OPINION: Eyewitness

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Credible…

…elections?

Caretaker President Granger says he wants “credible” elections. We’ll see. That he had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to accept every electoral decision that had been straightforward for decades – like selecting a GECOM Chair – doesn’t give folks much hope. With Granger, he only “agrees” when he’s already gotten what he wanted in the first place. So, when he’s going along with the voters’ list – which has actually ADDED more names to the one he claimed was BLOATED BY 200,000 names – your Eyewitness just knows that something ain’t kosher.

The fix is in…it’s just the PNC’s so experienced with rigging, you’re never sure exactly which one of the old tricks they’ll pick out of their hats this go-around. We just got some names that were registered by GECOM in empty lots in which cows were grazing. Back in 1968, it was horses over in England, where the overseas “votes” would put Burnham’s PNC “over the top”. At that time, the first NRR – created by the PNC to extract the voters’ list — was also fiddled with to have “PNC” kids under 18 years old vote. With Felix in charge of issuing birth certificates today, who’d know??

Your Eyewitness doesn’t think that, on this go-around, the PNC will have the GDF collect ballot boxes and count the votes at Camp Ayanganna, like they did back in 1973. They’re aware the breeze is blowing from a different direction nowadays, and they can’t be as bold and brassy as that!! Count on them to have some burly “voters” with authentic-looking ID cards rush polling places in their stronghold areas (garrisons?) right around the time the polls are supposed to close. Will all those foreign “observers” for “credible elections” be there to stem the stampede?? Do they want to be accused of preventing Guyanese from exercising their franchise??

Then there’s the pivotal role of the Presiding Officers – all chosen by your PNC-friendly GECOM Secretariat officials. They have opportunities for throwing quite a few wrenches into the elections works when those returns have to be combined and forwarded to GECOM. Not to mention GECOM’s IT Department – which is a Black Box to most Observers, even if they were allowed into that area – which they’re not!!

But even outside the elections’ preparations, look how Caretaker Granger’s breaking all Caretaker Convention Rules by doling out goodies to his base in a manner that puts Santa to shame!! That G$700M Bartica power plant just commissioned? On top of raising their regional allocation from G$226M in 2015 to G$1.9Bln in 2019!! Reg 10?? Don’t even talk about the Passport Office; street lights; new asphalted roads; TV station; G$178M state-of-the-art, eight-lane synthetic track. Plus the G$3 billion electricity subsidy!!

…campaigning?

Parliament’s dissolved today, and your Eyewitness can now shout, “Let the games begin!!” And believe him, dear reader, it’s going to be all games –not necessarily fun!! All skin-teeth nah laff!! Way back in the day, Roman Emperors invented what one acerbic critic called “bread and circuses” – to ensure the citizens keep them in power. The “bread” was actually wheat, which was distributed to the masses much like all the goodies the PNC are handing out as described above.

The circus? These were games organised in stadiums to entertain the masses to take their minds off their daily trials and tribulations. In Guyana, the politicians have come up with the music-filled rallies. Granger, for instance, will kick-off the PNC’s campaign with a huge rally at the G$1.5 billion corruption-riddled Durban Park. It’ll be headlined by Soca singer Farmer Nappy, and supported by a welter of locals, all from the PNC’s base.

But Granger didn’t just pluck that March 2 date out of the air:

Mash will be on Feb 23, so expect a month of bacchanal!!

…ERC??

The ERC had tele-pastor Kester Deane apologise to Hindus for maligning their religion. They then had that Indian UG student who’d posted a racist video apologise a second time.

Now that Deane has recanted, what will the ERC do?