Far from their homes where their watchful eyes might call out gerrymandering that disproportionately affects many in their population, ineffective controls that allow billionaires to artificially inflate favorability polls through buying multiples of conscience -burdening repetitious Ads, and a lack of security on digital elections platforms, International Observers took their professional observation skills to Guyana to determine whether democratic standards were applied to the 2020 general elections and whether there were practices that threatened its legitimacy.
Indeed, the General Electors Observers Act is one that empowers the President to invite international observers for “matters connected therewith”.
The aim of an independent observation team is to detect and deter electoral fraud through unbiased observation which in turn builds public confidence in the elections process.
Credibility thus becomes priceless and may explain why international observers announce themselves as impartial actors.
When The Organization of American States’ -OAS- Secretary General Louis Almagro announced his observation agreement signing with Ambassador Insanally in February of this year, those of us who pay attention to these things remember the role he played indirectly in the in the coup and exile of Evo Morales of Bolivia.
It was the OAS’s drumbeat of irregularities and fraud that helped to incense emotions borne out of racial division and it was these contested claims of illegalities that were weaponized by the Bolivian Opposition to call for an invalidation of elections and an ouster of the duly elected Morales, amidst organized civil unrest.
Not to be discounted are the claims of dismay in official OAS statements issued by OAS leader former Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding known mostly for being forced into resignation after his refusal to extradite Christopher Dudus Coke-World’s Most Wanted- to the US for major everything charges.
And it is the same Bruce Golding whose government was plagued by scandals, notably the Mabey Johnson British bridge builders indicted for bribing his transportation Minister Hibbert and whose improprieties he defended vehemently.
The credibility of these international observers would hardly be scrutinized had it not been for the fact that they were headed by Louis Almagro , the accused engineer of the ouster of Bolivian Evo Morales by introducing hard accusations of fraud and irregularities after Morales, not favored by America or his opposition, was ahead in the vote count.
Guyanese would recall the collective pride felt by many when reports during and immediately after polling bore headlines like Smooth So Far , Observers Pleased with Voting all of which became quite the opposite when the Opposition claimed foul, called for civil disruption and made their signature traipsing to the courts a part of this election when there was just one more region to be counted.. the now famed Region 4 which would have sealed their loss to the voters preference of a Coalition Government.
The appearance of objectivity and impartiality by International Observers are the elements that lend legitimacy, make the whole external observation law a function of fair elections and a measure of transparency that is welcome by members in the electorate looking for that truth and honesty, when it comes to the casting of their votes.
With no statistical or evidentiary basis to dispute the vote count, Madame Chief Justice rebuked the law suits of the Opposition as unfounded and reiterated that fraud could not be called if all the votes had not been counted.
And for the International Observers who made every Jagdeo whine an election issue and cavalierly repeated the use of terms like illegal, fraudulent and irregular that formed the basis of the ouster of Evo Morales of Bolivia,
NONE OF WHICH WAS DISSIMILAR TO THEIR CONDUCT IN GUYANA
we’ll revert to our Republic, its Sovereignty and the words of Madame Chief Justice Roxanne George who, as she ruled against the claims supported by the Observers, said in the strength of the capacity of her office:
“…everbody else who thinks they can have an input and a say… it is not their statutory duty…”
a fitting book end to the beginning of a new era in which all of Guyana will have access to its country’s Treasury.
And we’ll be watching.