I express gratitude to the WPA of Guyana for its statement on the stalled declaration of elections results. The party, known for its position against fraudulent elections since its formation led by Dr. Rodney during the late 1970s, is saluted for this latest statement on counting of the SOPs. I fought alongside Rodney in 1976 and 1977; he would not condone fraud and racism. The WPA is walking on the correct path of democracy. It has broken ranks with APNU coalition partners for what the public say is right – let the ballots or SOPs be counted correctly irrespective of which party wins. It is the correct position as was also taken by Justice For All (JFA).All forces must be committed to the varied concepts of democracy including the treasured idea that every vote counts in an election; there must be no rigging as executed by Clairmont Mingo in Region 4. So many individuals and organizations have called on the government and Gecom to respect the outcome of the elections. A verifiable declaration of the authentic results of the elections, as called for by the WPA, is most desirable to end the stalemate in Guyana.
The WPA statement is an act of courage. The party must be applauded for taking this decision, albeit very late, to help find a solution to the electoral dilemma Gecom and the coalition government find themselves. I recall that following the May 2015 elections, when PPP was challenging the count and reluctant to concede defeat, several prominent stalwarts like Swami Aksharnand, Ravi Dev, Baytoram Ramharack, Ryhaan Shah, and myself called (in letters to the media) on the PPP to accept the result, allow for a transition, and attend the swearing in of whoever won the election. Similar statements are now being made, though late, from the other side as pertains to this election.
The WPA was long praised for its role against rigged elections. Dr. David Hinds, an executive member, was arrested and spent time in jail for fighting for free and fair elections. He was a hero in the struggle for democracy. I was looking forward for his statement (column in KN March 22) and that of the WPA, both of which were long overdue. This comes as Gecom twice attempted to manipulate the counting process to declare the loser as the winner and also the shenanigans being played out in the court to declare the loser the winner.
Similar to what happened in 2015, now several prominent individuals, not the least being Ret’d Major General Joe Singh, Prof Clem Seecharran, lecturer Freddie Kissoon, Sir Shridath Ramphal, Sir Ron Sanders, among others, have called for respect of the outcome of the vote and condemning Gecom’s attempts to alter the count in favor of its preferred party. Though somewhat late, I hail the statement from WPA and the comments from Dr. David Hinds for the government to accept the outcome of a democratic vote.It is noted that that the WPA now breaks ranks from other partners in the ruling coalition in demanding a verifiable count of the outcome of the elections. It is further noted that the Justice For All (JFA) party, Ms. Cholmondeley who is mom of Minister Kathy Hughes, Minister Dominick Gaskin, and others allied with the government in pointing out that the process used to declare a winner of Region 4 was deeply flawed. Diplomats, observers, and media reporters made similar statements.The authentic un-tampered SOPs must use for tabulation to declare a winner. I urge President Granger to heed the call of WPA and others to instruct Gecom forthwith to use the real SOPs in the presence of party agents and observers to tabulate the count for Region 4 and declare the real results.