The Fun That Was Peace Corps Guyana - Mark's Blog

Postings from just north of the equator. Let's see if training in CPR and First Aid prepares me to teach Health Education in a small, remote village in Guyana. I'm thinking... no. Read all about this ill advised decision! In addition, here is the required Peace Corps disclaimer: "The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the US government or the Peace Corps." So, please, don't confuse me with the White House Press Secretary.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The "Peaceful and Credible" Elections

Well, I survived the elections. Which, I must say, was surprisingly easy. Since 1992, every election has been followed by violence, mostly in Georgetown, but also in other parts of Guyana. So why should this one be different? Well, it was. There was pretty much no violence at all. Everyone seemed to be sitting on edge, waiting for something to happen. But nothing did. There seems to be two main reasons. First off, the PPP/C ruling party won in a "landslide" (as they say) victory of 54%. The main opposition party, the PNC-R, took in about 30% I think. In the past, they would have then claimed fraud, not accepted the results, and protests and riots would have ensued. Except this time, the PNC-R accepted the results. So there was no political calls to boycott the results, thereby giving cover for mischief and rioting. Secondly, it seems the people of Guyana did not care this time. Of those eligible to vote, only about 64% turned out, an all time low. There are some questions as to whether that number was low because people have moved to America but are still on the voter rolls (and you must be in country to vote). But even that could not account for the drop in turnout. So I think people just didn't care. And people who don't care are not about to start burning the capital.

So the elections were safe. As the state television station keeps telling us, they were "peaceful and credible." So that's nice. And all our worrying about getting evacuated to America or wherever was unfounded. So life is back to normal here. I'll write more when I get a chance. I hope everyone is well!


At 1:32 AM, Blogger LadyRedgrave in Guyana said...

Let me just say that I too had been on edge during the period before the results where made offical. As a first time voter I wondered if my vote would really make a difference or mean anything. After giving it alot of thought I figured that this was my first opportunity to have a say in the direction I want my country to be headed towards. You don't want to know just how much I jumped all over the people around me who said they wheren't going to vote. In the end if you don't vote then you shouldn't complain.
Sadly people just didn't care as much. In my yard which has three families only my mum and I voted and as for the family next door only the father voted, the other three adults didn't.
Uncertainty still hangs over us as a people, Elections where Peaceful and Credible but all the old feelings and beliefs still lay in wait to be aroused. I hope that someday, before we destroy our country, we will figure out what is really wrong and fix it.

At 11:26 PM, Blogger Susabellester said...

Happy Birthday, my darlin pal. I hope today was wonderful. Yes? I look forward to reading about the make-shift way o celebrating... By the by, I went to a Rockies game last week and wondered: would Mark, deprived of the nation's game for so many months, would he be interested in attending this one?
Happy Birthday, dude. Lots of love from here-

At 1:06 AM, Blogger LadyRedgrave in Guyana said...

There is a saying that goes "Easy snake does bite". I think this applies to the current school yard fight going on in Guyana. I wonder where that Headmistress is?


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