No shame says supporters
There is an interesting groundswell (voters) reaction to the government resistance to the outcomes of the count (legitimate SOPs) and recount of the election. The President, PM, Ministers, government, party echelons, and lawyers should send people out to mingle on the ground among supporters to hear the indecencies being uttered about them. Too many in the PNC base feel they have been taken for a ride, misled about the election outcome. Thus, many no longer pay heed to the spokespersons as opinions swing against government. Supporters accept the party lost. Some respond: “Dey think we stupid”.
Faith and confidence in the leadership are being eroded. The government should do the honorable thing – concede defeat, congratulate Jagdeo and Irfaan, and help with national reconciliation. Otherwise, party supporters will abandon ship never to return.
It is noted the President boxed himself in a corner; he has no more wiggle room. His own several postures since election day have come to chain him: Only Caricom interlocutors matter (they advise acceptance of results); and Caricom (recount) report must be taken into account (report shows coalition lost). The image of honesty and decency that Granger created or acquired for himself is perhaps haunting him more than anything else. Now he must be pondering: What is the honest thing to do if not to concede defeat and resign and allow Dr Irfaan Ali to swear in. Granger is also torn between party and family. His wife, children, and son in law are pulling him away from APNU to do the honorable thing, perhaps prepping him to resign. The hardliners in the party are doing their best to keep his feet in the fire and not give up power. In the end all is not lost. Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, he would also; the PPP is known to make mistakes in government. And as several American Congress persons advised his name and legacy are recorded in history. Why jeopardize it for a few hardliners? His destiny and legacy lie in his own hands.
From my conversations with Guyanese and as interviewers inform me of their interactions with people on the ground and workers in the public service, while the spokespersons of the coalition change their narrative from claiming victory twice to increased margins at the start of the recount to fraud during the recount, their supporters don’t have pleasant words for some in the government. People joked that this is the only election in the history of Guyana that was rigged three different times – twice by the incumbent and once by the opposition.Government supporters suck their teeth when spokespersons in response to the recount say the coalition was cheated and that the opposition engaged in electoral fraud. Among the police service and even the para-military and army, there is a cynical smile when one begins to talk of state of politics. Why is the coalition going ahead with this pretension? Government workers and police and army officers are worried about losing their US visas.
On the other side, supporters of the opposition shake their head in disbelief when they hear what they describe as ‘nonsense’ emanating from the mouths of government spokespersons that the PPP rigged the election. Both sides are mocking, jeering, and making snide remarks against the leadership of the government. “Why don’t dey thrown in the towel”, many remarked. Any other narrative but concession is not selling, not gaining currency.
Government supporters say they have been misled and they voice their opinions openly; they accept their party lost the election. No amount of denial would change that fact. In reacting to government spokespersons or when they engaged in discussion on politics, they say: “Have they no shame; dey (names mentioned) deh pun serious joke”.There is widespread rejection of the latest narrative of electoral fraud among public servants. The attitude among public servants is that government people are embarrassing themselves. Public servants are even more irritated when contractors come for payment and money not available.
And the nation is seriously hurting from the politics, suffering a double whammy with the Corona virus. At the business level, there is almost complete shutdown. Tens of thousands lost their income. The demand for public service has not been met. Even hospitals are affected unable to meet demands for health care. The business community is complaining that business is virtually dead.
The entire country is in pain. And too many are ridiculing the administration. It is better for the government to give up rather than extend the suffering by rejecting the recount numbers as pronounced by Caricom.
It is time for the coalition to end the resistance and congratulate Dr. Irfaan as the President Elect.