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There is a belief in Guyana that rigging elections is fine once your ethnic side wins them, and the Afro-Guyanese-based PNC was the poster child for rigged elections. But the PPP has lost its ethnic Indian majority and so has followed in the PNC’s footsteps.
The present constitution has become unacceptable to both of the parties but rather than reforming it they are in competition to rig elections to hold exclusive national power for personal and ethnic reasons. In its various historical forms, this has been the dilemma of Guyana and the reason why this naturally well-endowed country has remained disunited and poor.
Of course, democracy is not majority rule: it is about majority rule within a constitutional framework acceptable to all, or substantially all, of the people and must be periodically updated to keep abreast of their wishes. Otherwise, the United Kingdom would not have been a democracy and Donald Trump would not have become President of America.
Over the last decade, Future Notes, published in the Stabroek News, has been making the point that Guyana needs to give up Westminster-type majority rule if it is to progress and ever become a nation. The first article (SN: 22/06/2011) quoted Sir Arthur Lewis on our kind of society: ‘To exclude the losing groups from participation in decision-making, clearly violates the primary meaning of democracy.’
Future Notes will continue to make this case for it is the only democratic way out of the Guyanese dilemma.