What is Jagdeo afraid of?


Dear Editor,
FOR the leader of the Parliamentary opposition to suggest at his last press conference that the forthcoming Local Government Elections (LGE) should be managed by the United Nations, is another of his well-known tactics of conveying ill perceptions of Guyana, its government, and its constitutional institutions, in this instance the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Editor, this is a climb down from a not-so-long-ago brag that his party will emerge victorious in the November poll. But, most seriously, is that such a statement is intended to convey to the CARICOM region, and the international community, a misleading profile of a country that is authoritarian and has no respect for democratic principles. In fact, this has been a major narrative of a purely deceptive and dishonest type that has formed the thrust of Jagdeo’s attacks on the coalition, since 2015.

Note must be made that there was no such request prior to the historic LGE polls in 2016, which he declared he had won; or any complaints about the propriety of such, that should have led to complaints, thus justifying such a call.

Editor, it should be recalled that Jagdeo and his party’s challenged the results of the 2015 national polls, which had been deemed fair and transparent, by the corps of international observers that witnessed the process. His objections had to be among the strangest ever recorded, given the fact that his party was in office at that time and therefore had overall responsibility for the electoral machinery. In fact, it had been the same process that had overseen the 2006 and 2011 national polls, which his party had won. There were no objections then, but there were in 2015 when his party in government had been defeated, even though his government had poll oversight. These are contradictions of the highest form ever seen in this country’s political history.

But this is the same Jagdeo that had a while ago, strongly objected through his then point man, Roger Luncheon, to accepting the Security Sector Reform Programme (SSRP), especially when personnel from the donor country were to be based here for that exercise, which since the arrival of the Granger administration had been accepted for the reform of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

I stand to be corrected, by saying that Jagdeo is even on record alleging that the current administration was being dictated to by foreign entities. Guyana, is a sovereign country, and has demonstrated both the administrative and constitutional capacity as reposed in GECOM, to prepare for, and manage the national electoral machinery – the same mechanism which had guided the prior elections which Jagdeo’s party had won.

One must now wonder what is Jagdeo’s problem. What is bugging him? Is it the return of grass roots democracy, which will eventually break his party’s well-known hegemony over a system that had been designed to be managed by the citizens in the villages and towns? Or, the fact that the LGE system with its democratic functions of being responsible for its administration of regions, towns, and communities, signals the beginning of the end of the PPP/C’s bullyism?

Earl Hamilton