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The Peeping Tom column, published in Kaieteur News, Thursday, May 13,2021 edition under the caption, “Rigger and their defenders have no place in electoral reform” is instructive in understanding the current thinking of the PPPC and its allies as it relates to the present US funded electoral laws reform project been spearheaded by the International Republican Institute (IRI). Peeping Tom’s embrace of the exclusion approach is indicative of the PPPC and its allies’ destructive and cynical notion of democracy and must be rejected since it is counter- productive to the national interest.
What they are telling us is so bizarre: we can resolve a conflict with only one-party involvement in the process? We are also been told that the electoral reform process belongs only to “winners” and none “riggers” of elections. In this construction only those who support the PPPC and accept that it won the disputed elections fairly can contribute to electoral reforms. In political terms this is a recipe for national disaster. Guyana belongs to all its citizens. The exclusion of half the population is a crazy and divisive venture. It is only reckless/ power drunk politicians, and their corrupt economic allies at home and in the diaspora who have lost “political balance” and are willing to dispense political capital in an approach that is a “nonstarter”.
Since the return of the PPPC to office it has demonstrated malicious “blindness” in pursuit of its self- serving course of action. Apparently, they have convinced themselves that with the US support they can prevail with their machinations without consequences and this will be accomplished without any resistance. The ruling party and its allies seem to believe that the opposition is weak and powerless, and in that condition they can do as they please.
While the above is a high-risk venture that is driven by the PPPC “infantile” sense of history, which makes them believe that under the banner/ cry of rigged elections they can achieve the seemingly impossible. That is inflicting on the African community and supporters of the APNU+AFC, what the British under US government pressure did to the PPP during and after the independence struggle. Reengineering and manipulating the electoral laws and system to achieve their political agenda at the expense of the PPP and its supporters. In trying a reversal of the historical clock, the PPPC leadership is unwisely failing to comprehend the change realities internally and externally.
Behaving like the colonialists is a national disgrace, 60 years after the end of formal colonialism, while undermining our independence and struggle for nationhood. And sections of the opposition playing up to the US to court “favors”. Rather than investing in an internally driven solution to end winner take all governance system many of our politicians are motivated by narrow self-interests. Peeping Tom is shamelessly portraying this backward policy of “exclusion” as a democratic advance in the governance of the country. I now pose this question to the “Peeper” and the PPPC leadership: how is the US more credible to have a role in the reform process and half the country is not? May I remind the PPPC that the US in the implementation of its cold war policy, financed riots against the PPP government and even encouraged post- independence election rigging.
Yet now it is qualified to play a major role in the electoral reform process and exclude the APNU+AFC and its supporters, that is, half the population, on the grounds it has been riggers of elections? More recently the US itself faced a serious crisis to its own democracy created by the very same Republicans who are behind the IRI.
The logic of the rulers and Peeping Tom is that it is better to make peace with powerful external forces and treat half of the population as enemies of the worst kind and prevail. Real politics yes, of the neo- colonial kind.
I now draw readers’ attention to the AG’s statements in an article a few months ago where he informed the nation that his office and the government had already worked on the necessary constitutional and other changes in the electoral laws that had emerged as problematic during the election crisis.
We were also informed by Mr. Nandlall that the proposed changes have the blessing/support of the US and its allies who were active in the election crisis. Equally alarming was a revelation by the AG that among the new penalties for election wrong doings was in some circumstances “life imprisonment”. This draconian measure says it all – we are dealing with insane power drunk politicians who have lost their balance.
For what it worth I will end by reminding the PPPC/ and the AG that the draconian laws they are contemplating and/or implementing may turn out to be their worst nightmare. And as for Peeping Tom, you need to peep deeper, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.