What to make of President Ramotar’s pronouncement

On the surface at least President Ramotar appears to have thrown a spanner into the political works by accusing APNU and the AFC of manipulating the general elections results at Linden, thus denying the PPP/C the few percentage points that they needed to take them into the parliamentary promised land.

But is that really what His Excellency has done or could there perhaps be some deeper motive for his pronouncement?

Recall that The Tantalizer has cautioned previously about the Kafkaesque nature of the Republic’s politics. Things are not always as they seem. Sometimes you have to read the tea leaves – another of The Tantalizer’s recommendations – carefully. Let’s try reading the tea leaves here.

Let’s deal with the President’s declaration first! Why now? Why two months and more after a new government is in place? Aren’t we to assume that having discovered – before the results were made public – that a fiddle had taken place that the PPP/C would have turned the country upside down – so to speak – desperately seeking those few percentage points to take them over the top. Wouldn’t Linden – a traditional PNC stronghold – have been one of the first places that they would have looked? And having discovered or even suspected that ‘funny business’ had gone on there, wouldn’t the PPP/C have shouted to the high heavens for a recount or something of the sort? With control of the National Assembly at stake wouldn’t the PPP/C have made sure doubly sure before running with GECOM’s result?

President Ramotar’s bolt from the blue declaration – clearly set up in an interview with the state paper – just doesn’t ‘wash.’

Even if we assume that such a discovery was made after the fact – so to speak – wouldn’t a matter of such earth-shattering importance have merited a special media release from the PPP/C or perhaps even a presidential broadcast to the nation? Why bury such an important ‘revelation’  in the Chronicle. And doesn’t Dr Luncheon’s assertion that President Ramotar’s pronouncement is “justifiable” appear more than a little ludicrous?

Now let’s back up a bit here! Who exactly does the President’s ‘revelation’ target? What is its motive? Does it seek to nail APNU and the AFC as riggers? If that is so it makes no sense since, assuming that President Ramotar is right the results have already been signed off and the outcome has been actualized. The PPP?C has the executive! APNU and the AFC have the National Assembly!

But let us suppose for a moment that APNU and the AFC are not the real targets of the President’s outburst. Suppose there is another target here? Suppose GECOM is the real target? After all it is GECOM that is responsible for ensuring that no funny business goes on at elections; and assuming that funny business goes on is it not GECOM that has to carry the can? Recall that Elections Commission Chairman Steve Surujbally made rather a song and dance about getting it right! So that if – as the President claims – the PPP/C was robbed in Linden shouldn’t questions be asked of GECOM? Shouldn’t GECOM now either stand behind the result it delivered or concede that there is, after all, some crack in the ‘works,’ some crevice through which mischief can sneak in? Bear in mind that there have also been accusations – not only at these elections but at previous elections after 1992 – of rigging by the PPP/C.

So that logic dictates that if the President’s claim is true it is at GECOM, ultimately, that he is pointing a finger at. And should the President point a finger at GECOM at this particular point in time?

Here’s a thought. With rumours raining down like a brisk drizzle that the PPP/C might be working itself up to call an early election – to seek to rid itself of the hassle of being a parliamentary minority – it may well be that President Ramotar has decided that he wants his five year term as President and that the way to go is to cause the integrity of GECOM to be called into question so that any new elections will have to await the complete overhaul of the Commission which – given all of the protracted procedures that repose therein – could take at least the duration of President Ramotar’s term.

It’s only a thought but it may well be closer to the truth than we think.


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