USA determines Election Fairness in Guyana
Photo : Dr. Vishnu Bisram
I was at a bhandara shraad (memorial service for a Hindu) in Astoria for a deceased Guyanese two weekends ago, where, inevitably, Guyana politics came up for discussion among the large group in attendance. They were all disenchanted with the governance of the APNU/AFC regime. They were voicing their informed opinion on the expected outcome of the next general election due mid-2020.
The shraad discussants were unanimous in their assessment that if an election is free and fair (FFE), the PPP will win. But they are also unanimous in their belief that the election will not be free and fair. The PNC will rig to remain in office because it cannot win a FFE. They based their assessment on recent visits to Guyana as well as on their interactions with others who recently were in Guyana. An elder man, who I happened to know quite well with not more than high school education, gave a most instructive and profound statement on the next election to which the opposition PPP should pay heed.
The gentleman, who was at one time a PPP loyalist who became disenchanted with governance in the last several years of the PPP administration, stated: “Uncle Sam largely determines who governs Guyana and if elections would be free and fair. And if you disrespect Uncle Sam, you have to suffer the consequences. If Uncle Sam says you are not coming back. then you are not coming back". Any party that attacked America will be out of government or unable to return to office. It is well known PPP strscked America for inexplicable reasons. America did everything to remove the PPP from office in May 2015. Myself and others advised elements in PPP and even wrote in the media that PPP should not attack the USA. But advise and warnings were were ignored. The PPP delved straight into political suicide- harikari. The party adopted an anti American posture. And the USA under Obama removed it from government through electoral fraud and granting visas to tens of thousands of PPP supporters to visit America during the election. When the ppp called for recounting ballots that would have given it a majority if seats in parliament, the USA Ambassador said no to any recounts. The PPP's fate was sealed. The PPP has failed to recognize the power of USA in electoral outcomes in Guyana.
The senior gentleman at the Shraad went on to state that he does not see the US allowing PPP to return to government unless PPP addresses the attack on the US Ambassador (and by extension the government) during the Ramotar Administration. He was referring to the July 4, 2014 feral blast against the US Ambassador on American Independence Day celebrations by PPP messengers. An apology is needed. Guyanese Americans love America; they not support any attack on their new homeland. They want closer relations with USA.
The gentleman feels Bharrat Jagdeo, as new leader of PPP, needs to repair the damage done in that attack on the American representative. Everyone in the shraad gathering in the discussion nodded their head in approval. In other conversations in Queens Village and Richmond Hill, the heartland of PPP support base, Guyanese Americans are not pleased with the attack on the US Ambassador and the failure to address the fall out. Some asked if the PPP was so naïve as to not expect serious consequences for the 2014 feral blast that will put them in the bad books of the US and their removal from office by the Obama Administration.
The leadership of the PPP has to do a lot to erase the negative feelings in Washington for the PPP. Will the PPP listen to the views of its supporters in America? Supporters want closer relations between Guyana and the USA. The PPP and Guyanese Americans need to court America, Congress and President Trump to guarantee free and fair elections. Otherwise, it has no chance come next election.