August 26, 2019


Dear Editor,

I refer to two election related issues carried in the Sunday edition (SN August 25). First, the

CCJ was taken to task; and then the Gecom chair heard rather jarringly that her honeymoon is over.

I was surprised by the latest on the CCJ. That court has demonstrated steadfast determination to be wiser, more reasonable, more practical than us. In hospital terms, what the CCJ did was the equivalent of a) this situation is far gone; b) it is unhealable here; c) it requires the care of home; and d) tend to it within the Guyanese family. Get it out of here and deal with it yourself. The medicines waiting for this nation are all bitter. Perhaps, the next go around, they will deny issuance of certiorari.

Then, there was discomfort and pointed criticism of the Gecom chair – the consensus chair, the newly appointed and arrived chairwoman. Things not following the blueprint; they fall apart. I do not see how they can get any better. Let me put this way: this first salvo from the opposition indicates stirring, the impatience and buildup of a slow boil. It can only get to a furious, bubbling frenzy.

It is that, despite the best of intentions and the fairest of expectations (rather irrationally, by people like me), there is only that one place for Guyana to go and be. That single place that comforts: I am right; and I am not letting go. I will let go of reasoning and of standing, because all I care about is winning. And because of this, everyone else is wrong. The world is wrong, because it does not agree with my vision; delays and diminishes the outcome anticipated, and stands in opposition to plans and calculations. It is my way; or no way. Consensus chairwoman, or not.

At the end of the day, whenever the chairwoman gets there some unassailable points are worth repeating: 1) the political party commissioners are not changing positions, as instructed, in midstream; 2) the chairwoman is going to have to cast a tiebreaking, deciding vote; 3) the decision/vote means one side is going to lose; and 4) the chairwoman is going to be second-guessed, if not roundly denounced, by the political group that didn’t come out on top.

The language might be different from what is termed today, as facilitating “prevarications and shenanigans.” But the meaning will be same, however said, and by whomever said. It is regrettable that, somewhere in that position, as now articulated publicly, there is less than the honourable that accrues to the new chair. Perhaps, it was inevitable. And without a doubt, this type of sentiment and posture stands as an early precursor to the promise of the future. That is when the stormy crucibles of counting and finalizing and announcing will be disputed and damned. I hear fraud already, as intensification of passions and deterioration of the environment both gain deeper harder footings. How can these not be, when somebody has to lose? It is as simple as that.

There is nothing that is reserved for one side alone in this mindset. Today it is one side. Tomorrow, it could just as easily be the other. And still we approach podium and public to pontificate about democracy and observance and submission to what comes down from court and commission. Until we do otherwise, because the narrative doesn’t go as prescribed.

It is just the way that we have taken, which brings us to the place in which we are, always were. Our long circumstances have made unruly monsters out of us, because we have become accustomed to a crooked, carping, corrupt way of life. Things are not working out as programmed; therefore, the chair is now thought of as a party to that which thwarts. It does not help in this environment that the (forced) good feelings about the chairwoman, in whom so much is vested, is heading for the rocks, if not already there. A consensus chair she was, as I take pains to remind everyone.

But this is Guyana. And this is the chair of Gecom under scrutiny and attack. Why not? A long journey is promised; I refrain from saying the kind that I foresee. Thus, I keep asking: what difference does a date make, when the courtship is rife with betrayals, or suspicions of them? For after that, the next hardline is sure to be: what kind of result is that? Who and what could have given birth to that? From today, I look at the chairwoman and I hear: who are parents of this repugnance?

As I digest the not unsurprising development regarding the Gecom chair, I am reluctantly forced to come to grips with this reality: this whole election thing is going to go all the way down to the wire.

Yours faithfully,

GHK Lall