Very ominous signs: time for democratic forces to stand up (Pt 2)

first_imgDear Editor,I refer to the case of Mr Vishnu Persaud, who was the Deputy Chief Elections Officer, and who was asked to re-apply for the job because his contract had expired and the Commission was not meeting at the time.Mr. Persaud went through the process and was scored the top applicant. However, the Chairman voted with the APNU/PNC appointed Commissioners to deny him that post.The person who was given the job quickly took down her Facebook page, which was loaded with anti-PPP/C postings.Clearly, that is showing that Mr. Patterson is not bothered about being fair, or even appearing to be fair.The other issue of concern is the decision by the Chief Justice to rule against the case brought by Mr. Mustapha, in which it was argued that the Chairman was not appointed legally/constitutionally.It appears that the Chief Justice totally ignored the historical circumstances that brought the formula for the appointment of GECOM’s chair into being.This came about after our country experienced massive fraud in elections and our people had lost confidence in the Commission. The formula sought to build confidence as it promoted democracy in our country.The dismissal of that case has thrown us back to the days when the President did the appointment on his own. It was that power that facilitated rigged elections and the destruction of democracy in Guyana.These things are really disturbing, since they will have an impact on the nation’s future wellbeing.Guyana’s experience has confirmed the theory that there is a direct correlation between political democracy and socio-economic development.The PNC did not wreck our country in every field because of the lack of intelligent people. No, it was practically destroyed because of the undemocratic practices. The rigging of elections was at the centre of our underdevelopment and pauperisation of the nation. It led to the alienation of the masses from the rulers.The SIMAP report of 1991 estimated people living below the poverty line to be 80%. Guyana was a Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC).We saw the benefits of democracy. With the return of free and fair elections in 1992, Guyana blossomed. We moved from being a HIPC to being an upper level Middle Income Developing Country when the PPP/C left office in 2015.If we want to be generous, we can argue that Burnham was probably not aware of what rigged elections would have done to our country. He may have had no idea that it would have led us in a maze of corruption and led his regime to be involved in massive oppression. It even led to political murders. Walter Rodney being the most prominent.However, we now know clearly where that road would lead. That is the road we are back on.It is not only the political parties in power who are to be blamed for this deterioration and undermining of decisions, but those individuals in constitutional positions who, for whatever reason, allow themselves to be used to facilitate the growth of the dictatorship are just as culpable.The practices of the APNU+AFC regime are clearly anti-national in content, and will impact negatively on all our people, no matter which party a person may support. I say this because the evidence of what will happen is there. Yet this clique has chosen the path of destruction.The signs are very ominous. It is time that all democratic forces in our country, regardless of political or non-political persuasion, to stand up now for a progressive and democratic Guyana.Sincerely,Donald RamotarFormer Presidentlast_img

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