During her term as CARICOM Chair, Prime Minister Mottley has led the region with a bold reassurance at a time, when as Prime Minister she is simultaneously navigating a tumultuous and challenging period of Barbadian economic, political and social upheaval.
The Barbadian economy is unsteady, political democracy is threatened with a diminished and disemboweled opposition and difficulties have been encountered in tackling rising crime. Save for a decimated opposition, Guyanese are not unfamiliar with such difficulties and we are optimistic about a restoration of Barbadian stability and strength under Prime Minister Mottley’s leadership.
Regrettably, today, Prime Minister Mottley, a shining light in Caribbean politics, succumbed to the temptation to over-reach and the result has been a blot on her regional reputation.
The reckless, irresponsible and condescending lecturing of the people of a sovereign nation, by a Head of Government speaking from an ill-informed and prejudiced position ought not be tolerated anywhere in CARICOM. It weakens the region, rather than galvanizes it. It engenders bitterness rather than strengthen ties and bonds of brotherhood.
Today, Prime Minister Mottley insulted and betrayed the people of Guyana and rekindled hurtful memories of Barbadian contempt, disdain and disrespect for Guyanese.
Prime Minister Mottley over-stepped and breached the principles of non-interference. President David Granger graciously extended an invitation for her assistance, not her condescension and contempt.
The recount process has confirmed fraud, the Court of Appeal, Guyana’s final court on this matter, has ruled that only valid votes can and must be considered and the Chief Election Officer has submitted his report as he is constitutionally mandated to do.
Prime Minister Mottley, in an uncharacteristic wild flight of fancy chomped and challenged, “on what grounds and by what form of executive fiat does the Chief Election Officer determine that he should invalidate one vote, far less 115,000 votes?”
Prime Minister Mottley is an attorney-at-law and a former Attorney General. Prime Minister Mottley is a sitting Head of Government. The Honorable Prime Minister, by training, practice, protocol, convention and duty ought to have known that she was stepping out of her crease and trespassing on the sovereignty of a sister nation. The Guyanese people cannot now be expected to ‘hold fire’ in the face of such poisoned interference.
In Guyana, Guyana’s constitution is supreme. In Barbados it is the Barbadian constitution that is supreme. In neither jurisdiction can the constitution be superseded by external reproach.
It is difficult to fathom a Guyanese Head of State lecturing, in an objectionable manner, the people of Barbados on how they ought to conduct their electoral affairs or instructing that they disregard their constitution for geo-political convenience in the face of proven electoral fraud.
No entity, regional or international must be permitted to collude with domestic agents to perpetuate and foist a fraudulent election on the people of Guyana.
My admiration for Prime Minister Mottley may have been dimmed but it is not extinguished. I shall remain hopeful that the Honorable Prime Minister will recognize her mis-step, spend some time on the bench reflecting and, in time, sufficiently redeem herself.
In the words of the immortal Robert Nesta, the love remains singular.
-Imran Khan, citizen, Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
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