david h

The imminent election will be the most defining one in Guyana’s post-independence experience. There is a lot at stake. Whatever happens going forward, this country will change dramatically.
The coming of the Oil and Gas economy would have far-reaching economic and political consequences. For me, that is what the debate and discourses on the campaign trail should be about—how the politicians plan to manage the expected collective wealth? All other issues would in one way or another be affected by that central phenomenon.
As I have contended before in this column, the heated debates and arguments over the CCJ rulings and their consequences are ultimately about the coming elections. Both major political forces are fighting to ensure that they get the early advantage in the contest. The PPP hopes that its victory at the CCJ would translate into a political advantage as far as the election date is concerned. That party wants an early date because it would minimise the time for a thorough cleansing of the Voters’ List which in its current state seems to give the PPP a better chance of victory. On the other hand, the governing Coalition appears to have more confidence in a cleaner list.
On this score, the Coalition is standing on firmer ground—any credible election assumes a credible Voters’ List. The PPP’s argument that since the Coalition did not raise any doubts about the list a few months ago, it should be satisfied with it now is flimsy at best. An election with an obviously tainted Voters’ List is tantamount to rigging. That the PPP is rearing to go this route tells us the extent to which that party wants to get its hands back on the wheels of power. The CCJ should take every care not to get itself entangled in this ploy by ordering an election without a clean Voters’ List.