BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, has called for the recount of the results from Guyana’s March 2 general election to be declared quickly.
Beckles made the call in a statement on the weekend.
“I join with the current and past Heads of CARICOM (Caribbean Community) , Ralph Gonsalves and Mia Mottley respectively, and with the former Prime Minister of Barbados, Owen Arthur, in calling for the official embrace of the evidentiary truth of the election. Every hour that the celebration of a new day is allowed to sour, the greater will be the tarnish on the varnish of the history of a great nation.”
“Sometimes it requires a personal rather than political or professional perspective to see beyond the borders of a seemingly divisive circumstance, and to offer a dispassionate comment. I was named by my father after his cousin, Hilary Alfonso McDonald Beckles. “HAM Beck”, as he was called, was little known in our native Barbados, but his contribution to nation building in Guyana is well respected. In the late 1940s he fled “Bim” for “BG”. He taught classics for near three decades at Queen’s College in Georgetown, where he also became principal.”
According to Beckles, his cousin’s commitment to Guyana straddled the diverse ethnic and cultural scene.
Through those eyes I came to embrace the wonderful land of a thousand rivers. I know something of its history and culture, including the good and the bad times evident in its turbulent journey to and beyond nationhood. It has been a torn and tortured terrain with divisive seeds sown in the colonial waters that nurture the rich land.
The determined evidence of the debilitating deployment of ethnic identity as expressions of indigenous nationalism can be seen in far too many places. But, above it all, there is also the compelling story, in the history from sea walls to sugar estates, of commitment to the paramount principle that the will of the people should not be toppled, but respected.
Concerning the recent election in Guyana, Beckles said “the people have spoken. And so has the highest court. From the 2019-2020 electoral campaign and franchise exercise, their will is now known.”
“With much pain and sacrifice the process has been monitored and reviewed by CARICOM. The findings of the outcome should be declared and implemented. There is no other option that will be acceptable to the region and wider world. The future of the nation is assured with the compliance of State to the popular will. The regional court is counting on the integrity of the polity to protect the democracy.”
He added that fear of the future is not an acceptable explanation for franchise frustration in the present.
“ Ethical conduct, and not ethnic constructs, is expected to rule when democracy is in need of advocacy. The children of indigenous survivors, the chattel enslaved, the deceived indentured, and others in between, must now converge at the rendezvous of victory. The minority party should stay the course and continue to contribute to the sustainability and maturity of the integrated, multi-racial nation.”
“In this regard, despite the challenges of late, the nation has much to teach its region and the world beyond.”