Democracy Under Seige

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The March, 2, 2020 elections in Guyana, South America is one to be remembered. Because of the impending and much hyped up oil wealth, the elections was dubbed the “mother of all elections” in Guyana, South America, and it was naively speculated that whichever political party won this election would remain in power for a long time or indefinitely. It was speculated that the political party would cement its victory by using the lavish incoming oil funds to win develop the country, strengthen its alliances and win the hearts of the people.

However, this is an error in perception, and if the people sees that any political party abuses it power while refusing to attend to the needs of the people, then that party, like so many others in the past, will be disposed of and cast by the wayside. Such is the case of the APNU/AFC which came to power in the May 2015 and governed for some odd 4 years plus. Upon taking office, the APNU/AFC quickly doubled the salary of its ministers, implemented numerous additional ministries and sub ministries and backpedaled on many of its campaign promises.

Most notable of the APNU/AFC blunders was the abrupt closing of two sugar estates and President Granger saying that it is not the role of government to provide employment, but that people should seek employment by selling plantain chips and cook-up rice. The APNU/AFC also lost its vision by becoming overpowered by the PNC faction of the coalition. I should mention here that the APNU/AFC is a coalition of about 7 individual parties united in the cause of a better government. However, it proved itself to be none the better.

Campaigning on the lines of fighting corruption, the APNU/AFC corrupted the Guyana Elections Commission, and campaigning on the promises of job creation, the coalition government put 1000s of people out of work without a contingency plan.

Exactly one year ago today, the drama began. Guyana was under seige. On the 4th of March, 2020, an event occured in Georgetown from which would unravel a turmoil that would span a period of 6 terrifying months. The Returning Officer for Region 4 attempted to rig the elections by falsifying data on a spreadsheet. This led to an uproar and nationwide protests. Those who lived on the coastland especially felt the squeeze. We were a nation divided, a nation in anarchy as citizens violently rushed and attacked policeman. Our country was on the brink of a civil war which, thankfully, never happened. We pray that such an episode never replays in Guyana’s history. We pray for more stringent laws, politicians of greater integrity, peaceful transitions, and penalties for those who play a role in corrupting our nation. We pray that Guyanese will continue to live in love, peace, and unity, bearing in mind our national motto: one people, one nation, one destiny. Let’s learn from the past and secure the future while remembering the lives that were lost to bring us freedom.For those who say you would not like to be reminded of these events, remember, “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”

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