Dear Editor,
IT IS my opinion that for one to qualify to be an observer of any elections, it is imperative that one is neutral. When that election is the Mother of All Elections and the most important election in a country, then that makes that neutrality doubly important.

How would we, as a country have reacted if the Carter Center had made a public statement that they have great admiration for President Granger? How would we have reacted if the Commonwealth election observer group was to proclaim that President Granger is the best President Guyana has ever had? How the PPP would have reacted? I say this because Gerry Gouveia and the PSC he leads have been without doubt and any shame shown a bias for the PPP. Gerry Gouveia, on many of his social media postings, has expressed his admiration for Bharrat Jagdeo. Gerry Gouveia in no uncertain terms expressed the opinion that Bharrat Jagdeo is the best President Guyana has ever had. While Gerry has a right to his opinion, the fact that he expressed it publicly would create unease for a section of the electorate, precluding him from being an election observer in Guyana.


Gerry believes that he is born to lead and govern Guyana from the back seat when the leadership is of a certain ethnicity. His attitude to leadership covers all strata of Guyana, with no one or no organisation exempted from his rude interference. This is evident in his social media name being “Captain Gerry Gouveia”, a reflection of his self-importance. It is either he is the only Captain among Facebook’s billions of members, or he is the only one arrogant enough to flaunt it. Suffice to say he walks around with his self-importance he inherited from a system of colourism, instructing Mayor Narine how to do his job. When the City Council was ready for parking meters, he was not ready for it. Now he is ready for parking meters, he has instructed Mayor Narine to get on with it. Arrogant and contemptuous! He walks around with his chest in the air, interpreting the complicated Constitution, something he was never been trained for. But it is cocky Gerry we are talking about. He struts up and down like an Adam Smith reincarnated, doing economic forecasts like if he is the Finance Minister. He saunters around, like King Leopold II of Belgium, trying to instruct President Granger how to do his job, knowing pretty well that the President’s intellect far outmatches his. Now he is on a campaign to instruct the London and Russell Group University-educated GECOM chairwoman, Justice Claudette Singh how to do her job. Gerry, please remind us where you were educated? He completely missed the fact that the President already, after careful consideration, considered him not fit and proper to be Chairman of GECOM. Most of the electorate also holds that view.

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Why the electorate holds that view of Gerry? The list is so long, so we will just focus on post-NCM events. Remember Article 106 (6) of the Constitution? Remember the term “shall resign?” Remember Gerry and Kit from the PSC in their biased hats were stating that “shall resign” means must resign now? Clearly, they were wrong. Remember when the Government was taking the NCM to the court? Remember Gerry and the entire PSC were shouting for all to hear that the government should resign now? They went so far as to say that the government is breaching the Constitution. Remember when the government lost their case at the CCJ? Remember the PSC was demanding that the government resign now and should not use their right to appeal? The government appealed and won, and the PSC changed its line of reasoning by stating we must all obey the Constitution, respect the right of the court, but also respect the right to utilise the court. In essence, the PPP can appeal to the CCJ, something the PSC and Gerry Gouveia were trying to deny the government.


The PPP won on June 18, and the PSC and Gerry found their voice again. Elections should be held by September 18, despite that was not stated in the Consequential Order. Come September 18 and they were screaming, “illegal government”.

The fact is that Gerry and the PSC were screaming and shouting every time the PPP screamed and shouted in GECOM. And that was nearly every day. House-to-house, they screamed and Gerry screamed. Cleaning the bloated list, they screamed and Gerry screamed. They met GECOM to express their concerns and Gerry met GECOM to express his concerns. They ambushed the Foreign Affairs Minister and President at Pegasus, threatening to turn turtle the Foreign Affairs Minister’s SUV, and Gerry and the PSC went silent. A government minister, soon after the Pegasus event, informed her supporters to be observant on Election Day by their monitoring of ballot box, and the PPP came out screaming. Gerry and the PSC heard their screaming, and they, too, came out screaming that an election Code of Conduct is required.


Now GECOM, based on Carter Center recommendations, has been minimising the use of private homes as polling stations. That sounds reasonable, since, for years, the electorate has been expressing concerns about this practice, and the fact it can be a recipe for rigging and voter intimidation. The PPP went on one of their loudest cries yet. Gerry and the PSC, like the caring dad, pacified the PPP and reassured them that daddy will take care of it. Gerry had a rant at the Carter Center and GECOM for upsetting his child.

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He continued his silly rant by saying that there is no recommendation in the Carter Center list of recommendations which speaks to decreasing private residence use as polling stations. Okay, garrulous Gerry, they did not explicitly say private residences should be discontinued; they said polling stations should be neutral. What do you think that means, Gerry? That means private residences and anything else that is private but may not be a residence e.g. PSC Head Office. In effect, they are covering all bases for people like you, who, when asked about Irfaan Ali’s qualifications, conveniently remembers you are a simple ‘bush’ pilot. Why not let it remain that way and allow the highly intelligent and well-respected GECOM Chairwoman Justice Singh to do her work in peace. By the way, Carter Center, Gerry is an anomaly. Guyanese are generally very smart.


It is without question that I have no respect for Gerry Gouveia. Absolutely no respect. He is from a time where folks like him ran Guyana. He has not realised we have long moved past that time. Folks that look like me are now in positions of leadership. He has not recognised that and still believe that he can run around telling folks, that look like us how to do our jobs. If I were the GECOM Chairwoman Justice Singh, Gerry and PSC would not have been observers. He could have gone crying to the international community, international criminal court, human rights organisation and that wouldn’t change my position. All my visas could have been cancelled and still that would not have changed my position.
It is time that someone stands up to a clearly prejudicial PSC.
Dr. Mark Devonish


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