WPA must ensure integrity of electoral process is not compromised

WPA must ensure integrity of electoral process is not compromised

Dear Editor,

It is revealing the naked grab for power by the APNU+AFC based on the promise of black gold, gushing forth from the Atlantic. It is also revealing the weaknesses of the WPA in its role as an insignificant political entity in the government.

The WPA is politically weak, since it has failed to garner significant electoral support since the return to “free and fair elections” in 1992. “Free and fair elections” in the Guyana context meant a return to racial voting blocks, a historical legacy and reality mirroring the social development of Guyana with the entry of black slaves and Indian indentured servants. There is no escaping that history, and despite being products of it, we should not remain prisoners of it. The anomaly is that the indigenous population is discarded in the process, being relevant only at elections, to facilitate the rule of Indians or Blacks, against their self-interest, or for marginal gains, if any. In order to survive in a polarized multi-racial environment that leaves very little room for survival, the WPA has had to align itself with the PPP or the PNC, arguing that its choice was dependent upon the best interest of the nation. In effect, it was claiming to be the conscience of the nation, a very troubled conscience, with elements of paranoia and schizophrenia at critical junctures, especially at election times.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the oil dollars would play a significant role in the 2020 elections, with its promise of untold wealth flowing into the pockets of those who would hold governmental power, presiding over the stewardship of billions of dollars. Similar to the promise of independence, that of the creation of a new class of rulers, the immense fortune of oil dollars make real the actual creation of a new class or breed of persons in control of the fabled El Dorado made real. The genie that would come out of the Aladdin lamp would serve its master extremely well, fully armed to enforce its master commands. Guyana’s historical development would ensure that.

One bizarre reality of the oil dollars is that it would minimize the dependency to maintain a productive economy in terms of labour, giving the government a free hand in terms of the need to provide employment for a large section of the labour force. In the face of racial discrimination, there would be a tendency for migration for the disempowered sector, moreso if discrimination is blatant. Like the Trump administration in the USA, it would become official policy with solid support of one political/racial group against the other. In Guyana, it would not have the shroud of ideology and class, but would be outrightly racial.

Guyana has to face its historical legacy. There is oil dollars enough for all. Spilling blood over oil is not a good choice.

As Eusi Kwayana has said, “This confounded nonsense must stop.” The WPA must not allow itself to become a prisoner of history, but must continue to lead the way forward. It must ensure that the integrity of the electoral process is not compromised. It must come out with a statement that ensures that the independence of the Elections Commission is not compromised. It must do so in the midst of swirling rumours that there are attempts to swear in a president without the certification of the Elections Commission that the votes have been counted and the results are representative of the will of the people.

Yours faithfully,

Rohit Kanhai

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