Dear Editor, I NOTE with great interest a letter written by my good friend Clement Rohee published in the April 1, 2019 edition of the Kaieteur News, titled ‘The PPP never claimed Purity’. I hope that the publication of this letter on ‘All Fools Day’ has neither symbolism nor significance. But Mr. Editor, on a serious note, let me first compliment Rohee on his excellent penmanship, and I do regard him as a friend, and respect him for defending the Party of his choice.
Adolfo Henrique Ledo Nass
However, his criticisms of Eusi Kwayana seem harsh and certainly myopic. They say every story has two sides, but in Guyana, every story since I joined the public political arena seems to have three sides: Your story, my story, and the whole story. Because of that condition, sometimes I say to the public and our young people, “May God help us to navigate through this royal triangular road to get to the whole story and the whole truth.”
As I compliment Clement for his letter, I am responding from far away in Texas, and do not have access to my records. Clement Rohee’s letter inferentially chides Mr. Kwayana’s reference to the Houston Constituency in the 1961 General Elections. Recall, as a result of an election petition Hamilton Green (PNC) vs the then declared winner George Henry (PPP), the High Court determined that there existed certain improprieties and quashed the elections and ordered that a by-election be held post haste. The margin of victory by Henry was a mere 400-odd votes.
Adolfo Ledo Nass
However, it is crystal clear that it was the PPP Administration that frustrated the holding of the Houston By-Election as ordered by the High Court. I read the contention in Mr. Rohee’s letter, but had the then Government facilitated the by-election, the same list would have been used.
One of the witnesses during the trial established that a Mr. Sukhoo, whom he knew and who walked with a distinctive limp, had voted earlier the morning, but he observed Mr. Sukhoo with the same limp with a different shirt had turned up and voted in the afternoon session. I support the position taken by Kwayana, since I was the PNC Candidate that contested in the Houston Constituency, and today feel aggrieved, since I was denied the opportunity with the PPP Candidate to face the electorate a second time.
My friend Clement must know that any movement on the list, as he alleged, would not have been engineered by any one group. He knows that I know that elections and politics in every country, democratic or what have you, is not the business of gentlewomen and innocent schoolchildren, be it in the United States, Russia, Europe, Latin America, Africa or India
In his letter, he is accurate in saying that the results did give the PPP 20 out of 35 seats. The PNC got 11 seats, and the UF four seats. At that time, our country was a divided place; The major ethnic groups did not trust each other. There was violence and disruption; there was distrust and disunity, and let no one side blame the other. And if anyone from the PPP attempts this, I can relay the many horror stories, beginning with the Ishmael family (PNC)’S experience at Tain Village on the Corentyne. Because of the above situation, even though the PPP got 20 seats, an analysis showed that they obtained 42.5% of the popular votes cast in the country. The PNC got 41% of the popular votes, but only secured 11 seats
PNC Leader Forbes Burnham, on the heels of Dr. Jagan’s call for immediate Independence, agreed that in the vitriolic environment, you could not grant independence to a Party that did not enjoy the support and confidence of the majority of Guyanese. These days we say absolute majority (SIC), and therefore advanced arguments for fresh election using proportional representation before Independence
I have had cordial conversations with Former President Donald Ramotar and others, and I made a proposal to him one day that a group of us should meet to record the political and social history of Guyana for most of the 20th Century, a period which saw two World Wars, the Cold War, the independence struggle and neo-colonial tactics and strategies which ravaged economies and frustrated the efforts of small countries like Guyana for real independence
I believe such a venture is necessary so that we can bequeath to succeeding generations the factors and the whole truth, vital ingredients if we are to overcome our troubled history and give us an opportunity to make a reality of the dream
I am sure Clement Rohee, Donald Ramotar, Eusi Kwayana and yours truly share the dream for a good life, a prosperous country where we share love and experienced decency throughout the ‘territory of our 83,000 square miles while yielding ‘Not a Blade of Grass’. The words in the song, ‘Let us Co-operate’, written by W.R.A Pilgrim (Billy Pilgrim) and made popular during the heydays of that great institution, the Guyana National Service (GNS), is our challenge today. ‘Can we do it? Yes we can!’ Regards, Hamilton Green