Reference is made to a news report “Van West-Charles hoping for safeguards for transparent voting at PNCR Congress” appearing in Guyana media (Dec 1). Individuals I interacted with not how ironic that Vanwest Charles is appealing for free and fair elections in his party when under his government, from 1966 to 1992 and again in March 2020, it was denied to the country where he was a Minister of government and the son in law of the ruler who founded the PNC.
As pointed out, it was his father in law, the late Forbes Burnham, who said those who vote don’t determine the outcome (winner) of the election. It is the person responsible for (who does) the counting that determines the outcome of elections. Indeed, that was the case in Guyana during the tenure of the PNC. The world knew that those responsible for holding elections during PNC governance were crooked save for Mr. Rudy Collins in the 1992 elections. And in all PNC internal elections, the person in charge of the elections determined the outcome. As pointed out, if the counting was right, Carl Greenidge would have won the leadership some years ago and the PNC would have been a different party and Guyana probably a better place. I don’t think Greenidge would have attempted to rig election in such bare faced manner in March 2020 although he served a government that rigged elections, and he was quiet during the effort to rig the 2020 election. He failed to publicly distance himself from rigging.
People I spoke with in the PNC feel that the outcome of the Dec 6, 2021 party election has been long determined. That is why Greenidge opted not to accept nomination for any post. They also say that Van West Charles is not even close in support with the other candidates aspiring to become leader.
At any rate, according to my sources, even if he were to have the best election machinery and the voting process is transparent, they say Van West Charles does not have much of a chance to win the leadership. He is trailing way behind the other three candidates. Basil Williams also does not have much of a chance. In this contest, slates of candidates matter as they bring out more voters on ‘your side’. A one man team will not cut it as it lacks manpower and the all encompassing necessary talent convince delegates to vote for you. Harmon seems to have a better ethnically diverse slate, as people have pointd out. But ethnic overreach (balance) is a turn off among PNC supporters. Embracing members of other ethnicity is not necessarily an asset. It has not worked in the PNC and has not attracted cross racial ground support.
The contest for party control is between Joe Harmon and Aubrey Norton’s slates. As pointed out to me, one is better than the other for the country in combating corruption and holding the government accountable.
Some have told me that it is not a secrecy in Guyana on who will win the contest. People are openly saying it will be manipulated in favor of one candidate for leader. We await till after the declaration to see if they are right.