OPINION: The best service PNC can do for Guyana is to allow a transparent recount

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By Donald Ramotar

The PNC-led APNU+AFC was caught red-handed attempting to steal the 2020 General and Reginal Elections. Even though thoroughly exposed, the regime pushed ahead shamelessly. The reason is clear: over the last five years, the PNC/AFC cabal abused public office, and most have become enormously rich in a short while.

That elite wants to continue that kind of behaviour, and has tossed Guyana’s interests aside. Under the threat of sanctions from the international community, including the US, the small cabal continues to try to stifle the will of the people as they explore every crack to prolong their illegality.
In the face of this betrayal of our country, some of the PNC allies and friends have come out with the call for ‘power-sharing’. They manufacture all kinds of arguments to perpetuate PNC in power.
I am amazed at this call in the light of an attempt to steal the elections, an attempt at fraud against all the people of our country.
Clearly, to speak about power-sharing in these circumstances is putting a premium on PNC/APNU cabal’s crookery and the violence they are unleashing on our people, using – rather, misusing — our Police to daily harass PPP/C supporters.
This is an attempt to reward the PNC elite for all their wrongdoings. This is akin to a banker bringing crooks to work at the bank after they committed a robbery of his bank.
Not one of them has out-rightly and unconditionally condemned this atrocity. One of the arguments used is that we are a multi-ethnic society and we should ‘share power’.
Guyana is not the only multi-ethnic society in the world, or in the region. None of the others has the same problem as is created in Guyana by the PNC/APNU.
Take Trinidad & Tobago, for instance. That country’s demographic closely approximates ours, but those questions never arise there. Trinidadians do not go through what we have to endure because of the corrupt elite that controls the PNC/APNU+AFC. Therefore, that argument does not hold water.
Moreover, it should be pointed out that talking about ‘power-sharing’ as a means of dealing with the racial/ethnic issue will not work. In my view, it will institutionalise racism in Guyana. That is a position that no right-thinking Guyanese can tolerate.
The reason why Trinidad & Tobago does not experience this trauma is because it has created a normal, civilized society. All the political parties and civil society players respect and uphold the constitution, and respect the laws. Its institutions, including the judiciary, are independent; its courts would never give the outrageous decisions as would often emanate from our courts. The Elections Commission there displays a genuine sense of fair play. The integrity of the officers is intact. The outcome of elections is rarely questioned.
That is where our main problem lies. The PNC has never shown any respect for our Constitution or the rule of law. To them, the Constitution is just a piece of paper that is to be violated. In their Sophia Declaration, the PNC sees the Government as the Executive Arm of the PNC.
Another important matter is the question of leadership.
The PNC has never given proper leadership in this country. They have misled ordinary people, instigating and inspiring them to violence over and over again. They organize fundamentally on racism. They have been guilty of misleading their supporters and fostering division in our country.
The PPP has always sought to promote unity of our people. It is this stance of the PPP and PPP/Civic that has limited the PNC anti-national, racist practices.
That policy has been paying off. This last election, the PPP/Civic would not have won if every single Indo-Guyanese voted for it, because no racial group has a majority in this country. The PPP won because it got crossover votes from Afro-Guyanese and from the Amerindian community. Its hard work to promote national unity has been paying it big dividends, and will pay even greater benefits in the future.
Inclusivity will not come about with the crude constitutional engineering being proposed, even if some do so honestly. Inclusivity will grow in a democratic atmosphere in a normal society, which must be based on respect for our Constitution and the rule of law. A normal society must also have a system in which the institutions of Elections Commission, the Judiciary and others must not be subverted, and must discharge their functions freely, without political bias; just on the basis of the law.
The attempt by the PNC to rig the 2020 elections shows us that that path is a dead end. It leads to dictatorship in the political arena, and poverty in the socio-economic sector.
The best service that the PNC can do for the country is to allow a transparent recount, and respect the will of the people. If they do so without being forced, that would show that the regime is willing to begin a process of reforming itself, which is so important for national development.