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Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) says the body rejects the “ill-advised and clearly partisan” intrusion into Guyana’s internal affairs by United Kingdom High Commissioner (HC), Ms. Jane Miller. The HC is reported in a Demerara Waves’ story (November 12) stating the voters list could be used to hold general elections with sufficient safeguards in place.
CGID sees the HC’s statements as joining “with the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government in advocating for the current flawed, corrupt bloated voter’s list to be used for Local Government Elections (LGE).”
LGE is scheduled for March 13, 2023. The Preliminary List of Electors (PLE), which represents no less than 90% of the population, continues to attract widespread criticism. Observers to the 2020 General and Regional Elections, without expectation, recommended attention be given to the list to ensure it is reflective of the voting population.
Notable among those observers is the CARICOM team to the National Recount. The team, in their report, recommended Guyana “create a new voters registry especially given the suspicion that the 2020 register was bloated, a suspicion which is not without merit.” The HC did not address these recommendations.CGID is not only demanding an apology from the HC the list is useful but is calling “on all Guyanese to reject the current corrupt voter’s list!” “There should be no equivocation about our position and that of most decent Guyanese [t]he current voter’s list is bloated and unacceptable. It cannot be used for a credible election.”
According to the organisation one must wonder about the temerity of external forces who seem to always be on the ready to put a thumb on the scale of justice in developing countries for the sake of expediency.
“Guyanese witnessed the January 6, 2020 insurrection at the Capitol Building in the United States. Similarly, we also witnessed the exact parallel invasion of the GECOM building led by the US Ambassador and her British and Canadian counterparts, along with PPP gunmen and thugs. This incident at the GECOM Building, was a sad event for Guyana and portends more frightening events should our elections continue to lack credibility.”
CGID says the organisation has also taken note the HC never commented on corruption or inclusion in Guyana but now finds it convenient to pronounce on the voters list. The organisation sees this as both timely and strategic, noting support for a bloated list comes after the announcement of UK/Guyana new trade relations that would facilitate UK’s access to Guyana’s oil and gas resources.
Turning attention to March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections, the organisation points out the HC never found it convenient to comment on the massive fraud discovered in PPP strongholds in the 2020 Elections, and the 49 boxes lacking statutory documents. Nor, according to CGID, has the HC commented on the Commission of Inquiry into the 2020 elections which the organisation sees as “bogus” and “partisan” aimed solely to “undermine the prevailing narrative of PPP election fraud.” None of these appears to be important to the HC in the circumstance of the sustained disenfranchisement of more than 300,000 voters, charges the organisation.
Society should be concerned Ms. Miller should expect her words that a bloated list, even with ‘guardrails,’ shouldn’t be rejected in any truly democratic milieu, the body points out.
Referring to Guyana’s past the organisation says citizens should remember the many efforts pre and post-colonial that created divisions within the society, dividing ethnic groups, and avoiding a repeat requires Guyanese charting their own destiny not leaving it to the dictates of others.
The HC is being called on to be mindful of Opposition’s views on the bloated list. The opposition too has rights, the body reminds, urging respect for the freedom of Guyanese to make independent choices.
And “now that Ms. Miller has decided to involve herself so deeply in partisan, domestic politics in Guyana, she should feel equally compelled to comment on racism and racial discrimination that is so pervasive in the Guyanese society, and which is driving Guyana towards social upheaval,” the organisation concludes.