There were joys of relief from August 2 evening when the ‘shocking’ news came that Granger conceded defeat and Dr. Irfaan Ali was sworn in as President. That Sunday evening and days after, there were joyful reactions and a sigh of relief that the struggle for the ballot was all over. And this past weekend Guyanese Americans wanted to celebrate the occasion that their party and nation had won and they gathered in small numbers at various locations to take in the sight at he Cultural Center as well as to be part of some kind of celebration of the victory (triumph of democracy). Guyanese would never forget that experienced – five long months to declare an election that should have taken a mere five hours. They tuned in on social media on Sunday August 2 to watch swearing in and on Saturday August 8 to see the inauguration proceedings after which they engaged in receptions (food, beverage, loud music). Irfaan clearly communicated his vision for they country. It was a most brilliant speech; the best in my view that he delivered. The pitch and body language was spot on.
But victory parties continued on Sunday afternoon at barbecues. And earlier in the day, at the mandirs I visited, people were in celebratory mood expressing their happiness that justice was finally served. Pandits referenced the electoral victory to the ancient scriptures.
Almost every Guyanese followed developments in Guyana on a daily basis since the passage of the no confidence motion in December 2018. They were disheartened that the coalition refused to accept the passage of the NCM and adhered to democratic principles. They were furthered disappointed when the regime refused to accept the outcome of the free and fair vote that all observers and opposition parties stated PPP won. Intervention from the international community led to the acceptance of the electoral verdict.
Everywhere I visited on Saturday and night and in conversations with hundreds of Guyanese over the last week, there were praises for President Ali, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, Attorney General Anil Nandlall, among others, who were in the forefront in the struggle for the ballot and the historic achievement of August 2. Laudatory remarks were uttered about the monumental struggle waged by Jagdeo and Nandlall; Guyanese Americans see them as heroes. Their struggle is seen as iconic by Guyanese. “Dem boys get belly fo fight. Nobody nah fight like dem. Dem propa fight”. They describe Anil as the most brilliant legal mind and the most articulate in Guyana. Media persons like Freddie, Neil Marks, Chris Ram, and this writer, among others were also praised for their role in exposing the electoral fraud and calling on the government to accept the will of the voters. The independent media was also recognized for its contributions. Without the exposure of the fraud in the media houses, the regime would have gotten away with the fraud. Guyanese Americans say that those who assisted in defending the ballots must be offered a constructive role in the development of the country.
Guyanese Americans also express gratitude and appreciation to their Ambassador Sara Lynch and the Ambassadors of the BCE countries for the role they played in protecting the ballot. Guyanese Americans are most grateful and proud of the work of Sarah Lynch. She is a heroine among Guyanese; not since Ambassador George Jones in 1992 has an American diplomat stood out more in defending the will of Guyanese voters and in championing democracy in Guyana.
Every Guyanese (100%) I spoke with (in person and on the phone) were enraptured, pleased, and overjoyed with the outcome. They expressed words of joy, happiness, and delight that the PPP won. They expect great things to happen in their country. They are very upbeat about the future. They pledged their support to the new government. Guyanese are very pleased that the PPP has returned to office. They are confident that the PPP will serve the country well. But at events I attended, several speakers appealed to the PPP leadership not to repeat mistakes made when it was in office and to listen to the views of the public. Many say they would visit when the airport opens and flight resumes. Some even talked of returning and settling in Guyana.