Rapid acceptance of offer to be Gecom Chairman mindboggling

Dear Editor,

Permit me to revisit quickly the Gecom chairman announcement of last Thursday; I also refer to Sunday Stabroek’s editorial of October 22nd titled “Gecom chairman.”

The word is that the new chairman was first communicated to about the position and his new role during that same fateful week, if not just before.  The fact that he accepted so rapidly is mindboggling; congratulations are extended for decisiveness and alacrity in accepting what every sane person on this planet agrees is a thankless weighty responsibility; a terrible one.  One would hope that that decisiveness is not the nonchalance of someone who is massively out-of-touch, prone to reflexive action in the face of unexpected pressure, or severely underestimates the pros and cons and nuances of all that is embedded in this chairman’s job.  As said many times before, it is a dirty job, and in terms of character it is a virtual suicide mission.  And yet the newly announced chairman is the picture of serenity and accommodation.  Again I congratulate him.

Now fast forwarding and using those same publicly displayed attributes (responding rapidly, stepping up into the unknown, and willing to go with the flow) as guides, I am prompted to raise some searching questions:  In the customary heat and contentiousness of Guyanese elections, how would a call (unannounced and unexpected) from the politically powerful be responded to in the future?  Would such a response be similarly immediate (“right away” according to the Sunday Stabroek editorial) and apparently reflexive as was manifested late last week?  To put in my own words, and in view of accompanying circumstances, has this nation already been privileged to a window in the future through the equivalent of how high and how far to jump?  How far you want me to jump?  Last week made things look too easy, too premediated, and too prearranged.  It has all the murkiness and solidity of homemade soup; it has the viscosity and unfathomableness of the packaged ones, too.  And like any worthwhile soup, it is only possesses utility at a real heaving boil.  There is shrinking from drinking….  I would.

Editor, I now take another tack.  It is a public secret that although eighteen mostly hardy, intrepid citizens consented to their names being thrown into the nomination ring, many more quickly distanced themselves from opposition overtures to submit their names in what is well known to be a dubious honour.  I consider those who said no to be thoughtful and honest people.  They discerned that they might not be able to execute the requirements of the job justly; or to do justice to their own character and sanity.  Thus, they stood down.

Contrast that to the announced sweepstakes winner, who did not even know he had a ticket, and who claims that he had little (or no) prior knowledge of this crucial development and his own personal starring role.  Notwithstanding what should have been material and crippling ignorance, he accepted almost instantaneously and not unenthusiastically.  Stranger things have occurred in this strange land; I am still sifting to unearth a parallel.  The closest I can come to this local escapade is Putin with Medvedev, and that other fellow with the Donald.  Now, as if not be outdone, President Granger has come up with his own witching hour and a wizard of his making.  I see a kingmaker waiting in the wings and ready to deliver another political and electoral danse macabre.  If these are not interesting times, then I do not know what might be so classified.

Yours faithfully,

GHK Lall

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