Today marks the one-year anniversary of the March 2 General and Regional Elections, a year that was dominated by concerted efforts by the former Government to maintain its grip on power.
Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Minister Gail Teixeira spoke of APNU/AFC’s attempts to rig the elections in her opening remarks during her presentation on Budget 2021 on Monday. In fact, she noted that even former People’s National Congress (PNC) leader and former President LFS Burnham did not go to the extent of the APNU/AFC.
“A year ago, to this day, all parties were preparing for the March 2 General and Regional Elections. Little did we know then, it would take us five months to have the genuine results of those elections declared. Tomorrow will mark a year since those elections were held.”
“Mr Speaker, we have been regaled by the APNU with all sorts of stuff, but the issue is what the PNC/AFC has to live with for the rest of its existence is a legacy of a party that was willing to do anything and everything to stay in power, regardless of the will of the people.”
According to Teixeira, the APNU/AFC’s legacy does not just reflect poorly on them, but it also reflects poorly on Guyana. She cited Guyana’s inglorious distinction of being the only country in the democratic world to have to wait five months for the elections to be concluded.
“And they come to us with their righteousness, their crocodile tears. And it’s just galling. Because whatever they have done, good or bad, it’s been overtaken and stained forever, what they did from the December 2018 No-Confidence Motion, right through to August 2, 2020.”
“It’s not just the elections. We were dragged before the courts to be told that 33 is the majority of 65. How disgraceful. And yet they don’t hang their heads in shame,” the PPP Chief Whip informed the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC, who featured prominently in the legal battles of that period, posited that Guyana is firmly on the path of rebuilding.
In an interview with this publication, Nandlall described the period of March to August 2020 as an essay in democracy. He noted that in the end, the Guyanese people were able to triumph over those who would deny them their freedom and democracy prevailed.
“The March 2 elections were done fairly, conducted in accordance with the law, observed by all the international observers and certified by those observers to be free, fair and credible. And what we saw subsequent to voting day, was something never witnessed before in the western hemisphere. As one former Jamaican Prime Minister said, he witnessed the most transparent effort to interfere with the results of an election,” he pointed out.
According to the AG, the facts are inescapable, from the actions of Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo right up to A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) having sanctions levelled on them by the United States and finally buckling to international pressure.
“The tale of the elections alone is an essay in democracy. It’s a live event of the struggle for free and fair elections in the western hemisphere, in the year 2020. One would have thought that period was behind us. But not once the APNU/AFC is around.”
“So in celebrating the one year anniversary, I feel that the people of Guyana have won, Guyana has won, our Constitution has won and we are committed to a path that will take Guyana safely to the destination of prosperity,” Nandlall added.