The Guyana Diaspora Council of New York held a rally at Independence Square, Liberty Avenue in front of the famous Sybil’s Restaurant, in support of electoral democracy and declaration of the right winner of elections held on March 2 in Guyana. The purpose was to give Guyanese and others a platform, other than social media, to express their views on the electoral impasse in Guyana. The declaration of a winner has been held up for four months as a result of attempted count frauds and court challenges. The latest update is the matter is before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The coordinator of the rally was community leader Vishnu Mahadeo.
The program began with opening prayers by religious leaders praying for peace and the right declaration of the results. The religious figures and other speakers were very articulate and knowledgeable of the Guyana political crisis. They prayed for the upholding of democracy and the dispensing of Justice. Among the spiritual leaders were Brahmchari Yogesh of American Sevashram Sangha and Black American Pastor DuJohn. The religious figures and other speakers praised Barbados Prime Minister and Caricom Chair Mia Mottley for her strong comments regarding the political situation in Guyana, and emphasized the significance of having every vote counted in an election. They also prayed for peace in America as related to the movement against racial injustice and destruction of property in recent protests.They urged Guyanese to be patient and wait on the Caribbean Court of Justice’s ruling on the appeal of Guyana Court of Appeal’s decision that added (unwritten) words to the constitution. The appeal to the CCJ was brought by Dr Bharrat Jagdeo and President-elect Dr Irfaan Ali. Oral arguments of the final appeal are dated for Wednesday Jul 1. The Guyana Diaspora Council also issued a statement in support of Ms Mia Mottley and condemned the virulent attack on this accomplished Caribbean stateswoman.
There was the guest appearance of Jennifer Rajkumar who won the Democratic primary dethroning long time Assembly Member Mike Miller of the 38th District. It’s the first time that an Indian American would be elected to the New York State Assembly. She expressed support for the democratic process in Guyana and hope that the election fiasco comes to an end with the ruling of the CCJ. Rajkumar, whose ancestors, hailed from India, has been closely following political developments in Guyana. She built a multi-ethnic coalition that captured the imagination of voters. Including in the Italian and Irish neighborhood where I live.
Mr Grant M Lally, a Republican of Long Island, shared some factual and interesting information at the meeting. He said that the elections were the best he and others had ever witnessed. The process was robust. Mr Lally said that they knew the results shortly after the conduct of polls and that the PPPC won the elections. He was a member of the Carter Center Observation team.
Vishnu Mahadeo mentioned of the need to support democracy and Guyanese back home as many of them are on the verge of starvation as a result of job losses and the devastating effects of Covid. He commented: “America is the bedrock of democracy and we must never compromise on democratic ideals”. Attendees praised him for the vision to put together this rally in support of democracy in Guyana and his leadership to help bring people together.