As Guyana approaches the one-year anniversary of the installation of the current government, the country has not yet benefited from a frank and honest discussion of what really occurred during the twenty months from the No-Confidence vote to the eventual declaration of the electoral winner. This is partly due to a reluctance by the media to open their pages and microphones to any scrutiny of their editorial support for the pro-PPP narrative of exactly what happened. It is also partly due to timid leadership of the opposition which is still to work out a coherent strategy of how to confront the peculiar type of government and governance that have emerged in the wake of what was in the final analysis a clear case of contrived Regime Change.
My argument that there was Regime Change does not assume that the Coalition would have won the election or actually won the election. Rather, it is that the Regime Change pre-empted a fair outcome, thus rendering the election inconclusive. The five-month impasse from March 2 to August 2, 2020 was in effect an open dispute over the process and result of the election that was engaged but not solved by GECOM or the courts. In the end US pressure in the form of sanctions and the threat of expanded sanctions on members of the Coalition forced a capitulation that cleared the way for the PPP’s installation. This in effect kicked the dispute down the road into a “post-election zone” where it is most difficult to justly settle such disputes.
From my standpoint, the PPP was installed in office by a fusion of geopolitics and ethnicity which militated against the PNC-led Coalition and in favor of the PPP. The scenario began with the No-Confidence vote in December 2018 which triggered a twenty-month impasse. During those twenty months the following factors converged in the PPP’s favor–ethnic fearmongering, extreme media bias, conservative court rulings, poor leadership and bad strategizing by the Coalition, external entanglement of foreign forces in the electoral process, CARICOM’s abandonment of its traditional neutrality, pre-election electoral manipulation by the PPP, the closing of ranks by the Indian Guyanese elites and the GECOM’s chair succumbing to the intense pressure.
I cite the above to point to the fact that simplistic explanations of “attempts to steal the election” do not capture the essence of what took place. Such explanations are used to mask the reality which I cited above. As I argued last week any citing of the “Mingo factor” while ignoring the “Recount Factor” reeks of dishonesty and partisan justification of the August 2 outcome. The big question is this—When will there be an open and honest debate and analysis of what actually happened? My answer is that it may take the removal of the government from office to facilitate such a national debate.
The degeneration of the government into dictatorship will not lead to such a debate because those who facilitated and supported the process that brought the PPP to office will either not see or pretend not to see the linkages between dictatorship and regime change. I almost fell of my chair when I read a letter to the press by a man who was very much part of the regime change theorizing abut the rise of dictatorship under the government he helped to install. He, of course, didn’t cite the linkage between his acts in 2019-20 and the ill he complained about.
In the meantime, the PPP triumphantly marches on with no care for the destruction it leaves behind. It sticks its fingers in the eyes of the opposition with immunity. It dismisses the warnings of US Congressmen. It insults the very leaders of CARICOM who helped with the installation. It spends the oil money on itself even before the money arrives. It makes Guyana poorer. Bust as the old people say “Every rope got an end.”