BY: NEIL KUMAR
After seeming aeons of vexatious wait and uncertainty, the Guyanese public finally welcomed President Granger’s official proclamation that March 2, 2020, will be General and Regional Elections. The necessary forced announcements come earlier than Mr Granger’s fallen APNU/AFC Government would have truly liked, signalling an end of the frustrating wait by the Opposition, the nation and international stakeholders. Judgment day will soon be upon us for the trial and ousting of the dictator.
It follows an extended period, through which, the President and his men exercised glaring constitutional breaches, and continue to impose more and more dictatorial policies unlawfully effecting undemocratic power extending delays. A period through which the fallen Granger-led cabal attempts damage control while fleecing the treasury, after being woeful exposed by the main Opposition for their attacks on the people and perpetuated governance failures.
The expected reactions of the Granger cabal have been one of clandestinely attempting to influence the transparency of the election Machinery, while unfairly abusing the state resources in propagandising a false veil over his true intent. The time is up for this cabal and citizens will no longer accept the fallacies. We the people must do the uncloaking of the veil on judgment day.
In synchrony of process, it is of note that public, private and platitudes spaces are filled daily with enthusiastic supporters and apprehensive interested observers, as the leading political figures of political parties who satisfactorily completed aspects of the Nominations embark on the campaign trail. It is, therefore, opportune and rational to present a comparative glance at the list of candidates nominated to serve by the main contending parties.
From the recent media reports, one would be very quick to observe that of the 13 political parties who submitted nominations, the PPP/C is the main challenger to the APNU/AFC coalition that would be contesting in all the regions nationally. Additionally, that two presidential hopefuls, Lennox Schuman and Vishnu Bandu representing other smaller parties, may have knowingly made false declarations on their nominations submissions and are likely to be charged and sanctioned.
The APNU/AFC list as presented, represents a major regurgitation of the ‘same ole same ole’ and is led by David Granger who apparently is only adrenalised when elections come around. His prime ministerial candidate Mr Kemraj Ramjattan has been a miserable failure heading the security sector over the past truncated term of Office and was only chosen at the last moment following much public apprehension and protraction by Granger.
The APNU/AFC list summarily includes approximately 50 per cent of 86 candidates who are in the septuagenarian-octogenarian category, who it is known that Mr Granger highly favours for leading ministerial and parliamentary positions. Approximately 10 per cent of the candidates are related, evidencing the obvious reality of the intended family business approach of a Government to be formed by this clan. It presents a calamitous projection for youth, and suggest a continuance of the same failed policies for which the Government fell in the No-Confidence Motion.
The PPP/C, on the other hand, has presented an impressive list of over 100 candidates, which adequately addresses the dynamic demographics in the national representative framework. The leadership is strong and defined by a combination of youthful and competent Presidential Candidate, Dr Irfaan Ali, blended with the articulate, highly trained and respected former GDF Chief of Staff and Prime Ministerial Candidate Mr Phillips. This is supported by the experience of former and most successful President in this hemisphere, PPP’s General Secretary Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, together with numerous competent and patriotic candidates of all ethnic composition.
Many of the candidates are new and young, who have already proven their capabilities in their own professions, whilst others have demonstrated unquestionable proficiency during the party’s tenure in Government, and during a period when the country experienced years of sustained economic growth and unprecedented physical and social infrastructural development.
The combination exhibits diversity and illustrates that the PPP/C, as the most experienced political party in Guyana, remains relevant and rooted amongst the Guyanese people and nation. It has fielded lists of competent and committed candidates that bring youth, energy, experience, technical and professional competence and a wealth of knowledge from all lifestyles. One cannot, therefore, deny the oozing potential of the entire list, and that it inspires immense and greater confidence in the wider Guyanese electorate.
It is timely and necessary to highlight the seemingly default suboptimal approach of GECOM in terms of key delivery expectations related to the balance, composition, and training of necessary staff to be used in the imminent elections. Notably, the ID cards for newly registered persons and those who completed transactions during the Claims and Objections are still outstanding way past the expected timelines. Reliable sources informed this columnist that incompetently trained staff improperly handled many of these transactions and bungled the associated data to support the smooth process. It is time that GECOM comes clean on this issue! Will all these persons be voting without ID cards?
Additionally, the Commission must approve the employment, training, evaluation, and assignment of polling day staff. Madam Chairperson, please give these matters the required focus and attention.