August 2nd, 2023, entire Guyana is celebrating society’s restoration from ‘autocracy’ (hypocrisy) to democracy. After the PPP/C Party had convincingly won the March 5th, 2020 General and Regional Elections, the then PNC Government lead by President David Granger, had refused to hand over governance to the PPP/C Party lead by Dr. Mohammed Irfaan Ali, the legal and legitimate winner of the election. The world chooses not to forget the five agonizing and traumatizing months of drama, when the PNC Party held this country to ransom with a rebel band of “sanctimonious gangsters” placing their knees on the throats of pleading Guyanese. Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and former CARICOM Chairman, had accused a “rogue clique” of playing with fire, commotion, disorder and civil war and wanting to hijack, in plain sight, the elections, and thus, the country.
In fact, what the world prefers to remember is the blatant and bare-faced attempts by the then PNC Government to feebly and porously rig the election in front the glaring eyes of the watchful national, regional and international observers. With their usual foolish, dotish and childish misdemeanors, their prankish, hoggish and selfish endeavors, failed to defraud the Guyanese people of electing a party of their choice to manage the affairs of the nation. Head of the OAS observer mission to Guyana’s March 2nd elections, Bruce Golding (former Jamaica Prime Minister), had said, “And permit me here to pause to make a comment. I have never seen a more transparent effort to alter the results of an election.” “You know it takes an extraordinarily courageous mind [he gave a hint of a laugh as he said those two words] to present fictitious numbers when such a sturdy paper trail exists,” he had asserted.
Guyanese would forever be grateful, praiseful and thankful to the members of the ABCE Diplomatic Core, in particular US Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch, who stood their grounds and refused to be intimidated by a bunch of ruffians and rebels who wanted to retain power through illegal means by rigging the election with fictitious votes, swear in David Granger as President and storm in power with their high-handed attitude, backed and protected by their friends in the then GDF and the GPF. It was obvious back in 2020, the Military Forces were influenced to delay and deny the process of law and order and the practice of fair treatment was unquestionably trampled. Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley (former CARICOM Chair), had said, “Many of us have observed with great sadness what has been transpiring in Guyana… The role and focus of political parties must be useful and not obstructive in embracing and promoting the clear and expressed will of the people. When we confuse and frustrate that will, is when we begin to sow the very seeds of discord and acrimony that we are sworn to dissuade and discourage.” Mia Mottley did remind the PNC, “The truth hurts.”
Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago had expressed grave concern, “I am getting a feeling that this is not going to end well…I hope I am wrong but that feeling…I am not having a good feeling…I have this unsettling feeling [that grows] with every passing day,” It was the “Landing of the Eagle” which saved Guyana’s bacon. First, it was the institution of visa sanctions to members of the then PNC Government, their families and relatives which sparked second thought to continue holding the country to hostage. A soured caretaker President Granger’s 75th birthday celebration was marred as the US Government announced the sanctions. In as much as this move instilled some degree of fear on July 15th, 2020, a still dejected and daunted PNC Government refused to comply. It was only when the heavy booths of the then US Secretary of States, Mr. Mike Pompeo, directed that, “individuals responsible for or complicit in undermining democracy in Guyana,” “step aside” that Dr. Ali was allowed to be sworn in as the President of Guyana and the PPP/C Party form the new Government. “The Granger government must respect the results of democratic elections and step aside,” Pompeo said.
The PNC needs to reflect back in Guyana’s Parliament, November 2018, when former Prime Minister of Guyana, Moses Nagamootoo, once told the then PPP Opposition Party, “We are not afraid of debate. We are old debaters. Question is, there is an old unwritten law, this is inequity that says “He who wants justice must come with clean hands”. The clean hands doctrine is based on the maxims of equity which states that one, “who comes into equity must come with clean hands.” This doctrine requires the court to deny equitable relief to a party who has violated good faith with respect to the subject of the claim.
The dirty hands of the PNC can never be clean. They have forcefully, violently and brutishly rigged elections in order to retain power. Their mantra is to seize power at any cost. Mr. Nagamootoo had declared, “First, the constitution – our law says that in order for a motion of no-confidence to pass it must have a majority of the elected members of the National Assembly. I’ll repeat that. It must have a majority of all elected members of National Assembly. Our National Assembly has 65 members. It means that the motion of no-confidence, in order to pass, must have 33 members who are elected as members of the National Assembly. The Opposition doesn’t have that. It is the Government that has 33 members who are elected and sitting in the National Assembly.”
It was the very Party which went against its words to claim that 33 is not the majority of 65. Of course, their “bombasity” was exposed when the CCJ overruled their “unmeritorious, frivolous and vexatious” claim. Mr. Charrandas Persaud’s name will forever be associated with the motion of no confidence and Guyana’s fight for democracy.