All across Guyana, there was a pregnant pause in the national pulse as Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo met President David Granger yesterday to discuss the “consequences” of the no-confidence vote that was affirmed by the Speaker of the National Assembly as a done deal.
After a heady moment of elation when the Government agreed that they’d lost the vote and elections had to be held in 90 days, they backpedalled furiously after coming up with a host of “cock and bull” stories designed to derail their imminent demise.
They petitioned the courts with the specious claims – but more dangerously, spread the canard in their constituency that the no-confidence vote – sanctified by the Constitution and used regularly in all parliamentary democracies – was a dastardly “coup”!! PPP’s bribery of the AFC MP was announced as an article of faith, even though there wasn’t a shred of evidence to support the claim!
Not surprisingly, the political temperature climbed alarmingly – especially after old-line PNC strongman Aubrey Norton was brought out from some cage he must’ve been locked away in!! It was widely feared an explosion was imminent.
All of this was done after PNC leader Granger had gone off to continue his chemotherapy in Cuba and many Guyanese hoped that at the meeting between the two leaders, Granger would put country before party and “do the right thing”.
Well, your Eyewitness is at least pleased by the obvious effort of both leaders to at least attempt to lower the temperature through their body language, via the photos of the meeting that were released.
The only sour note was Moses Nagamootoo staring daggers at Jagdeo – who was seated slightly oblique across from him!!
But what of the substance of the meeting?? Sadly, your Eyewitness isn’t impressed because the PNC refused to make a definitive statement that elections will be held at least before the expiry date on the present list of voters – which is in April 2019, and a good month and a half, AFTER the three months demanded by Article 106 (6). With both sides agreeing that elections will be held WHEN GECOM SAYS THEY’RE READY, the ball’s still in the hands of the PNC-led Government.
That the Government placed on THEIR agenda the item, “National Registration”, clearly TELEGRAPHS that in their eyes, a new list will have to be created. Which will take at least ONE YEAR!! While the two Whips of the Government and the Opposition will look into the operations of GECOM to determine its “readiness” – the PNC’s in control of the mechanism – and will ensure that it’s NOT ready!! Not to mention the health of the 85-year-old GECOM Chairman, specially chosen by Granger.
The PNC has simply moved the goalposts.
…the President’s report
Just to make sure that we don’t misreport the President’s position on the hope that he was not au fait with his “hardliners” truculence, your Eyewitness will quote him on the backtracking initiative they took while he was away:
“As you know the Government has had legal recourse to the courts in order to determine the validity of the vote in the National Assembly on the 21 of December.” There…you have it!! Granger isn’t saying that whatever the court decides will be PROSPECTIVE, ie, apply to future circumstances – as Jagdeo said the Speaker had advised, when he affirmed the no-confidence. No siree Bob!! Granger’s position is that the court will “determine the validity” of the December 21 no-confidence vote!!
Meaning no way in hell will he go along with elections in three months. Unless the courts – all the way up to the CCJ – can go back in time to when Parliament dissolved – and elections be held within three months by Article 61!!
…the Indigenous threat
After nudging NUG, the PNC’s working overtime to have the Indigenous Peoples’ Party– the Liberal and Justice Party (LJP) – be stillborn.
After slinging copious mud at leader Shuman, the party’s rental – with payment – of the Umana Yana for its launch was nixed with an, “Oops, it’s rented!!”