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Executive President David Arthur Granger and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo - Guyana Elections 2015

Executive President David Granger and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo
Guyana Elections 2015
Photo Credit: Guyana Graphic

On Monday, 11 May 2015, the people of Guyana went to the polls to elect a new president and government. The following days were tense and frustrating for me as the ruling party refused to release the preliminary results, claiming irregularities in the electoral process – which, by the way, was conducted under their control – and demanded a full recount of the ballots.

With the nation in limbo awaiting results, Heads of Mission of the American, British, and Canadian diplomatic community in Guyana, joined by Guyana’s Private Sector Commission, issued a public declaration asserting that the alleged irregularities were unfounded and calling the elections “free and fair.”

On Friday, two days later, the Head of the European Union Delegation in Guyana supported the position of the ABC Heads of Mission and called on all political parties involved to address “any possible grievance through the channels established by the law.”

Finally, on Saturday, I could breathe again. The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) released the elections results: The multi-ethnic six-party coalition has won the elections with a narrow margin of 4,506 votes, giving them 33 seats of the 65 seats in the National Assembly. Retired Brigadier General David Arthur Granger is now Guyana’s eighth Executive President; Moses Nagamootoo is the Prime Minister Elect.

I should be jubilant. Together with 50.55 percent of the electorate, young Guyanese turned out to vote for an end to racial politics and work towards national unity and equality for all. But, in power since 1992, the incumbent party’s refusal to concede defeat has left me uneasy. Is this due to arrogance, entitlement, delusion, or power drunkenness?

Their refusal to concede defeat intimates to their majority East Indian supporters that the newly-elected government is illegitimate and will not have their interests at heart.

How will their stance affect the work of the newly-elected government in forging national unity and ending inequality among Guyanese of all ethnicities?

The road ahead for the people of Guyana will not be easy. Much needs to be done to bring about real change. Victory at the polls must be fought for each and every day going forward.

I cried with joy the day America elected its first black president. Today, over six years later, the struggle for real change for the 99 Percent continues.

No rest for the weary.