Reference is made to a January 22 statement from the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP). It claimed that the Head of State told a 3-member United States Congressional team that the Executive is “working to ensure that elections are indeed free and fair.”
As if to repeat itself, the statement also noted that the Head of State “assured” the team that “there would be no disorder or lawlessness.”
Will APNU+AFC Coalition supporters still be expected to assemble outside polling stations after placing their “sexy” X (as Ms. Volda Lawrence stated in Kitty) in the boxes? Will APNU+AFC still expect Ms. Lawrence’s “nice and strong men” to follow the ballot boxes when they are taken by GECOM?
This romanticizing of very provocative political directives cannot hide their inherent dangers, or the strategic timing of these directives, which is less than two weeks before the arrival of the Congressional team. Is the damage done? Come March, many in the PNCR may find it difficult to comply with this MOTP statement.
The MOTP statement is far from being perfect or assuring. First, it appears to be about the union between the Executive and GECOM. The anticipated talk by GECOM to make 91,000 changes to the Revised List of Electors now further undermines the supposed assurances from the Head of State.
Secondly, the Head of State told the Congressional team that “Government has been compliant with the Constitution.”
This is false. It is the usual David Granger diplomatic dance. He gives the Congressional team an assurance with one hand, and a fable with the other. For the record, he did object to the joint statement issued on September 19, 2019 (see US Embassy website, Guyana) by the US, United Kingdom, and the European Union which declared the Executive to be unconstitutional after it failed to call timely elections. Yes, timely elections.
The Head of State criticized the diplomats for knowing where vowels and so forth appear in Guyana’s Constitution and how they operate, but he has no problem adding adjectives to describe a protracted electoral process tailored to his party’s needs.
In the old days, people wanted free and fair elections. Today, the Executive wants free, fair, credible, and transparent elections, as if the use of multiple adjectives saying the same thing will somehow purify the electoral process of all the dancing. One adjective, however, that the Executive fears is the word “timely.”
And for this, the US, UK, and EU rightfully called the APNU+AFC regime out. Their joint statement said: “We deeply regret that, by surpassing September 18, the Government is currently in breach of the Constitution following its failure to adhere to the decisions of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on 18 June and its subsequent orders….
“We therefore call upon the President to set an elections date immediately in full compliance with Guyana’s constitution.”