first_imgDear Editor,Only last month, the Leader of the Opposition made a reasonable assumption that Guyanese fears of a rigged election are valid and based on some stark realities which have taken place and are currently taking place.These existing realities that have been affecting our electoral process in recent times have left no doubt in my mind that the People’s National Congress (PNC) has set the stage to attempt to rig the Local Government Elections (LGE) and by extension, the General Election in 2020 and future ones as well. We have seen that since 2015, in an effort to regain party paramountcy, the PNC has been systematically silencing the voices of its coalition partner the Alliance For Change (AFC), not unlike what it has done with the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) since it joined the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) slate. Over the years, we have heard and seen increasingly less about the WPA and the same has happened to the AFC in just three years. The AFC is not relevant anymore. The PNC has a game plan which is working well and by the 2020 General Election, the AFC would have been relegated to probably a worse status than the WPA. But a point to ponder is the PNC is aware that it could never win a majority on its own without the AFC, since it had lost in 2011 despite the WPA forming an alliance with that party under the umbrella of the APNU, so is the PNC trying to get rid of the AFC or is it trying to make it more pliant to its political manoeuvrings? There will be no Cummingsburg Accord in 2020 and after this LGE, the AFC will be totally consumed, and the PNC will reign supreme once again!The game plan of the PNC may appear to be simple, but it has more far-reaching consequences. Not only will it expose the AFC’s already diminishing strength, but the result will also afford an estimate of the numbers needed to rig. These numbers will be quite revealing.The PNC is aware that the AFC contesting solo will be beaten badly and the few remaining supporters and members who have not already crossed over to the PPP will jump on the PNC’s gravy train. Many have started to do that. This is the number which will be of great interest to the PNC to reactivate its rigging machinery. Therefore, based on this estimate, the PNC will know exactly what rigging measure is needed and the areas which should be targeted and will structure its rigging machinery accordingly. We have seen in the past that the PNC has used various measures such as padding of the voter’s lists, multiple voting, tampering with the ballot boxes, fake statements of polls, controlling the election machinery by inserting its members and supporters, Police failure to prevent or correct violations of law, PNC supporters who were not accredited were allowed in and out of polling places, fingers of many PNC supporters were not dipped in “electoral” ink to show that they voted, fingers of some PNC supporters were washed after being dipped in ink, and partiality by polling officials to PNC supporters. All of these are still relevant, and some have been practised in a small way in the last General Election in 2011. It is expected that these will see some sharp honing processes at this LGE.We have also seen that Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) is not averse to taking sides with APNU and the AFC when it comes to the flawed electoral process leading to the upcoming LGE. We have also seen that the courts have also bluntly refused to give a fair and proper interpretation of our Constitution with regard to Article 161(2) on the unilateral appointment of the GECOM Chairman, despite harsh criticisms from the Transparency International, the Private Sector Commission, the Association of Concerned Guyanese in the USA, the Indian Action Committee and a host of other local and international organisations. The recent High Court decision to uphold the unilateral appointment of GECOM’s Chairman by the President is an unequivocal indication that our democracy is under threat by the PNC and the PNC’s flag is now flying high over our courts.Future rigging of elections is not a creation of an overactive imagination.Yours sincerely,Haseef Yusuflast_img