Reading Hydar Ally’s missive on the re-opening of the Claims and Objections period left me mystified. Rather than feeling proud of this man, with whom I once shared membership of a political party which believed in free and fair and free from fear elections, I feel ashamed that today he is attempting to give legitimacy to the PPP’s machiavellian plan to delay the elections. An election delayed is freedom denied. This advocate for delaying elections for unjust reasons is now on the wrong side of history and time is not on his side or the side of his Presidential Candidate Donald Ramotar.
Mr Ally stated he is “baffled by the logics of the opposition parties” against the reopening of the Claims and Objectios period. What is baffling about holding an election within the constitutional time-frame? The PPP has advocated the opening of an opportunity to violate the constitutional deadlines and this can cause undue physical, mental and economic stress to ordinary people.
What the PPP is demanding is most unreasonable. Even in the best democracies, registration of 100% of the potential voters is not achievable. Even if we re-open the Claims and Objections period for another year, 100% or even 99.5% registration is not achievable. The facts revealed that the National Register of Registrants (NRR) is estimated at 470,000. The PPP claims that some 5,000 persons remain unregistered. That translates into 98.9% of the eligible population as being duly registered. So why does the PPP want the elections to be delayed to satisfy a number in the sky of 5,000 potential electorate, whether they exist or not, to the inconvenience of 98.9% of the potential voters?
This letter is about the unaccountability and deception of the PPP on this whole Claims and Objections process, their determination to delay the elections and how Dr Steve Surujbally and Mr Robert Williams fell for the oldest trick in the book.
The PPP has failed to reveal the empirical evidence of these 5,000 persons and where they reside, at least regionally. For Gecom to fall for the oldest trick in the book, a typical PPP numerical massage, is most unfortunate. Many will be holding Dr Surujbally and Mr Williams accountable for this potential national disaster in the making, since there is no clear justification for an extension. Any decision of this strategic nature should have been accompanied by a sound cost/benefits analysis. The flawed decision clearly revealed that a majority of Gecom’s commissioners did not do their homework. I suspect there was much opportunity for manipulation in the final decision and more importantly, there is much reservation around the position of Mr Williams. I plead with him to publicly submit himself to the media to explain, or surrender himself to the dustbin of history.
What Gecom has not factored into their decision is the fact that the PPP is desperate to recover the political ground lost to the AFC. What Gecom has not factored in is that times have changed and the people are ready for an election in 2011, not 2012. It is becoming more clear that Donald Ramotar is an under-prepared candidate to lead Guyana, and this is causing the PPP much agony. So much agony that they will clutch at any opportunity to save themselves from a landslide defeat. Thus this Claims and Objections issue is not the causa belli but the casus belli — not the cause, but the occasion for delaying in the elections.
The PPP deception is further exposed when the PPP Minister of Home Affairs fell short in explaining himself as to why his ministry botched the project to get source documents for these unregistered voters since 2008. This ministry is filled with a number of ‘goat sure’ strategies and plans but none of them have produced and delivered the source documents for these unregistered voters.
The truth is that none of these PPP political gymnastics are about strengthening the democratic system; it is all about buying time for the unsure, unprepared, under-skilled, uncharismatic Donald Ramotar. Why is he ducking the debate with Khemraj Ramjattan? Well they can delay the elections by 2 months, or as my nine-year-old child said at Disney last week on our vacation, “a Donald Duck month,” but electoral licks will still be shared like peas when these elections are held on the PPP and PNC by the AFC.