APNU’s so-called ‘electoral reform’ is meaningless cry for wolf!

02 Dec 2022 14:23 #398652 by chairman
I WRITE to express my concern over the potentially incendiary rhetoric about a ‘bloated list,’ the listing of deceased persons; voter impersonation and the unconstitutional and reckless call for the introduction of restrictive measures such as biometrics at polling stations raised time and again by Messrs Norton, Alexander, Lowe and Hughes.

These new-fangled demands by APNU+AFC spokespersons are nothing but a smokescreen to obfuscate and to sway the minds of people in an effort to make them forget about the despicable and outrageous behaviour displayed by APNU+AFC operatives at the Ashmin’s building on March 5, 2020, as well as the abuse of the courts and the ensuing legal battles at taxpayers’ expense beginning with the High Court, the Appeal Court, ending up with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) between March-August 2020.

It is clear to most Guyanese that these APNU+AFC demands are self-serving and do not arise out of any genuine interest in free and fair elections. The PNC, who calls the shots in the APNU, has a track record that does not attest to that commitment.

As a matter of fact, what may bring some relief to the nation is for the current leaders of the APNU+AFC to go before the Commission of Inquiry into the 2020 elections, to confess, and apologize publicly for the irresponsible role operatives belonging to their alliance played in the events following the said elections.

It is hoped that the CoI would expose the spun stories of voter fraud, anecdotal accounts, innuendo, falsehoods and accusations that were never subjected to cross examination or rigorous study.

Pretending to be committed to free and fair elections is not only disingenuous on the part of the APNU+AFC, it is cynical and insulting to the intelligence of the Guyanese electorate. This narrative is not only false, but it is also tantamount to what social psychiatrists would deem a confabulation.

Confabulation is used to describe when a person or persons make up stories that sound fantastical because of memory disorder. In the circumstances, it is the APNU+AFC, not the electorate, who appear to be suffering from memory disorder as regards the dirty tricks that were resorted to at the Ashmin’s building.

The poor piece of chicanery by the APNU+AFC in demanding fulfilment of the measures they cling to not only lacks credibility but they are clearly aimed at poisoning the public’s mind with a view to making us believe that with the implementation of their demands they stand a chance at winning a free and fair election.

By appearing to be fighting for free and fair elections and, by extension, the strengthening of democracy, the APNU+AFC hopes that the Guyanese people will forget about the authoritarian tactics they attempted to fiddle with the 2020 election result.

The feigned struggle engineered by the APNU+AFC for the introduction of biometrics would be in violation of the constitution and would, in effect, impose an additional restriction on each bona fide voter who is entitled to exercise their constitutional right on Election Day.

Cumulatively and unmistakably, such a restrictive voting rule would slow down voting at polling places and even dissuade voters from showing up to cast their ballots.

As regards the demand for a ‘sanitized voters’ list’, GECOM in a recent press release emphasized that: “… it is imperative that we reiterate GECOM’s operations continue to be guided by the applicable constitutional and legal provisions.

“In this regard, it is obligatory for us to repeat that the eligibility requirement for registration is that one must be a Guyanese citizen by birth, descent, or naturalization; or a citizen of a Commonwealth country living in Guyana for one year or more.

“Providing persons met those requirements and have been registered, their registration in the National Register of Registrants (NRR) is and remains legitimate. Accordingly, any removal of their names from the NRR, without legal basis, would be unlawful and unconstitutional.”

GECOM’s press release went on to state: “Existing legislation provides that the removal of names from the NRR can be done only through the established methodology comprising (i) the receipt of monthly death reports from the General Registers Office (GRO) and (ii) through the Objections aspect of any Claims and Objections exercise, which allows for any elector, or suitably accredited Scrutineers of Political Parties, to object to the inclusion of the names in the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE) who may not be eligible inclusion.”

The latest straw the APNU+AFC sought to clutch to is the question of overseas voting. In that regard, they posed the silliest question ever, suggesting that the PPP/C is considering reintroducing overseas voting.

Suffice it to say it was the Burnham administration which introduced overseas voting in 1968 in order to pad the voters’ list to secure 36,745 votes, the equivalent of nine seats in the National Assembly.

It was the PPP/C who, having been cheated out of office, demanded and succeeded with other national and international stakeholders in getting overseas voting scrapped.

It is to be recalled that in May 1973, Forbes Burnham, then Prime Minister, admitted in the National Assembly that “there were irregularities in the compilation of the 1968 Overseas Register”. Another PNC ‘big wig’ put the blame on registration officials who he claimed “were dishonest”.

The APNU+AFC has shied away from utilizing the embarrassing and haunting terminology of a ‘padded voters’ list’ which was used and abused during 1968 to 1992 period. Today, they are drumming up noise about “a bloated voters’ list” which is nothing but a caricature of their past repugnant electoral rigging practices.

The electoral reform Bills laid recently in the National Assembly will go a far way to strengthen the electoral system, help the public reject irresponsible claims of stolen or rigged future elections, and put a stop to dangerous election crimes.

So, for APNU+AFC to be harping on the false narrative about reintroduction of overseas voting it is but a meaningless cry for “wolf! wolf!” Suffice it to say that that cry is more like the ‘woof! woof!’ of a toothless poodle.

Clement J. Rohee

Always tell someone how you feel because opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye but regret can last a lifetime.

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05 Dec 2022 13:36 #398701 by chairman
Guyana does want a good jaray

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19 Dec 2022 12:56 #398825 by chairman
$3.8M to rebuild 3 dilapidated bridges at Sophia

Always tell someone how you feel because opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye but regret can last a lifetime.

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03 Jan 2023 14:11 #398891 by chairman
AFC formally divorce the PNC after both were found cheating on the 2020 election. No asset to divide since both parties were bankrupt.

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