In his last “Conversation Tree” blog post before Monday’s elections, former Speaker of the National Assembly and former PPP executive member Ralph Ramkarran is appealing to the citizens to resist attempts to provoke post elections violence.
Ramkarran, who persons have come to rely on for objective assessments on domestic political developments, warned of allegations that political parties may try to frustrate the process which could be intended to provoke the unwanted violence.
He said any political party that is guilty of irresponsible behavior, making unprovable or ridiculous allegations for the purpose of excusing violence, or of failing to restrain its supporters, does not deserve sympathy.
“If the majority of Guyanese collectively choose to return the PPP/C to office, despite the great disappointment this will cause among APNU+AFC supporters, this choice must be accepted peacefully. If Guyanese decide to change their Government and support the APNU+AFC coalition, whatever trepidation PPP/C supporters may feel, their Party having been in power for 22 plus years, Guyanese must equally accept the results peacefully,” he added.
The former member and now stanch critic of the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic – PPP/C – said the election results must be accepted. He said political leaders know that unless there is “a total breakdown of the Guyana Elections Commission – GECOM’s – systems, which has never occurred since 1992, the outcome of the elections will be a true reflection of the will of the electorate.”
“GECOM, the electoral process and the elections, must be given the respect they deserve because they have stood the test of time, have earned our respect, and GECOM has grown from strength to strength. Problems do arise but these are few and scattered. There is therefore no excuse for violence.”
Ramkarran said many believe that Guyana’s elections are a competition for ethnic dominance and that results reflect a win or loss for an entire ethnic group but reasoned that after the elections are over and passions subside, Guyanese go about their business in a largely peaceful atmosphere.
He believes too that notwithstanding the criticisms that have been made of GECOM over the past few months, it is well positioned to deliver free and fair elections, as it has done since 1992.
On a separate note the former House Speaker acknowledged the presence of foreign observers including that of former U.S President Jimmy Carter which he believes lends confidence to a process that has been under suspicion because of historical reasons.
“Political parties struggle for every vote and it is reasonable to expect criticisms that are targeted to improving the process. But allegations of the rigging of past elections and plans by the Police to arrest many people so that the results can be affected, which means several thousands of people, show how ridiculous these complaints can become. Ridiculous though many of them are, they tend to inflame passions.”