The ghost of Burnham still looms large

The ghost of Burnham still looms large

Dear Editor,
The turmoil that has arisen since the recent General Elections in Guyana is reminiscent of the machinations under the Burnham regime. His ghost still stalks the land. Having contested the 1973 elections, I remember Mr. Burnham very well. Two people were killed, and I was subsequently charged for sedition because I was in possession of an official Government document with directions to the Elections Commission, army and Police how to control the ballot boxes, contrary to the assurances given to the political parties a few days before: that counting would be done at the polling stations in the presence of representatives from all the contesting parties.

Guyanese will recall that the ballot boxes were hijacked to the GDF Headquarters and to the Eve Leary compound, where there was much manipulation before counting.
We are truly grateful and highly appreciative of the efforts of the International Community for sending observers. However, we need a truly independent Elections Commission to prevent the Government of the day from thwarting the will of its citizens.

The situation in Region Four is a brazen attempt by those in power to drown the legitimate voices of the electorate. The APNU and its political hacks have constantly shown a blatant disregard for the rule of LAW. They have flouted the rulings of our local courts and of the CCJ, and continue to thumb their noses at the International Community, who agree with the simple mathematical truth that 33/65 is a majority.

This is not surprising, since scholars under the Burnham regime argued vigorously that it was mathematically possible for 110% of the Buxton population to have voted in one of our previous elections. Math has never been their strong point!

The PPP accepted their ONE seat defeat in the 2015 elections. APNU/AFC/WPA should be mature enough to accept the will of the people in 2020. That is what happens in democracies. You win some and you lose some, and when you lose, you reorganize and rebuild.

The last Government failed on several counts. They increased taxes, voted themselves a Parliamentary raise, removed subsidies to the needy, lacked a cohesive economic plan, and abruptly closed the sugar estates without an alternative employment plan for the workers, who have yet to receive their severance package; and by all accounts, they signed a disastrous agreement with EXXON.

Tell me, why would the majority of Guyana re-elect such a Government?
There has been a call by some respectable Guyanese, including Mr. Eusi Kwayana for whom I have the greatest respect, for a Unity/Coalition Government. This is a noble sentiment indeed. Such a Government would go a far way in easing racial tensions and insecurities. However, under the present circumstances, this would amount to a capitulation to fraud. The APNU team insists that it has won the elections, and continues to place obstacles in arriving at a valid recount.

Even if the animus between the two major parties can be overcome, how will the power be shared? Who will get the vital ministries of Finance, Defence and Home Affairs?

We cannot morally object to the sentiments of the International Community under the guise of sovereignty. If so, how can we agree with past International efforts to end Apartheid, and for support for the Civil Rights Movement in the USA.
We must establish Law and Order, and lay the framework for a valid recount for at least Region Four, or for all the Regions, if required. But this must be done under strict scrutiny by the contesting political parties and the teams of International Observers. We cannot, and must not, repeat the travesties and injustices of the past to avoid becoming one of the FAILED STATES in the world despite our resources.

Dr Ganraj Kumar

Leave a Comment