By Dr. Kumar Mahabir
Following the walk-out by all the international observers from a reportedly rigged vote-counting process in Guyana, incumbent President, David Granger, was making plans to swear himself in, as an illegal President.
Then boom! The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) appeared, at the eleventh hour, to save Granger from his own destruction, as well as to sanitize him in the eyes of the rest of the world.
There will now be a recount of the ballots in the controversial Region 4 (and the other nine regions), instead of the compulsory continuation of the validation process, based on the Statements of Poll (SOPs). CARICOM has appointed itself to supervise this new deal.
There is a conspiracy afoot here, which the Opposition Leader — Peoples Progressive Party-Civic (PPP/C, General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo — could not see and fell, blindly, for it.
Does this new agreement mean that the results of the SOPs would be discarded? There is now, a greater risk that the ballot boxes would be tampered with, after two weeks of being in the possession of the Granger-supportive Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
Has Jagdeo been hoodwinked?
The integrity of GECOM and CARICOM have already been tainted. The ballots in the boxes will be stacked against Jagdeo, Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
I do not think that the results of a recount of Region 4 would be any different from that which has been declared by GECOM.
For more than a year, CARICOM stood by, silently, at Granger’s A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) ruling party’s insistence that 33 is not greater than 32 Parliamentary votes. That mathematical controversy went to the High Court, the Court of Appeal and The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) that APNU lost.
Taxpayers in Guyana were made to pay for APNU’s court claims and defences. The PPP/C had to fund its own legal costs.
Granger is already being repackaged to appear as a fair, honest and decent leader. The CARICOM Chair, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, has emphasized that it is Granger — not Jagdeo — who has asked for a recount.
Do you believe that, after Granger refused to step down, when he lost the no-confidence motion in Parliament in December 2018?
Very, very strange, and suspicious, that Granger would request a recount of the votes.
If this is true, Granger has a sinister plan up his sleeve. If the recount is not predicated on the SOPs — which would facilitate verification — then this new process of recounting will be flawed — and a farce. It must be remembered that foreign observers left, because GECOM did not want to continue the verification of the SOPs.
Let’s hope that my predictions are wrong, that Granger will be installed as the President, aided by the conspiracy of GECOM and CARICOM.
Let’s pray that Guyana would not return to the dark days of the tyranny of Presidents Forbes Burnham and Desmond Hoyte, predecessors of the same party that Granger leads.