In a vibrant democracy elections should be a cause for celebration, an ever welcome occasion regularly marking the successful outcome of what in any country’s history has always been a long struggle to overcome authoritarian, and often brutal, rule.
In Guyana, sadly, elections are not a cause for celebration but instead have become occasions of fear and increased tension and incivility and foreboding. Elections are not so much a time when democracy is celebrated as it is a time when democracy is dangerously put to the test.
Already, astonishingly, nearly three years before the next general election, I find people worrying about it – concerned about what on earth the delay in appointing a Chairman of Gecom is all about, worried that the prospect of an oil bonanza will sharpen tensions further between the two ‘sides,’ suspicious in some quarters that rigging in some form is contemplated and even now being plotted. All this is terrible for the nation which needs such fears like it needs knives in its heart…..