Its make up was a typographical abomination but it had the news.
The Election Event with the longest wait between sequels may have a 2021 release.
Those of us keeping score recall that Guyana Local Government Elections-LGE, that constitutionally mandated exercise granting the electorate the right to select their Municipal Leaders under the banner of National Democratic Council every 3 years, was last held under the current Governing Party in 1994.
Thereafter, they deferred those elections with the cavalier defiance of a dictatorship that deemed the exercise a schedule conflict with continuous corruption.
APNU’s return to LGE 22 years later was met with an anemic voter turnout …less than 40 % , says some estimates; which just underscores our sermon that campaigning for elections is a process, a protracted process of strategic messaging to inform voter sentiment, not an event of finger thrusting to festive rhythms peppered with crass snipping at opponents.
…Nor is it the discretionary bonus of a dictatorship- like the running commentary from Irfaan Ali and Bharrat Jagdeo dictating the terms on which Guyana LGE 2021, the Constitutional Right of the electorate would be held.
Ali’s call for ‘fixing’ GECOM and Jagdeo’s call for removing its ‘criminal’ elements read like Government supplanting the dictates of the Constitution to determine when people, granted the Constitutional regularity of every three years, should vote.
The irony is hardly subtle, as those of us afflicted with long and functional memories recall how it was Jagdeo’s GECOM that warehoused 35,000 Voter ID cards, as a ‘just in case kit’, we’re thinking….
Nor do we forget that the ‘removal of criminal element’ is a thru line, when this Party is in power; one that sets up the forcible suppression of opposition, the preying on the lesser parts of its non- base and leadership by fear, that sets in on a citizenry that becomes emotionally fragile with the economic sodomy that is the PPP’s weapon of choice, that it adds to its to this caldron of terror.
And, last we checked, Guyana’s governing composite would assign the determination of ‘Criminals’ to its Judicial Branch which would mean people would have be charged of crimes to be deemed criminal- like Irfaan Ali was of 19 crimes and Jagdeo was, by the US State Department, of melding murder with his Ministry of Home Affairs.
Reference must be made, too, to carefully placed letters in Government biased news organs with cute captions like “you can’t have cat watching the milk” coming from Leslie Ramsammy, criminal in his own right for holding Minister of Health Position as a US Citizen…with the purchase of a cell phone for Roger Khan to evade authorities in his Ministerial capacity, as punctuation.
Records prove that Ramsammy managed a rickety health delivery system that saw 2-patient per bed care delivery, high stillbirth and after delivery death numbers, a mental health crisis ,all while receiving budgeted multiples of billions of dollars to finance its revamping, with no measurable goal ever being met.
And what we also know of Leslie Ramsammy is, when he was ill, he was medevac’d to the USA for treatment at Long Island Jewish Hospital … assumably because the bloated Hospital budget he manged never made significant improvements to the Guyanese system and the budgeted funding for the Specialty Hospital never resulted in a specialty hospital being built…
…which leaves Leslie Ramsammy accountable to the nation for money that he oversaw at executive level for specific purposes that were never realized under his and his Administration’s watch.
Puss and milk…he says with dripping whiskers…
Under the the Party with the worst record for Governance, from criminal enterprise to criminal murder, Guyana is in a downward spiral.
We’re not at the lowest point, we’re thinking but we’ve reached the point where worse is helpful, and worse can be confidently expected.
This makes voting in every election, at every level, critical to salvaging what’s left and to resisting the damage done by foreign interference in the 2020 General Elections.
This makes Guyana LGE 2021 and mobilizing for voting in it, an imperative.
We may not be hearing enough from the Opposition on the push for Guyana LGE 2021, considering the last firm stand we saw was in 2020 but then the governing dictatorship controls most of the nation’s print media- which questions the options for mass information during the Guyana LGE 2021, to overcome the participation anemia of 2016.
Guyana has been reset to that period of autocracy where the government specializes in making mischief.
The easiest way is to dominate the media waves, print or air and then enforce sedition laws for those who would dare to be malcontent in the silently declared atmosphere of ‘with-us-or-against-us’ politics.
An electorate of news users both overfed and undernourished on daily calories of fear of midnight arrests and lies about economic progress offset by musings that things will be better after an election…even when they don’t plan on voting, consider civic involvement the other man’s duty, are not met or equipped at their level by politicians seeking their votes…falling prey to the politicians who buy their allegiance with bags of rice and USD25.
The PPP has patented governorship by fear, how it is lived, how it is leveraged.
And just as patented, seemingly, is the response of the Opposition which remains in conventional mode to fend off an enemy that has mutated into super predator.
Recently, there’s been in vigorous circulation, an email preparing for the Centennial birthday of the PNC founding Father.
Let me state, and without equivocation, my reverence for our heroes and my irretrievable gratitude for those who cleared the path for us to tread on, in this journey through political awareness to recognize and preserve our democracy and the rights it bestows upon us.
What I don’t understand is why- and at this moment when LGE can be cast to the fate of being overridden by a Government that took it off the election calendar for 22 years – planning a Centennial Celebration takes precedence over planning to overcome an anemic turn out to LGE.
I believe that there is still a craving for the balanced and objective offering of opinions that are free of fluff and flattery. Leadership has a ratio of less parts glamour to ‘down in the dirt’ work and those who prefer the appearance of leadership are really in the wrong profession.
Somewhere I read defeats have many causes and victories remain a work in progress.
But right in there is that act of effort which can give and prevent either outcome.
Judging from the letters written on behalf of the nation’s Thugocracy and by those upon whom heaping reproach never fully covers their blemishes, their anticipation is the usual sluggishness from their opponents; the expectation for them to declare defeat before competing for victory.
I remain hopeful that the Opposing forces are in the business of politics to be that constitutionally mandated arm of Government; the paid Opposition to check and balance a government with a history of clearing its calendar of elections that would interrupt its crimes in progress.
And in 2021, when the Constitution dictates it’s time for Local Government Elections, planning that 2023 Centennial Celebration should be seconded to messaging and mobilizing voters to select their Local Government Leaders.
I’ve never been a Party member but I think that centennial hero would agree with me.
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