Guyana Elections 2020: Whoever wins also loses… and that means all of us – GHK Lall

Mar 16, 2020  Features / ColumnistsLetters, Kaieteur News

Dear Editor…. Letter from GHK Lall 

I stand in strong support of a full national recount. At first, I thought that that represented the sum of commonsense, a deep wisdom, given what we have had, and what now rages with all the intensity (the increasing and unceasing intensity) of an unstoppable inferno. Then I came to my senses, which had deserted me for a short moment. Yes! This is what this place does to citizens.

I came to my senses that while a full recount looks like the way out of the quagmire-the grave, to be unsparingly and crudely blunt-there is a problem, a serious problem that is sure to raise and display another of its many frightening heads. It is that somebody, from some party, is sure to raise hell and run amok with claims that the ballot boxes were tampered with and, you guessed it, stuffed. Or rearranged to the detriment of the competition.       

As if to provide proof to this position of mine, I did notice on page 19 of the March 15th edition of the Sunday Stabroek that there were already issues taken and objections (if that is the right word) raised with regards to 5 of the 10 regions contested. In Regions 2, 3, 5, and 6, the APNU/AFC is on record as seeking a limited recount (Region 3) and a general recount for the others. And as everyone knows, the count for Region 4 in favor of the APNU/AFC has been challenged by the eight other political groups contesting the 2020 elections, with the PPP in the forefront of the charge.

At this date, according to the table of information shared by the Sunday Stabroek, three of the requests have either been denied, one was suspended, and the remaining one withdrawn. I assure one and all that they have not gone away completely; or died a natural death. Like Douglas Macarthur, they will return.

Regrettably, and regardless of whichever way I look at this thing, I detect that it is riddled with suspicion, dispute, and unending misery. I began by thinking-rather unthinkingly, I must admit-that a full national recount would bring an end to the controversies and that we would be able to move forward. Well, I have since changed my mind, as I do not believe that anything would be settled to anybody’s satisfaction.

Far from it. The way I am seeing this now, this business and impasse could linger all the way into next year. I seem to remember that I did say a little while back that after March 2nd, this year would be shot to pieces, as in gone to the dogs. Well it has, hasn’t it? Sometimes, I wish that I am less of a wiseguy and behave myself. I regret that the environment has done this to me.

With coronavirus now on the doorstep, maybe inside the threshold of domestic existence, I have to wonder if there will be a next Christmas, even an Independence Day celebration. Remember that this virus, unlike elections, moves on feet of stealth. That is, one could have it and not know it until it is too late, and many others have been impacted.

They, in turn, could not help, other than to unknowingly extend the spread of what is now confirmed to be in the midst. It is the only thing that is now confirmable and acceptable in this country. It is definitely those, but it does not matter, because some could be gone (you know where) before we know it.

The only thing we want to know right now is this: who has won. That would not even be a pyrrhic victory, simply a recipe for ongoing and escalating catastrophe. Because there is this final truth that I have to share today: whoever wins also loses. That means all of us.

GHK Lall

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  • brandli62  On 03/16/2020 at 7:31 am

    With all due respect to GHK Lall, this letter to the editor is pointless. If you do not think that a total recount of the votes casted on March 2 will change anything, what is your suggestion? Lamenting will not bring us forward. In my humble opinion, the CARICOM supervised recount is the first step forward out of this mess. It is clear that there will be unhappy parties, if the recount does not yield their preferred outcome. There is however a process, if there is credible evidence of vote rigging, ballot box stuffing or other irregularities. IT’S FILING A FORMAL APPEAL WITH THE COURTS! It’s as simple as that. And that’s how all liberal democracies handle disputes. Guyana’s democracy has done so in the past and I am confident they’ll manage this crisis, too. The case may go all the way up to the Caribbean Court of Justice for a final ruling. That’s just how the rule of law works. If all parties keep a cool head, this is the way forward. Let’s be patient!

  • dhanpaul narine  On 03/24/2020 at 2:50 am

    You mean this thing could go to the CCJ again? What would happen to the country in the meantime? The reserves in the country are depleting rapidly. There is heavy borrowing from the Consolidated Fund and nothing is going in, plus the price of oil has dropped. The farmers in the Corentyne and Essequibo are complaining that, in the uncertainty, they cannot get their produce into GT. A long and protracted court case will see ‘sufferment.’ And we are not even talking about the sanctions and the effects of the Coronavirus.

  • brandli62  On 03/24/2020 at 4:01 am

    Guyana has a caretaker government that has the power to implement any measures necessary to combat the covid-19 pandemic. They are already doing so. The economic measures to assist workers, farmers, and small business owners have to be taken pragmatically and with as little bureaucracy as possible. Guyana has been always been operating without oil revenues, hence the drop of oil price does not really have much of an impact. It just limits anticipated extra-earnings. Overall, I hope that the Guyanese people stay healthy and that the covid-19 pandemic can be contained.

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