from the entire international community, to local election observers and the political parties who took part in the recent elections, all of whom have stated emphatically that the elections results for Region Four as announced by GECOM are fraudulent. All except for APNU/AFC which has now been declared the winner based on the results.
As for power sharing and a unity government, neither were an option on the ballot paper for the March 2nd elections. What was on the ballot was a vote for individual political parties, and the verifiable results show that the PPP/C won with a comfortable margin of some 17,000 votes which gives them the democratic right to form the next government.
If this mandate from the majority of the people is denied, those people have the right to peaceful protest and if Ms Thompson wishes to seem reasonable and fair she would support the call for a proper count of the Region 4 ballots and stand with those who protest against these fraudulent elections instead of falling victim to a partisan view of Guyana’s political history.
It is such partisanship that makes power sharing an illusory dream and it is tragic that a new generation as represented by Ms Thompson’s views rather than eschewing such partisan behaviour endorses it and do so with a total avoidance or understanding of history.
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