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OPINION: The president must act to save whatever reputation remains

BY GHK Lall

President David Granger has seen his name and his reputation dragged back and forth through the mud.  If he hasn’t, I have and on a near daily basis in the two newspapers that I scan.  If this is what the mainstream has felt compelled to present, from a wide array of positions and voices, then I shudder to think what is happening in the anonymous gutters of social media.  The president himself has to be enduring some quiet cringing himself, since he does not exist in a vacuum; he does not have much left on which to hold.

I say this, because at the end of the day, all that a man has left going for him is who he is and how he conducted himself when the harsher challenges bring to the brink, where there is no footing left to give traction, where there is no wall left against which to brace the back for some kind of support, any kind of support.  As things stand, Mr. Granger’s name and reputation have not only been besmirched by the mud, both have been shredded six ways to Sunday and in the most malignant ways possible.  But all is not lost; he can and must commit to do one more thing with what is left to him and to him alone.  He must act decisively and finally.  The president and party leader must act early.

For every time that I begin to believe and conclude that the standards and procedures for a recount are formalized and finalized, there is another not so sophisticated move in the gymnastics engaged in at GECOM.  It is why I said before and I say it again today: let the sparring and splitting over the mechanics of the recount be over and done with and let that process begin now.  In my view, there is nothing that rises to the level of technicality and sophistication making the rounds and leading to one delay after another.  Why muddy waters that return inevitably to the original state of clarity, and which lays out the road ahead to be traveled.  Quibbling and hedging and stonewalling are exercises in futility.  It may be held out or believed to be intricate and complex, when there is nothing that assumes any such ingredients.  It is past the time to cut the crap and move on.

For all these reasons that make headway with me, I urge the president to issue the orders to his subordinates to not hem and haw and stand in the way of the rational and closure.  I may be risking understatement, but I cannot think of any circumstance or set of circumstances that transforms into the life and death scenarios played out at GECOM.  No ascension to power, no office is prestigious enough, is worth the damage done to personal standing, personal legacy, and personal dignity, given what is lived and relived with each new day.

The president is in that place now.  He cannot continue like this.  I respectfully submit that he must not.  The nation cannot and should not be made to endure more of what has happened.    He must pull the plug on this whole sickening business and put all of us out of the miseries inflicted.  To be most candid, the sicknesses and miseries are mostly flowing in the direction of His Excellency; he may appear not to be feeling any of such traumas, but that would be the ultimate in self-deception.

I say again: this national impasse, this national embarrassment, has been allowed to go on too long.  The president is in charge, he has to decide, make his move, and act decisively to bring an end to the societal rages, the continuing controversies and crises that have plagued at the most inopportune, the most vulnerable, time.  The recount is the first vital step, a mandatory one.  The numbers resulting will tell their incontestable stories, which would be the second truth, no longer arguable, not defensible anymore.  The last piece in these incredible travails of Guyana would be when the numbers are completed and publicly revealed, there must be then early and gracious conceding by whichever group falls short.  Clean and clear and conclusive (instructive to the faithful, too) it must be before the world and all those citizens with a vested interest in which way the political winds blow.

To the president I offer this heartfelt and well-meaning thought: Win, lose or the unlikeliness of a draw, the man in charge has already been made to suffer much, way too much.  It is why I see a rescue operation of personal reputation is called for; rescue embeds the thinking that there is some life remaining.  To allow matters to deteriorate to that of salvaging would indicate that all is lost, and nothing left but the detritus to collect and discard.