We cannot surrender to the evil that threatens the democratic values we hold dear

We cannot surrender to the evil that threatens the democratic values we hold dear

Dear Editor,

The letters being written about the election impasse are being done with the best of intentions and are written to try and persuade caretaker President David Granger to do the right thing. We are all writing from the position of our own sense of morality and patriotism, and with a conscience about what is just, fair, and right.

The shameful events that have unfolded over the past three weeks and which are likely to continue for even more weeks make it very clear, however, that we are not dealing here with men and women with any such moral suasion or any such sense of fairness and justice. There are no shared values here and no commitment to the common cause that puts country first. Our appeals are therefore not likely to make any impact or bring about the desired result.

With our country in the grips of a pandemic which requires our concerted energies and our cooperation with the rest of the world, there is the further shame that we have to expend valuable time dealing with this quite unnecessary election crisis. It is enough for the watching world to ask: what manner of people are these?

By now, it is clear that Granger, the PNC, and their partners in GECOM and the Guyana Police Force do not want the results of the general election to be verified since this will confirm their loss at the polls. To this end, they are willing to use the courts to create obstacles to the electoral process and to try and undermine the rule of law.

Fascism, autocracies, and dictatorial regimes do, often, find some measure of success for years even decades until they implode or fall  whether by internal struggle or by such struggle with help from external forces. Since the PNC appears to be a prisoner of its history, its leaders and supporters perhaps embarked on their current course of action believing that their party’s “success” in the past as a dictatorship will be tolerated in 2020 and beyond.

They have gone down their chosen path too far to turn back now, and how and when all this will end is anybody’s guess. Our country has never faced such a situation before. In fact, I do not know of any country where an election result had been held up for weeks and months because of the arrogant recalcitrance of a losing party which lacks the grace and decency that befit true leadership.

However, this is where we are and this is the time more than ever for every one of us who wishes to live in a democracy where the rule of law is upheld to stand together. We cannot surrender to the evil that threatens the values we hold dear or to the bullyism that wants to be rewarded for its disgraceful behaviour. If we give up or give in to any of it, all will be lost.

I wish to thank: the GoDs (Guardians of Democracy) for keeping watch over the people’s votes; the PSC especially Mr Kit Nascimento and Capt Gerry Gouveia for refusing to be intimidated; the privately owned media for continuing to bring us the news despite the threats and harassment they face; the political parties that are leading the fight for our votes to be properly counted; and the international community for standing with us in our struggle to prevent our fledgling democracy from falling into the hands of a minority undemocratic group.

No matter how long this fight, we must not falter or waver. Too much is at stake.

Yours faithfully,

Ryhaan Shah

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