Letter: Well-organised electoral system versus some politically power-hungry aspirants

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Dear Editor,

In my discourse, I previously established the distinct difference between a Constituency Electoral Voting System and a Proportional Representation System. I made the fundamental point that there is no “winner take all,” or absolutes, in a PR System. That erroneous view of a “winner take all” doctrine peddled by this writer is totally false and unfounded, and everyone should be aware of this.

However, on a Constituency System, the possibility of a “winner take all” exists. That system makes room for absolutes, wherein an Opposition could be wiped out by a single vote. So, I do hope that whatever myopia “Dougla” might be suffering from would have been cleared up.

Now, let us examine Guyana under a PR System when Burnham was in power. Here we see a leader who whittled away at the very foundation of the electoral machinery to suit his own dictatorial ambitions. In the first place, he ensured that no Opposition stood in his way to achieving this objective. This he did by intimidation and fear, when Dr Jagan as well as his wife, Janet Jagan, were imprisoned. It was an entrance-and-exit situation: as Dr Jagan exited prison, his pregnant wife then entered the halls of incarceration. The motive behind this move was to humiliate and stun them into silence.

With an emasculated Opposition, Burnham was signalling to the Jagans that he and the PNC were now in full control. He then went on to establish an elections commission, or should I say a charade of an elections commission, staffed and filled with his cronies. In real terms, this was an elections factory, so crafted to churn out results in his favour. These were the beginnings of Burnham’s rigging empire, all election results from henceforth saw a whopping two-thirds majority for the PNC. For 28 long years, we were subjected to this tyranny.

Is Dougla aware of the years when election results were determined in an office based at Congress Place? Is he aware of the fact that figures were fixed for a PNC win before a single ballot was counted? The vivid experience of The Ballot Box Martyrs tells the whole story of those dark days in Guyanese history.

So, to awaken Dougla from his amnesiac slumber, I would remind him of the 2011, 2015 and 2020 recent experiences of the same fraud factory coming into play where elections’ results are concerned. These were repeat performances of the PNC at falsifying figures.
There was some respite when the Carter Center came to the rescue in 1990 and order was again restored. I am talking about the selection of an Election Commission Chair from a list submitted by the Opposition, and the representation of an equal number of commissioners from Government as well as from the Opposition to form the Electoral Board, among other things. Other major changes came about, such as the counting of the ballots at the places of poll, as well as the posting of the statements of poll at the respective locations of balloting.

Minus the violent street protests at election time – which are typical of the PNC – elections under a well-organised PR System went well. But somehow, somewhere behind the scenes fraud lurked, and that opportunity came in 2015 when APNU/AFC gained power. Around this time, the party began its nefarious plan to reconstitute and retrofit GECOM. It took quick action by the then Opposition as well as the International Community to put pressure on the Granger Administration to bring back the electoral machinery into normalcy.
This ultimately brought back some semblance of decency at GECOM.

The rest is history, because even that transparent system was prostituted right before our very eyes way up to the final call for the elected party to form the new Government. Dougla, or whatever the pseudonym, must realise that a well-organised PR System is sound, and would bring forth the result of the party of the people’s choice. Nothing is wrong with the PR System, fraud and corruption are all the handiwork of the PNC.

Respectfully,
Neil Adams