Granger’s explicitly chilling, frightening promise to restore Burnham’s legacy

first_imgLike a majority of Guyanese, I am frustrated, livid and frightened by explicit promises being made by leaders of the People’s National Congress (PNC) to PNC supporters to restore the legacy of Forbes Burnham – the legacy of usurping and keeping power through rigged elections and dictatorship. This week, President David Granger gave his clearest, most unambiguous, most explicit promise that his mission is to carry on from where Forbes Burnham left off in 1985.He does not disguise his contempt for Desmond Hoyte. He speaks of Burnham as God. In a PNC conference for North American supporters this week, he gave the clearest declaration that, like Burnham, he knows how to stay in power. Burnham stayed in power for more than 20 years, not by winning elections, but by blatantly rigging elections. Granger is now openly, explicitly connecting the dots for PNC activists and supporters – he and the PNC are determined that Guyana return to the Guyana of 1968 to 1992; not a Guyana of prosperity, but of rigged elections. Power matters, not prosperity.He makes it clear that his mission is to ensure the PNC never gives up power and that the only way to do so is to adhere totally to the rigging legacy of his hero. His words are chilling and horrifying: “You have to ask yourself how the PNC gained office in 1964. Ask how the PNC remained in office and what it did to do so. Ask yourself how the PNC regained office in 2015 and ask yourself how would the PNC retain office in 2020”. This is as explicit as anyone could be. There is no room for misinterpretation. Everyone of the PNC activists knows exactly what he was speaking of.Unfortunately, we know too. We know that the PNC gained power in 1964 after years of violence and making governing impossible in Guyana in the early 1960s. We know that in spite of creating greater levels of poverty, destruction of Guyana’s economy, they stayed in power by massive rigging of elections. We know that they regained power in 2015 by promoting years of crime and violence through a strategy of “slow fyah, mo fyah” to make Guyana ungovernable. We know they have hijacked the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to rig the 2020 elections. This makes people angry, mad and frightened. Too many people still remember the horrifying and dehumanising experiences of the period 1964 to 1992. Not only did people live in a punishing dictatorship, many were physically and mentally maimed for life and many lost their lives.But notice that in speaking directly to the PNC North American Conference, he spoke of the PNC, not the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC). This too was an explicit declaration – the AFC and the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) were used, just as the United Force (UF) was used in 1964. Having gained power with the support of the WPA and AFC in promoting violence and mayhem in Guyana, both the WPA and the AFC are now materially dead, just like the UF after 1968. Just like the leaders of the UF were usurped into the PNC, so now the WPA and the AFC have been totally immersed into the PNC. Granger and others now rarely talk about APNU/AFC. They have returned totally to the PNC brand. Clive Thomas, Rupert Roopnaraine, Raphael Trotman, Moses Nagamootoo and Khemraj Ramjattan have become nothing less than card-carrying PNC sycophants.Granger announced James Patterson’s appointment as Chairman of GECOM before he went to the North American PNC supporters. This was strategic – he wanted to show them that he has done what Burnham did – fully hijacking GECOM, transforming it to a loyal PNC creature, just as Justice Bollers and the Elections Commission were after 1968 and until 1992. But as much as Guyanese are dismayed and frightened, Guyanese have no intention to allow Guyana to return to those humiliating and dehumanising years. The Guyanese people are united to fight the PNC. We will stand strong and ensure that GECOM cannot rig the 2020 elections.last_img