Over the years, the People’s National Congress/ Reform (PNC/R)—the largest faction of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)—faced several accusations regarding election rigging. The current state of affairs has only served to awaken those fears and even exacerbate them.
This is according to Ralph Ramkarran, Attorney-at-Law, and founder of one of the latest political parties, A New United Guyana (ANUG).
On his website (http://conversationtree.gy), Ramkarran said that the PNC, now APNU, has remained stubbornly wedded to electoral manipulation to stay in office because it cannot command majority support. He said, “…There have been widespread fears that APNU will once again resort to rigging elections to remain in office. These fears have now been exacerbated…”
Speaking briefly with the Guyana Standard this afternoon, the former Speaker of the National Assembly explained that there are two cases which he believes, exacerbates the fears of election rigging. He named these to be the refusal of the government to call a date for elections and the President’s controversial appointment of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice retired, James Patterson.
The Guyana Standard also contacted Head of Transparency International Guyana Inc. (TIGI), Dr. Troy Thomas for a comment on the political climate as well as fears of elections rigging
The University Lecturer said, “When it comes to elections, tensions will be high. There will be political maneuvering and it heightens the anxiety of the society. It is in the best interest for the parties to not do that. And do what the Constitution says…But election rigging is something that has plagued our history.”
Dr. Thomas said that accusations have been made against the PNC. He said however that the PPP’s hands are not entirely clean where related issues are concerned.
The TIGI Head said that indeed, the delay of elections would stoke fears of election rigging by the PNC faction of the APNU. But he holds the view that those fears were there before the current political crisis and would still be there even if the Government calls elections tomorrow. Be that as it may, the TIGI Head insisted that the government needs to do everything it can to avoid augmenting such fears.
“They need to be open, transparent with the people especially now,” expressed the TIGI Head.