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Former Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo said that said it would be a shame for national honours to be given to Defenders of Democracy (DODO) when the elections were disputed and petitions have been filed challenging the results.
Writing in his My Turn column on his Facebook page, Nagamootoo said President Irfaan Ali has minted a “defenders of democracy order” (Dodo) for conferral on certain persons who were associated with the scandalous 2020 elections. “That “dodo” duck which could never fly, has been given many unflattering names; but it has since become extinct, and should not be recreated in any shape or form.
He advanced that constitutional petitions are before the courts into the legitimacy of those elections. “It would therefore be highly prejudicial if not contemptuous of the process of the court to honour anyone, either inside or outside Guyana, who had played a role in the conduct or adjudication of those controversial elections,” Nagamootoo reasoned.
He said many of the so-called ‘defenders” and mini-party leaders have already been given sinecure appointments in the overcrowded bureaucracy. “A joinder list from a group of mini-parties was assigned a single seat from left-over votes, but its MP was rewarded with the post of Deputy Speaker (as well as that of Ministerial Advisor). That was a vulgar demonstration of disproportionate representation in breach of Westminster parliamentary Convention.”
He said under this Convention, the major Opposition gets the Deputy Speakership, noting that in the last parliament the post was never filled after the Opposition PPP refused to nominate one of its members for the position. “I am confident that a Congressional investigation into foreign involvement into the 2020 elections, whenever held, would place some so-called “defenders of democracy” among moles from the old dusty CIA playbook. Mike Pompeo, an arch-conservative and “sanction man” once headed the CIA. He spearheaded last year’s regime change operations in Guyana,” Nagamootoo asserted.
He questioned that on the 24th anniversary of the death of Cheddi Jagan: “how such “defenders” overthrew the Cheddi Jagan government in the 60s has been well documented by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. (A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House), Philip Agee (Inside the Company: CIA Diary) Stephen Rabe (U.S Intervention in British Guiana: A Cold War Story), and many others.
Today, it seemed, the PPP is digging up the soul of Cheddi Jagan with its capitulation to the hordes that not only deposed him but keep him out of office for an unbroken 28 years. For the PPP to sleep in bed with the rightwing and reactionary Washington clique, since ousted, would be a complete reversal of the guiding principles of the Jagan’s party and a treacherous sellout of nationalism and sovereignty that for which it stood since its formation in 1950.
President Ali last week announced that he had taken the decision to institute a national award-the Order of Democracy, in recognition of the contributions of those individuals and organisations who defended democracy following the March 2, 2020 elections.
Those elections which resulted in Ali being sworn in as President was fraught with allegations of fraud, with several ballots boxes missing key documents to certify the results. The main opposition also believe that there was massive outside interference to determine the outcome of the vote and has thus far deemed the government illegitimate and fraudulent. They have also filed two elections petition to prosecute their claims.
However, Ali said that the Coalition had attempted to rig the elections and for those who stood up against the alleged act, his government with honour with the new national honour. “One year has passed since the General and Regional Elections of 2nd March 2020. “The Guyanese people went out to vote peacefully and orderly on that day, little suspecting that after the counting of the votes at the places of poll a devious plot would be triggered to subvert the democratic will of the people.
Fortunately, this plot did not succeed. The Guyanese people were determined to resist and repel the public mischief which was being orchestrated. Were it not for the vigilance, courage and resoluteness of our Guyanese people, supported by the international community and witnessed by the international election observers, our country would have returned to the dark days of tyranny,” the Guyanese president said.
He added that “brave men and women – of all ages, classes, ethnicities and political affiliation – came together in a heroic battle to defend our Motherland from one of its gravest threats: the attempt to trample the democratic will of the people. This defense of this right and the fact that it enjoyed the support of a wide cross section of fair-minded Guyanese manifested our people’s resolve to live in a free society as “One People, One Nation, One Destiny”
“March 2nd has therefore become a celebration of our people’s stoic defense of democracy. It represents the determination of our people to maintain Guyana as a democratic state which respects the rule of law, the separation of powers and the expressed will of the people through free and fair elections. The names of those to be invested with the Order of Democracy will be announced later this year.
Ali government has come under criticism for a number of actions it has taken thus far. Recently, Political Scientist, Dr David Hinds in reacting to the Taiwan embassy fiasco said that the actions of the Guyana government cannot be analyzed outside of the PPP intentional decision to allow itself to be elevated to power as part of a grand conspiracy to manipulate the 2020 election in its favour. “Those who wittingly and unwittingly went along with that scheme cannot now feign ignorance. You cannot endorse regime change and now disown the consequences or pretend it didn’t happen,” Hinds wrote in his Sunday column.
He said the ” truth is that the developments in question are direct and indirect consequences of what transpired around the country’s recent election. They are reminders that we are living in the shadow of Regime Change. It should not be surprising that the announcement of the Taiwan initiative was announced not by the Guyana government, but by the American Embassy. We were then told that the decision was not approved by the Cabinet. The question must be asked—who approved such a gigantic decision?