The problem with Bharrat Jagdeo

THE problem with Bharrat Jagdeo’s lust for power is that he is willing to sacrifice the stability, security and economy of the nation, so that he and his cronies are able to assume office.

As the political stalemate surrounding the March 2 Regional and General Elections continues to unfold in a protracted and litigious court setting, Mr Jagdeo relentlessly continues to forward his narrative of electoral fraud. To this end, in recent comments made by Mr Jagdeo in relation to the possibility of international sanctions being imposed on Guyana and particular officials, he maintains that his party is trying to fight to avoid sanctions, but are also asking the international community to stay resolute in bringing sanctions down heavily on those who would put the country and democracy at risk.

Mr Jagdeo’s comments make little sense in that it is unclear whether he is fighting against sanctions being imposed on Guyana and Guyanese, or whether he is fighting for them to be imposed on Guyana and Guyanese. The contradiction in his statement must be glaringly obvious to readers; however if they are not, it appears as though that whilst Mr Jagdeo does not want sanctions, he also wants sanctions. In any case, his jumbled diatribe only serves one purpose and that is to bolster support for his failing manoeuvres to secure a victory for the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).

Mr Jagdeo asserts that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) knows that the results for Region Four are fraudulent because according to him, the international community has said so. Whilst citizens would be aware that the international community has made brief comments on Guyana’s electoral impasse on Twitter, it remains to be seen that they have been so deeply involved in our affairs and the electoral process as to be deemed reliable witnesses to electoral fraud. On that matter, we would be better placed to examine the statements of the various observer groups who were observing the tabulation process of the contested Region Four results. Upon doing so, it would become evident that what really transpired on the night of 4th March and morning of 5th March when the PPP/C strongmen bulldozed through GECOM like rabid animals, brandishing weapons and making demands, was a blatant attempt to derail the verification process in order to cast doubt on the elections, which were, until that point, deemed free, fair, credible and transparent.

Mr Jagdeo appears to believe that when he assumes office, those who have obstructed his ascension to said position would be dealt with at that time. He has asserted that he has seen serious police actions and that they must be resistant. He has warned that the police need to know that there will be consequences for them too if they continue to take political instructions and harass people. We can only assume Mr Jagdeo is referring to the Guyana Police Force (GPF) operating within their constitutional mandate which is and has always been to serve and protect the Guyanese people. His allegations of the GPF harassing people is troublesome as the GPF has shown enormous restraint when dealing with factions of the Guyanese society who have, at the behest of Mr Jagdeo and his associates, been encouraged to go out and protest. And not in the constitutional fashion which is permitted by law, but by attacking schoolchildren, members of the GPF and sadly a member of the nursing profession; not forgetting the wanton destruction of property.

In addition to Mr Jagdeo’s threats against the GPF, he has asserted that he is coming up with a list of names from GECOM, the government and business leaders who are supportive of them (the government) and intends to pursue action against them. Whilst it remains unclear exactly what action Mr Jagdeo intends to take or is indeed able to take, we can only assume that he will engage in his nuanced approach to conflict resolution.

The most outrageous statement made by the leader of the opposition is that if President Granger is sworn in, Mr Jagdeo intends to treat Irfaan Ali as the president of Guyana. Mr.Jagdeo has said that wherever President Granger goes, he would be met with protests and that he would urge people to stop paying their taxes and that the opposition would not be part of any parliament and would take their resistance to a different level.

Mr Jagdeo’s rhetoric is incendiary and reckless. His comments and statements are rarely based in facts and serve as desperate attempts to promulgate his baseless narrative of electoral fraud. His behaviour is reminiscent of the old adage that empty barrels do indeed make the most noise.


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