OPINION: Every vote counts

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Dear Editor,

All eyes have been on Guyana these past few months and as a Guyanese living abroad and an optimist, I am hoping we can stand upright and look others in the eye and take pride on how we conduct ourselves as a nation and people in these unprecedented times.  A lot will depend on how the two major political parties the PPP and PNC/APNU resolve the current electoral crisis. As a Guyanese Physician practicing In NY for over 30 years I am always so delighted when I see my fellow Guyanese as patients irrespective of their ethnicity and origin.

I am very grateful to have grown up in Guyana with its rich cultural heritage and this has helped me a lot living here in this multicultural Mecca of New York City. I am making this point because it is so very important that we not let these elections disintegrate as one race against the other. It should simply be about who legitimately won the 2020 Presidential Elections and who the majority of the Guyanese people have chosen for their President this time.  Our entire Caribbean community and the world over is in judgement of us and their future relations with us will ultimately be guided by the decisions we make.

For all its problems the greatness of the United States lies at the heart of its Democracy where we can elect a new president every 4 years in a free and fair elections. Yes, we can say there is ethnic strife and racism everywhere including the United states, but lest we forget everyone gets to exercise his franchise in these elections no matter his /her background and expect their every vote to count. So, I say that let every vote of every one of our countrymen count in in these 2020 Guyana National Elections. Anything less will be travesty of justice and a shameful day for democracy.

I have tremendous and deep respect for President Granger, and I was so pleased that after he came to power four years ago, he let it be known he is a  lover of classical music as I am. Afterall I felt anyone who can love the music  of Brahms, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven have got to rise to a higher level. So, I hope President Granger will avoid all the background noise of some of those of his party who want to cling to power, despite the results which clearly show that Irfan Ali of the PPP has won a definite majority of the electorate and is the legitimate President Elect.

President Granger should go out as a stateman he is and assume the meaningful and important role every Guyanese will expect of him as a past President. He should assist the new government in guiding Guyana to a better future. After all, if President Elect Irfan Ali performs poorly Guyanese citizens will have another chance to express their pleasure or displeasure at the polls in four years. This is the very essence of Democracy.

Finally, I ask of my Guyanese countryman why would anyone want to be governed by an Illegitimate party and President. It has been showed times over, that this formula does not work. Look at our next-door neighbor Venezuela a country with such immense wealth now in Political and Economic freefall because it is run by an Illegitimate, corrupt and incompetent government. Guyana is on the cusp of a future that could be amazing in which every Guyanese irrespective of their ethnicity or background will benefit. In order for that to happen Democracy would have to prevail. Afterall a Government that lies and cheats its way to power will eventually lie and cheat the very people who supported them.

I am writing this letter in the hope that it will find its ways in the hearts and minds of President Granger and all Guyanese. I have no political ambitions and need no favors from any political party. I have been lucky to have a very successful career and an enriched life. My only hope is common sense will rule the day and the bright future of so many young Guyanese will not be torn apart and wasted away by the usurping of Democracy.

Azeem Khan MD, FACP, FACG

Board Certified Gastroenterologist

Assistant Prof Clinical Medicine/ Weil Cornell Medical College