Learning from our past to prevent negative repeats (Part 2)

first_imgDear Editor,By 1992, the struggle for democracy was widened. Many other forces joined the struggle for free and fair elections; it was recognised as the pre-condition for democratic governance. The PNC, having resisted having the votes counted at the places of poll for decades, was forced to accede to that request due to the internal pressure and international solidarity. In this regard, the Carter Center and the late Senator Edward Kennedy, among others, played important roles in assisting the democratic forces in our country to achieve that objective.Today, though, the situation has once more changed. Many of what was fought and paid for in lives and blood are now once again on the chopping block. A visible reversal is taking place.The PNC-led APNU+AFC regime has, over the last three years in Government, resumed the practice of racial and political discrimination. Indian Guyanese are once more becoming second class citizens in their own land.Our institutions are being subverted. The Police are once more being used as tools of the PNC to persecute opponents of the regime and their families. The judicial system is being compromised. Many of the decisions are looking more and more as like in the old days when judges took orders from the political directorate.New ways were devised to rig elections. Fake Statements of Poll were used in 2015.Moreover, the elections petition case has not as yet seen the light of day. Take this into consideration when considering that elections in Trinidad and Tobago and Kenya were held long after ours, but the elections petition cases were heard and decided on. In the case of Kenya new elections were held.The regime is violating our Constitution almost daily. The appointment of the Chairman of the Elections Commission was done unconstitutionally. It violated the spirit of the Carter/Price Formula, which, at the heart, was to arrive at that person via consensus.The Public Procurement Commission has been transformed into a toothless poodle. High placed personnel in the regime are giving out contracts and procuring goods and services, bypassing the Tender Board and all other requirements. The bond deal and the drugs deal stand out like monuments to the massive corruption that has engulfed our land.It is also clear that the PNC/APNU are planning to subvert our elections. That will send us back to the period of undemocratic rule.Already, we see the massive gerrymandering of the boundaries for the upcoming Local Government Elections. This is elections manipulation, but civil society is deafeningly silent.The establishment of the Ministry of Citizenship has one and only one purpose: to manipulate the elections. Its creation was necessary, since new methods have to be found in this period.Our country’s history has shown us where these actions lead to. They lead to all round decay and destruction. Our economic, political and social life will deteriorate and decay.Michael Forde, Jagan Ramessar and Bhola Nauth Parmanand gave their lives for an independent and democratic Guyana. Our country achieved quite a bit between 1992 and 2015 as a result of their ultimate sacrifices.Let us learn that lesson and stop the slide to dictatorship.Yours sincerely,Donald RamotarFormer Presidentlast_img read more