The statements from Dr. Faith Harding, who recently resigned from the Executive Committee of the PNCR, that the PNCR engaged in electoral skulduggery in its presidential primary leaves no surprise in my mind. Harding claims that the recent election favoured Granger as the PNCR‘s resources were applied heavily towards Granger’s election. She said calls were made from the party bigwigs telling voters that the people in charge at Congress Place favoured Granger and that is the way the vote should transpire. Further, Harding alleges that the Granger camp was allowed to distribute campaign paraphernalia on the day of the vote, contrary to party rules. She also suggested that with people crowding the stage where ballot boxes were open, the integrity and security of the boxes may have been in question. At the end of the day, these allegations must be treated seriously since Granger defeated his other political dinosaur in the battle, Carl Greenidge, by a mere 15 votes in the race. While I restrainedly commend the PNCR for holding an open election for its presidential candidacy, which is a significantly better approach to the shameful PPP Stalinist dictatorial show of hands voting where 30 members of the party’s inner circle comprised of Jagdeoites handed Ramotar the PPP’s presidential candidacy, I have reservations about this PNC presidential primary. Notwithstanding the fact that 666 PNC members voting for its presidential candidate is better than 30 PPP Jagdeoites picking Jagdeo’s preferred candidate in Donald Ramotar, the PNC’s primary is a joke itself. A party that secured 140,000 voters in the 2011 election cannot tell me that it is practising true democracy by carefully selecting 666 members to a congress where the outcome can be determined in large part by the manner of selection of attendees. The PPP does the same handpicking nonsense to get only certain delegates to its congress although the PPP never held a congress to elect Ramotar as its presidential candidate.
Beyond the obvious problems with the process and methodology, Harding’s statements are a warning to the Guyanese public of why the PNC and the PPP continue to remain a danger to democracy in this nation.