Viewpoints on Energy, Geopolitics, and Civilization
PW: Guyana elections ?
Foreign Minister Dr Karen Cummings . One of the more disgraceful episodes was recorded yesterday when Foreign Minister Dr Karen Cummings delivered what was read as a clear threat to a team of foreign observers. Head of the Commonwealth observer team, former Barbados prime minister Owen Arthur, was quick in calling her out.-Kevin Ramnarine
TT Daily Express: Guyana, the world is watching you
AFTER Monday's relatively smooth voting process, Guyana is now enveloped in a dangerous state of tension that bodes no good. This is a fraught situation that presents the very real and serious risk of a descent into a spiral that could undo all the progress for which the Guyanese people have fought so hard, in some cases at the cost of their lives. Having brought their country onto the path of democracy from which it had strayed during the years of the Forbes Burnham dictatorship, they must not allow their country to be consumed in the fires of electoral rivalry and anguish. All responsible forces in and around Guyana must stand against this. Given the volatility of the situation, yesterday's decision by the People's Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) to take their grievances to the courts in insisting that the Guyana Electoral Commission (GECOM) abide by the law was a wise move. The court's involvement should defuse some of the tension by eliminating whatever destabilising political machinations are at work.
It is truly sad that after a voter turnout that seems to be higher than usual, the will of the Guyanese people should now be frustrated by the political shenanigans at play. One of the more disgraceful episodes was recorded yesterday when Foreign Minister Dr Karen Cummings delivered what was read as a clear threat to a team of foreign observers. Head of the Commonwealth observer team, former Barbados prime minister Owen Arthur, was quick in calling her out. To its credit, the government was prompt in issuing a statement of regret for what it deemed a “misunderstanding”. The statement expressing support for all observer missions and the government's openness to their recommendations was a promising sign signalling the incumbent's awareness of the importance of the world's perception of it.
If the observers were expecting to have declared mission accomplished by now, they could be in for a surprise. Depending on how the situation evolves, observer teams may be required to stay put and keep monitoring the situation for some time. The presence of Owen Arthur, an experienced Caribbean politician, should comfort all Caribbean people who are anxious to see Guyana find its feet and realise its awesome potential.
As a sleeping giant that is only just beginning to stir, the last thing Guyana needs now is to suffer a setback that returns it to the ugly past of corrupt politics and ethnic strife which sent so many of its people fleeing to sanctuaries abroad. While foreign observers will provide the Guyanese people a measure of comfort that they are not alone in this hour of need, the real test at this time is for them to stand up together on the side of the law, no matter which side is declared to have won or lost.
The future of Guyana is far more important than the outcome of a single election and, in this case, could well depend of how the result of this election is handled. As the regional representative body with headquarters in Guyana, Caricom is close enough to act on a timely basis. It is not too late to save Guyana from being swallowed into its past.
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