OPINION: Disagree with Elder green; rigging elections leads to other riggings 

Last Updated on Friday, 23 February 2024, 6:34 by Denis Chabrol

By GHK Lall

Mr. Hamilton Green had a flash of inspiration, or what he thought was, and let his frustration and desperation run amok.  Rigging would be right if only so that Guyana could be rid of its political torturers.  The latter is the current cast of characters that make up the PPP Government.  The rigging relates to elections.  Mr. Green had a rush of blood that resulted in an outburst that was furthest from what could be considered the wisdom of the elderly.  I can never agree with any such mentality, idea, call, or condition.  I can never condone the slightest smidgen of such a vision, any such passion.  An appeal comes from this corner: recall the words, retreat with an apology, for having lost footing with rigging.


For if rigging is tempting and inspiring, then it is simply a matter of time before there are midnight knocks on doors and visits, inquisitions, star chambers, and gulags, and the ultimate verdict of final solutions.  Mr. Green should know better.  He does, and he also knows of the grim memories with which Guyanese live.  If living is what it may be termed in the local racial cauldron.  Rigging is more than politically diabolical, it is racially devastating, environmentally disruptive, and socially catastrophic.  It is also spiritually corrupting, and mentally unsound.  It is regrettable, condemnable that Mr. Green saw red, which drove him to the extremes of grey madness.  At his stage in life, his inner constitution needs to be more circumspect, characterized by the strength of years, the lessons of decades of what has led Guyanese to where they are unhappily perched.


Rigging is taking the easy way out, the trickiest, of a demanding set of circumstances.  The political opposition, in the sum of its various shaky components, must be ready to work hard, with skill and wisdom and what gives it credible appeal.  I am yet to see this, other than for individual flashes that rapidly peter out.  This applies to the existing cadre of political veterans, and all those hopefuls lining up and rearing to go, through declaring themselves the best thing for Guyanese come next year.  The dogged determination, the tough slog in the rain and heat and mud, amid jeers and cheers, are virtually unknown in this town.  Men make what they believe to be magnificent speeches before the microphone, and then they sit back and applaud themselves for a job well done, and nothing more following.


Though it may amount to the height of political heresy. I recommend that the current opposition groups-leadership, stalwarts, precinct captains, village solicitors, and other managers-all take a couple of pages out of Dr. Cheddi Jagan’s manual of operations.  Assess strengths.  Recognize the attributes of adversaries.  Probe for openings in their armor.  Exploit them.  Marshal local and foreign resources.  Lobby, lobby, lobby.  And all the time, working tirelessly through facetime with the people.  Get out of the blasted conference rooms and cafes and chariots.  Identify with the people.  Stop preening at the podium and prancing before the mirror.  Most of all, cease thinking about the fruits of power, and how those would be subverted for personal gain.  In other words, stop planning about who will be fired, and how much to benefit (teef) from this country’s wealth. Cheddi Jagan should stand as the role model for Guyana’s political opposition, where elections are concerned.  For sure, he succumbed due to his lapses in astuteness and judgment in his early days, from his lack of reading the territory correctly, and his unwise inflexibility.  Political and ideological purity and honesty usually leads to rigging the deck against oneself.  If it is asking too much of Guyana’s opposition groups to think of Jagan as a role model in terms of elections, then, at least revisit his example.  It was about never giving up.  Relentless determination.  Dogged application.  And a will of steel.


In proceeding along another lane in this sordid business of rigging to be rid of devils and demons, I offer this tiny cupful of big truths.  To think of and settle for rigging indicates that the mind could be wired (rigged) a certain way.  The rigging of elections in no time would compel other forms of rigging.  Rigging of elections and succeeding ushers in rigging of the media to rig the minds of the people.  We have seen this, and live with it, to greater and greater extents.  Rigging of elections gives the power to rig the judiciary to enable desired outcomes.  Though still an unfolding canvas, this has crept more and more into the consciousness of Guyanese.  Rigging of elections places power in the hands of the immoral, the unethical, and the dishonest and dishonorable to rig institutions of the State for craven advantage.  Most lamentably, this has been the experience of the local population, be it sixty years ago or six hours ago.  I think that enough has been put before fellow Guyanese for a distinct understanding of what rigging can do, and where it can terminate.  Oftentimes, rigging has no termination point, but forms a part of an endless continuum.  Once rigging has started there is no stopping.


For all the above reasons and many left unpresented, I must disagree with Elder Green on rigging as the means to banish national political jumbies.  I must always have the strength to distance myself from rigging, or the risk is to become twisted myself.