May 23, 2015

Going forward…

 …on elections recount
Even before the final results of the May 11 elections were announced by GECOM, the PPP/C had questioned the Preliminary count. There was a gap of only 5000 votes between the PPP/C and APNU/AFC.

Pointing to discrepancies in the numbers between their SOPs and that announced by GECOM from 22 boxes, the PPP/C asked for a recount of those boxes. They said the Chairman of GECOM agreed.

It seemed a reasonable response – how long would a count take?? Especially since the PPP/C said they’d accept the entire results if the minuscule recount showed no discrepancy.

But then lo and behold, there was no recount and the “final” result – which saw some small additions to both parties totals, but retained the 5000 votes in favour of APNU/AFC – was declared.

The APNU/AFC, according to GECOM and the international observers had “won”. What was the PPP/C to do?? Well they had the precedent of the PNC/R back in 1997. Then, even though there was a gap of 40,000 votes in favour of the PPP/C, the PNC/R claimed there was “rigging” and demanded a recount.
But it didn’t only do that. It came out with supporters in the streets in violent protests and presented the PPP/C from governing even though all the international observers had also vouched for the elections.

Eventually, Caricom was called in and the “Herdmanson Accord” was brokered between the PPP/C and the PNC/R. There would be a “forensic audit” of all ballots, constitutional reform, and a truncation of the PPP/C’s term of office by two years.

In the present, with a much better case for a recount, the PPP/C has thankfully not called out its supporters in violent protests. All they have done is to direct their peaceful protests to GECOM at its national HQ in Georgetown and in the regions calling for a recount and a resignation of GECOM’s Chairman.

It doesn’t appear that the protests are having any effect and we hope that the PPP/C doesn’t feel compelled to follow the PNC/R’s precedent. Guyana suffered too much in the ten-year war that followed – which had armed gunmen in Buxton taking on the state and individuals deemed to be “supporters of the PPP/C”.

If this was done for a 40,000 gap, it’s quite possible that even “non-hot heads” might be roused to radical action for a contested 5000 gap.
This Eyewitness believes that all those countries that have professed to have Guyana’s interest at heart must prevail on GECOM to allow an internationally vetted “forensic audit” to be done to the results.

If we go by the PNCR’s 1997 actions, not to do so could place Guyana back on the precipice.

…on oil
When the PPP/C administration trumpeted the oil find by Exxon , they were accused of electioneering. Well, the news has now come from the horse’s mouth and all Guyanese should sit up and take notice.

If Guyana’s to know any peace and experience true development of its people from the expected massive increased flow of revenues, there must be a national approach.

The actions of the new administration – even as its bona fides are being challenged – to make unilateral changes on national matters does not bode well that this will be done. How do you change 48 years of tradition in commemorating our Independence Day without consulting the PPP/C??
What other event is there in Guyana’s history to which the people can say they ALL participated? And if this can be redefined arbitrarily and unilaterally by one party – this Eyewitness is worried.

We suggest that the new administration take a deep breath on oil, independence and everything else that concerns us all.

…on sport
Folks might want to ask, “Roopnarine for Sports?” But the fella did represent Queens in senior cricket back in the day – as well as Cambridge University. Like so many Caricom leaders, he’s a cricket tragic.

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Chanderpaul’s future

If one is to take the words of the President of the WICB Dave Cameron at face value it seems like West Indies Champion batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul may have played his last test innings during the just concluded tour of England here.

No doubt, Chanderpaul would have reached the end of his career – a reality he must be finding hard to come to grips with, given that he has played cricket for all of his life. It is the only occupation he knows.

However, what is interesting is what Mr Cameron said in relation to Chanderpaul’s future. He said according to a Caribbean Media Corporation story that Chanderpaul met recently with the WICB hierarchy to discuss his future and more would be revealed in the coming days.

“Unfortunately, I am not privy to the discussions, but obviously it is where he is at and what are the next steps,” Cameron is quoted as saying. He added: “In another couple of days it will be made a lot clearer as to the end result of those discussions or how we go forward.”

Firstly, why would the WICB hold discussions with Chanderpaul about his future? Isn’t this an indication that they have concluded that it is about time he leaves the cricket scene?

From all the reports this newspaper have received the WICB is ready to part ways with Chanderpaul and the meeting was to indicate this to him. Cameron’s acknowledgement that in the coming days this would be made clearer also fits perfectly into our surmise, as the WICB would name its squad shortly to compete against Australia in a two test series in the Caribbean.

Surely if Chanderpaul does not feature in the squad this would give a much clear picture as to the future of the Guyanese player.

However, amid this scenario, we are concerned why Chanderpaul would be forced into retirement before overhauling Brian Lara’s record of 11, 953 runs as the leading run scorer for the West Indies.

With just 86 runs shy of achieving that feat, there could be no fitter send off for Chanderpaul who has given yeoman service to a team that he has had to carry on his back for years as one of the most reliable and consistent batsmen.

If Mr Cameron is indeed concerned about the way our cricketers are treated when they leave the scene, it would be incumbent on him to ensure that Chanderpaul does not retire without eclipsing the record.

For all the loss of form, Chanderpaul remains fit and agile in the field. In his last six Tests, Chanderpaul managed 91 runs in five innings in South Africa last December and January and 92 in six against England over the past month.

After 164 Tests (more than any of the 302 players who have worn West Indies colours in their 87 years of Test cricket), he tallies 11,867 runs, averages 51.37 and has 30 hundreds to his name, all carefully achieved with neat deflections and gap-seeking strokes from a ungainly, exaggerated open stance that defies reason and instantly identifies him.

Cricket commentator and writer, Tony Cozier in a recent article asked: “It isn’t worth contemplating how much worse West Indies’ downfall would have been without him; now the reality is that, whether selected against Australia or not, a career in its 22nd year is winding down.

“He will eventually return to his home in Miami, carrying with him his memories and an ambition to introduce the game to schools in Florida, a scheme that is already up and running.”

While we would not argue for Chanderpaul to continue playing until he decides to call it a day, we believe that given the nearness of him achieving a very important record and the fact that he is undeniably the last batsman standing in the modern era of West Indies cricket it is perhaps fitting to bestow him the honour of carrying on for one last series to achieve his goal.

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Jobs for the boys…

…and girls

If you think the land rush on the East Coast is undignified, wait until you see what’s unfolding in the “jobs for the boys and girls” section.

Like all Opposition, the present government was rather expansive with their criticisms of the incumbent and as to how much more they’d do “when they get in”. What they haven’t realised yet, is that most of their supporters actually believe them.

Take for instance those rice farmers, who we’re told, voted for them in Regions Two and Six. They actually believe that the new government will get them higher prices. Seems that the fellas (and felines?) from APNU/AFC forgot to tell the farmers that a government in a private enterprise has absolutely nothing to do with prices.

It all comes down to that pesky concept they drum into you in elementary Economics 101 – supply and demand. You produce too many mangoes, the market is flooded and price drops. In the modern world, with commodities like rice, some contrary countries like Thailand might buy the rice from the farmers and then sell it abroad.

But like when the PNC did the same thing at their first turn at the helm – the Thai rice industry’s going bust! Don’t mess with the market!

And what about, say, the bauxite workers or the gold mining workers. There’s nothing the government can do about prices. And it’s not even a matter of supply and demand. There’s factors like hoarding, hedging and speculation that just confuses the hell out of everybody – but ensures in the end that the primary producers get it in the rear!

And how about that promise about cleaning up Georgetown. Does anyone really believe that with the slothful habits now firmly embedded at City Hall, we’ll suddenly wake up one morning and see Hamilton Green actually WORKING?

Let’s get real now, shall we? What’s gonna happen is that the government will have to create jobs for the boys and girls because they persuaded those little darlings that they weren’t ensconced in cushy jobs pulling in the big bucks, because of the big, bad PPP/C.

So this Eyewitness would like to see where the jobs for 3000 Sociology graduates, 2000 International Relations graduates and 1000 Public Management graduates will come from. Because of course, we have been promised “lean and clean” government.

Like one of the APNU/AFC supporters asked of the PPP/C not so long ago: will the APNU/AFC Government be able to suck cane and blow whistle at the same time?

…in govt

Now the Eyewitness is doing his darndest to let the new Government enjoy their “honeymoon”. It’s the gracious thing to do, his Editor reminded him testily. But it’s not easy for a Rottweiler to roll over for his tummy to be scratched by any Tom, Dick or Harilall, is it?

So he can’t help commenting on how the Cummingsburg Accord’s being implemented on job for the boys.

Here it was, the fellas from the APNU and the AFC took a whole month to negotiate its terms and still there’s no job for Ramkarran? Hey!! The Speaker was supposed to be the AFC’s to have and to hold, no?

At least it was so in 2011. You mean they got less than they got in 2011? Doesn’t seem right. First Ramkarran was mooted as the Consensus Candidate for the coalition’s presidential candidacy – and was summarily shot down.

Now the Speakership? And some folks are complaining that Roopnarine’s always the bridesmaid and never the bride. Jeez!!

Ramkarran isn’t even getting a chance to enter the Church!

…in cricket

Your Eyewitness was pretty miffed when the WICB dissed Bravo and Pollard for the WI team. But that’s nothing compared to the number the English Board did on Pietersen. At least Bravo and Pollard didn’t have to just through so many hoops!

Ouch!!

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Countering…

 …the silence
After every election in Guyana, folks complain: “the voting was along ethnic lines”. In truth most folks say “racial lines”‘and it’s done with a rueful shake of the head. But your Eyewitness thinks it’s time we all stop the charade. And begin to ask “Why the heck is this so?” Fact of the matter is that for most of the time we do get along very nicely, thank you. So how come the blood rushes into some heads at elections time and all hell breaks loose?
And there is that rush of blood, isn’t there? Leading seemingly ordinary people bashing fellow citizens, burning houses and on occasions, even murdering some innocents. We saw a small sample of what usually happens in Sophia during election night. A couple of houses torched, eight or so cars thrown in for good measure – and the entire episode captured on video. Showing ordinary folks walking nonchalantly past the acts of arson, chatting and generally behaving as if they’re witnessing a bonfire. Sort of like a secular version of the Hindu “Holika” that sets off the Holi Holiday.
Maybe an examination of the Sophia arson might offer a clue as to what sets off these horrendous acts of savagery -  as has happened after previous elections in the last decade. First of all, there was the tension in the populace that some hanky-panty gonna take place to rig the elections. Now this tension wasn’t precipitated by an irrational contagious paranoia epidemic…but because rigging has actually been a feature of our elections for such a long time. And such claims were touted long after “free and fair” elections was returned in 1992.
So when a rumour in Sophia spread that the house which was later torched was being used to secure ballot boxes or some such shenanigans, it wasn’t surprising that matters unfolded as they did. Three fellas have been charged with looting…but that’s an effect not the cause. The mindset that start the violence – usually exploited by the politicians – is what this Eyewitness hopes the society will examine with some honest introspection and not sweep the dirty under the rug.
That violence is uppermost in the minds of the people at elections time is why Georgetown became a ghost town for a week. And why throughout the country the shelves of supermarkets and groceries were emptied as if families were preparing for a hurricane that would trap them in their homes. And it WAS a hurricane they were expecting.
A hurricane of violence that for far too long has been inflicted on innocent citizens. So who’s gonna bell the cat?

…the race card
This Eyewitness is very upset that not enough credit’s being given to that staunch defender of Guyanese democracy – David Hinds for helping to neuter the “race card” in our benighted land. All sorts of analysts have washed their mouths on our people that the voting in the last elections were “racial”. “Not so!!” cried Hinds as he provided the evidence that “African Guyanese did not vote “race”.
“As they did in 2011, African Guyanese voted for National Unity, Equality and Mutual Respect and in the process have helped to lift our collective political culture.” Now this Eyewitness hadn’t know this. In 2011, he could swear that African Guyanese had deserted the AFC because Khemraj Ramjattan was at the helm – as apposed to when Raphael Trotman was “the boss” in 2006. And had voted for APNU, for instance, in Linden to return that town to its traditional “home”.
But obviously your Eyewitness was wrong. African Guyanese who’d rejected Hinds and the the WPA in 1992 must’ve also been been voting for “unity” when they gave their all to the PNC, then and ever since. Like the brother said, “Big up the Massive!!”

…age discrimination
The PPPC demanded Surujbally,  “resign”. He replied he was a “septuagenarian”. We guess he’s resigned to being older?

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Post election…

…land rush

Over the weekend, sections of the East Coast and East Bank were transformed into a replay of the famous “land rush” that was common in the American “Wild West” – during the period when they were expanding westwards. “Go west, young man!!” was the cry.

As must be familiar to Guyanese aficionados of “western” movies, the settlers-to-be would be poised on their covered wagons, waiting for the signal to race to a plot of land which they would demarcate.

The phrase, “put down stakes” entered the English language and was performatively explained in the aforementioned locales in the last couple of days. One question on everyone’s mind was, “Who gave the signal for the land rush?”

One answer may be that with the change of the government, after a campaign that in effect lasted the last three and a half years, many have come to actually believe the former Opposition’s hyperbole on the illegitimacy of the actions of the former government.

So even though the PPP/C government gave out over 100,000 house lots – in a population that hasn’t grown for the last 30 years – we evidently still have a hunger for land. So where’s this coming from?

Is it just greed as some say? After all, it’s been said – with more than a dollop of truth – that “Guyanese too like freeness!!” But even thought that may be the case…this Eyewitness believes it’s part of the supersized expectations the new Government has created – and which they’re going to have a whole lot of problem, fulfilling.

Even before the elections – and indeed for decades now, the PNC – and then the PNCR and then PNC-R1G and then APNU – have been claiming that African “ancestral land” will be returned when they get into power. Great Expectations. As recently as last year, the APNU supported villagers from Plaisance and Good Hope who squatted on some GuySuco lands – NOT ancestral ands.

But the matter’s become more interesting. With his eye on garnering the 11% Indian vote to deliver unto APNU, Nagamootoo announced the day before the elections that sugar workers (code for the Indian poor and powerless) would also be given lands not used by the sugar industry.

With all of these “land carrots” dangled in front of the expectant electorate, can we really be surprised they took matters into their own hands?

But this should be an object lesson for the APNU/AFC. They haven’t only made wild promises on land…from increases in salaries to bringing down the price of cars so that every home’ll have one (and maybe two!) the masses are salivating.

Hope they’re not disappointed!! Payback can be a bitch!!

…candid comments

Say what you want about David Hinds, he doesn’t back off from telling “it” the way he sees “it”. And for the just completed elections just won by APNU/AFC, he declared it “would be dishonest if we did not recognize the particular role played by the African Guyanese section of the electorate.”

And this Eyewitness agrees with him completely. As he’s written in this space, he thinks APNU/AFC’s victory is TOTALLY due to the vote of the African Guyanese.

So your Eyewitness wants to big up Hinds for his courage. What courage, you ask? Well, look how those folks (who just happened to be Indians) were denounced as “racists” for pointing out that this was the way African Guyanese had voted in every election since 1964!!

But David Hinds is courageous enough to defy those who haven’t seen the light and willing to be called “racist”

Hinds also vouched for the African Guyanese not seeing Brother Moses Nagamootoo as a “token”. Imagine that!

And it’s not even day 3!!

…power vacuum

This Eyewitness wonders why President Grabger’s not naming Moses Nagamootoo as the PM right away. He knows the man can be sworn in as an PM before he’s anointed MP. What gives?

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Police confirm 10 missing after Mahdia mining pit cave-in

The Guyana Police Force in a release on Monday morning confirmed that 10 persons are missing after a mining pit at Mousie Backdam, Region Eight (Pataro-Siparuni) came crashing down on Sunday.

The incident, according to the Police, occurred at about 14:30h. The Police also confirmed that seven miners were rescued and are at the Mahdia Hospital where they are being treated.

Efforts to retrieve the bodies are ongoing.

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Ruminations…

…on voting choices
Just so he’s not accused of being churlish, your humble Eyewitness’ gonna give a shout out to President Granger and his team who’re about to roll into their new offices. Good luck, Brigadier!

But your Eyewitness must bring up a point that continues to be most studiously avoided or when it becomes impossible to do so – to unceremoniously sweep it under the rug: the strength of ethnic voting.

One of the remarkably unique features of Guyanese politics is that even though both of the two major groups in the country – (African and Indian Guyanese) vote along ethnic lines – those who do so for the PPP/C (Indian Guyanese) are dubbed “racist” for doing so.

Interestingly, foreign observers don’t fall into this evident ethnic myopia or blindness – they routinely report that our political participation overall, cleaves along ethnic identifications. Only Guyanese seem to suffer from the disease.

Back in 1992, after 20-odd years (VERY odd!!) during which the PNC destroyed the very fabric of Guyana and plunged practically EVERYONE in Guyana into poverty – they yet got 42% of the vote – the same as in 1964.

Which was the previous free and fair election and universally conceded as the most ethnically influenced one in our history. And it wouldn’t be stretching things to assert that it wasn’t Indian Guyanese voting for the PNC in 1964 and 1992, would it?

But the vote of the African segment became “nationalists” for choosing the PNC – even though they could’ve chosen the multi-racial WPA in 1992.

Enter the PPP/C and free and fair voting since then. And the labelling continued. Never mind the PPP/C improved the country by every conceivable measure: when African Guyanese voters barely shifted their voting preferences, they were again doing their “nationalist duty” and the Indian Guyanese were “racists”.

And we arrive at the just concluded anointing of President Granger – (one has to invoke biblical allusions since he claimed it was ordained by “the Lord”).
The Stabber did a favour to all Guyanese by publishing the votes by polling stations arranged by villages. And an unfortunate fact of Guyanese life is villages are generally monolithically one ethnic group or the other.

And once again the vote was split ethnically. And once again ONLY the Indian Guyanese are being castigated for being “racist”.
The point of the matter is that folks can’t assume that African Guyanese or Indian Guyanese are “racist” when they vote for parties that they identify with ethnically. Whether it’s “reality” or “perception” this is where Guyanese are at when it comes to choosing governments.
The task of leaders is to deal with that FACT in a manner that’s positive for the entire country.

 …on attire
Clothes, they say, maketh the man. So what are we to say about the clothes worn by President Granger and his Prime Minister-to-be, Moses Nagamootoo? Granger wore a formal black Shirt Jac which showed the same attention to Guyanese history choosing Parliament Buildings as the locale for his swearing in ceremony.

The Shirt Jac was introduced in 1969 – after independence – as attire suitable for wear to the Parliament of Guyana.
Both Burnham and Jagan enthusiastically supported the innovation because of what it signalled: not just arriving at a sartorial modus vivendi with our humid and hot tropical climate, but telling the nation that we were free to define what was “proper” – not only to mimick our departed “masters”.
Nagamootoo, on the other hand, arrived in a black suit, a burgundy shirt and a psychedelic argyle-patterned tie.
He appeared to be parodying a down-and-out Mafia hit man.

…on BB King
Your Eyewitness is disconsolate. First it was Percy Sledge, then Ben E King. And now BB King. BB was the granddaddy of Blues, and an inspiration to all that followed – rhythm and blues, Rock and roll… And the best guitarist next to Jimmy Hendrix.
RIP.

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New brooms…

….from old coconut “pointa”
Well, the other foot’s finally dropped. For a while there, folks were beginning to worry whether a kick in the face was coming – based on their previous experience. But then the foot and finally touched ground yesterday at noon.

The PNC had won the elections – and they should be congratulated for this feat that few thought they could pull off a decade ago.
Your Eyewitness credits the PNC for the victory because if you look at the numbers from the individual polling stations, the AFC just wasn’t able to deliver the bill of goods they sold the PNC during their “coalition” negotiations.

Take Region 6 – their claim to fame and the raison d’être for the PNC’s interest – for instance. The total number of votes for the PNC and AFC actually dropped from 2011!!

And it’s not that the AFC just lost those votes to the PPPC. In each of the areas where the traditional PNC constituents resided, the votes increased and if this weren’t so, the almost total wipeout of the AFC would’ve been even more evident.

As it was, the PPP picked up 7250 more votes in Berbice – all of which we can say with certainty, came back “home” after their brief flirtation with the AFC.

So we’ll now have the old weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth that once again Guyana reverted to “ethnic voting”. With ethnic voting, the outcome’s a foregone conclusion: you just need to glance at the census’ ethnic breakdown.

So what’s the problem? Should make life simpler, no? For results, just check the census!! Unfortunately, for reasons best known to the Census Bureau, we don’t have the latest 2012 version. So we’ll just have to extrapolate from the 2002 numbers.

Indian Guyanese had declined from 51% in 1980 to 43%, while the African/Mixed bloc rose from 42% to 47+% and Amerindians from 5% to 9%. That trend would’ve continued.

Basically then, using your Eyewitness’ theory, the PPP would’ve exchanged some Indian Guyanese vote for an equivalent African/Mixed ones. And even though they got another 6% from the Amerindian that would only push them to 49% while the 3% Amerindian takes the PNC to 50+%. VOILA!!
And that’s also why the difference between the two parties is so razor thin. And why the PPP’s pulled out all the stops to double check all possible hanky pankies.

But the PNC wasn’t taking any chances…and nobody has more experience in rigging elections than them. They didn’t need to rig too much and they did this with surgical precision.

Like the fella with the three-card monte, you got to hand it to them.

…and unity Govt?
The test of the new coalition bond fides as to whether it won’t be the same ole, same ole politics they’ve always practiced, is whether they’ll put their money where their mouths are when it comes to their “government of national unity” spiel. It’s clear – as analysed above – that the AFC didn’t bring squat to PNC/APNU. So they can’t claim any “national unity” there!!

This Eyewitness would like to see how they can ignore the 49.2% PPPC when they talk about “the nation”.

They have no choice this time when they get around to selecting the Deputy Speaker: there’s only the PPPC. Their “broad mindedness” will be on test when it comes to the other Committees in the House. Are we going to see the old hogging of all positions they wallowed in during their last go around?
It was nice to “talk fat” when they were outside. We’ll see if they walk their talk now! But don’t hold your breath.

…and the Mook
The Mook used his favourite Uncle Tom to put in a word for a job with the fellas he assisted so much through his FUCOP. He wants to hand out contracts!! Cat guarding the milk??

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Waiting to exhale…

 …after elections
On Thursday afternoon a and far into the night – the celebrations by the APNU/AFC supporters went on. Even as worried commuters headed out to work the next morning, the more determined revellers were heading home. And why were the commuters worried? Well, from the word “go” the PPPC’s been pointing out that there were a slew of irregularities with the poll.

It’s not as if they waited until the “preliminary count” indicated they were behind by a whisker. Some of their polling agents had been bullied into leaving their posts and couldn’t affix their signatures to the Statement of Polls (SOP). Imagine fighting for decades to have votes counted at the “place of poll” and then not being allowed to witness that count!

Some folks thought the PPPC might be “trying a thing”. But then when the CEO of GECOM himself pointed out that there’d been “fake SOP’s” submitted – 33 of them!! – you’d think they’d take the PPPC seriously, no? NO!! Your Eyewitness had hoped to take a sabbatical from all this heavy political stuff for a while…but jeez…fair is fair. And this wasn’t fair! In an election where the purported difference between the two parties is just 5000 votes…you can’t just dismiss 33 fake SOP’s. What about the time-tested truism “where there’s smoke there’s fire”? Who the heck introduced these SOP’s?? And one can’t be as sanguine as the British Ambassador to echo the GRCOM CEO and say “they weren’t counted”. Well, weren’t the fake SOP’s SUBSTITUTED for others?? So what about THOSE people’s votes?

And it wasn’t just the SOP’s. The PPP/C also produced a random sample of 22 SOP’s from Region 4 showing a clear pattern of changes from their polling agents’ version – the pattern not surprisingly being a reduction of PPPC’s votes and inflation of APNU/AFC’s. Back in 1997, the now sainted Desmond Hoyte had rejected the election count – certified by even more observers than today’s – WHEN THE DIFFERENCE IN VOTES WAS MORE THAN 40,000!!!
And GECOM did allow recounts – two as a matter of fact – since the PNC walked out when they saw no differences exposed. Hoyte, of course, had his people riot in the streets forcing the PPPC to allow a FORENSIC AUDIT by CariCom. And even then Hoyte didn’t go along when once again he was shown to be brazenly “trying a thing”.

As your jaded Eyewitness taps his keypad, he’s being informed that GECOM will announce the FINAL results today at NOON. He hopes it won’t be “high noon” and that a recount was done – at least in Region 4. Fairness to the PPPC demands that.
All of Guyana’s waiting to exhale.

…in Government
We understand the reason why we aren’t hearing much from the Opposition big wigs is they’re locked in (smoke filled?) back rooms haggling over “who’s going to get what”. Your Eyewitness figures that with them promising such a slew of initiatives in their “first 100 days” they’d have their ducks all lined up. While this was supposed to’ve been settled by the “Cummingsburg Accord”, because the AFC hasn’t coughed up, a little birdie told your Eyewitness that all bets are off!

Counting chickens when they haven’t been hatched seems to be the order of the day. One is about the Speaker of the National Assembly. The coalition promised this individual will come from “Civil Society”.

So is this why Ralph Ramkarran wasn’t placed on the Opposition list?? Would make sense for them all around, wouldn’t it? Ramkarran would have a blast having his erstwhile comrades genuflecting to him every time they rise to speak.
Or if they want to leave to have a tinkle!

…in cricket?
If you think it took too long for GECOM to announce the elections results…what about the announcing the details on “way forward” for WI cricket promised a month ago?

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A kinder, gentler…

…political discourse?
OK. The elections are over. And even in the US where it’s claimed right after one elections, preparations begin for the next, there’s supposed to be a “honeymoon” period. Shouldn’t we, proud Mimic Men, follow suit??
Well, your Eyewitness doesn’t know about the politicians but he hopes commentators will take a breather now and take off their brass knuckles. He’s going to take off his. For a while, at least.
Hey!! We all know Guyanese politics ain’t for the faint hearted…after all it’s not just the words that can hurt here, there’s also the possibility of bullets or fire. And those will ALWAYS hurt. We’ve seen the fire and we sincerely hope there will be no bullets.
Remember, the call was “Ballots OR Bullets” – it’s one or the other – not both. And since we’ve already had our bullets…
But this delay in announcing results isn’t helping matters. Tempers are getting frayed. And what this Eyewitness wouldn’t buy is it’s all because of the “vast” size of our country. The country hasn’t grown lately, has it? If the truth be told, it shrunk after the Venezuelans huffed our portion of Ankoko Island back in ‘69.
So how come special provisions weren’t made to deal with ballot boxes from Point Playa in the north to Gunns Strip in the South? We can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.
Einstein pointed out that kind of behaviour actually defines “insanity”. But your Eyewitness just reminded himself about the “kinder, gentler” discourse, so he’ll ease up on the smoke starting to come out of his nose.
Your Eyewitness was wondering if there was ever an instance of a party leader in Guyana calling up the winner and conceding defeat. He wracked his brains and couldn’t think of any.
Hoyte did concede in 1992 – but not to Jagan and only after some not so subtle prodding from President Carter. Taking defeat gracefully isn’t part of our political tradition. Like Dylan Thomas advised his old man, our politicians don’t go gently into the night.
Maybe it has to do with how long that “night” could be? Back in 1964, the PPP went along with the “fiddled constitutional arrangements” by the British and before they knew it, it took them 28 years to get back into office. And for the PNC, their 23-year-old-wait must seem longer: they actually KNOW what they’ve been missing.
But like your Eyewitness said earlier, let’s try not to raise too many hackles for a while, shall we? For one, it’ll make you feel soooo virtuous.
Your Eyewitness can already detect a faint halo over his head!

…and wider concern?
Your Eyewitness was quite shook up this morning as he perused the newspapers. The photograph on the Guyana Times front page was shocking. He’d heard about Kwame McKoy from OP being roughed up at a Polling Centre in the city where he’d gone to perform his job.
But his alarm was assuaged by statements from the Opposition that he hadn’t been hurt and that, rescued by David Granger and Joseph Harmon, his subsequently hospitalisation was just “drama”. Until the photograph.
But even that didn’t get your Eyewitness riled up. That happened when he saw a letter from someone complaining about a donkey being beaten by some misguided souls after the poor animal had some party acronym painted on his body. Very good sentiment he thought. Donkeys shouldn’t be beaten…only “miscreants” do that.
But what do you call people who beat up other people – also for no good reason? Isn’t that also to be condemned? Your Eyewitness awaits words of outrage for the assault of McCoy.
But he ain’t holding his breath.

…city
Your Eyewitness can’t say that this period of marking time as the nation awaits the election results has been all bad. He can now park any which where he wants!

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