Well, here they come. The date was announced in December, and now, the elections for President and Prime Minister are just two days away. Monday has officially been declared a national holiday so people can get out and vote for who will be running their country for the next five years. As an outsider, this means I’ll be locking my front door and cowering behind my couch for twenty-four hours. Kidding. “Foreigners are usually not targets,” I’ve heard time and time again. Sadly, one of the things that makes Guyana so wonderful–the way the different races and religions seem to blend and live in harmony–apparently falls to pieces around election time. As if this was the 1960’s, people tend to vote along racial lines, and tension grows between the major races in Guyana. I’m worried about what things are going to look like come Tuesday when the results are announced. Hopefully all will be well. “It takes one person going crazy to start something.”
I’ve heard rumors of blockades, fires in the streets, kidnappings, riots, shootings…None of this interests me. I just want to be able to return to work on Tuesday. I don’t want this country shut down over politics. It seems, to me, that it is indeed time for a change, but I don’t get a say, so I’m just going to hope for peace. This is something I hope for everyday though, so Monday and Tuesday will really be no different. This weekend has gotten a bit ridiculous though. As I’ve written about before, this city is now painted green and yellow and red, yellow and black. There are literally people painting lamp posts colors of each individual party. Flags are on every pole and then some, huge signs and banners have now popped up, draped over the streets and posted in strategic places. And, most annoying of all, the radio and television are now littered with political ads. I can’t say I’ve had the TV on too much recently, but when I catch a glimpse of it, the parties are pushing themselves. The radio has reached a new level of insanity though. On a quick cab ride to and from the bank this morning, the radio ran 12 ads in a row with no DJ breaks or songs. The ads just bounced back and forth between the two parties. I wrote earlier about how this election seemed very “middle school” to me. I continue to feel this way. Many of the ads are just the two major parties responding to each other’s ads that attack one another. It’s all one big circle.
Last I heard, the PPP/C stands for People Pulling Plenty of Cocaine. I’ve also heard the phrase, “PPP/C YA LIE” dozens of times the last few days. It’s all comical.
Let’s just not kill each other over any of this, okay?
Edit: As of today, (5/11/15 at 4:25pm) things seem to be going peacefully, apparently the fun is suppose to begin tomorrow.
Edit: (5/13/15 12:41pm) 7 minutes after the last edit I made, the “fun” began. 8 cars were torched in a outlying neighborhood and a polling station was tampered with. This infuriates people. But, I believe, it was all due to a misunderstanding.
Also, it’s been two days and there are no results yet. The country is tense. No one is going to work. The buses aren’t running. Children are not being sent to school. But, I’m working, because the boys live on the same property as the school. I’m nervous the results will be revealed while I’m at school, and then getting home will get very interesting.
Edit: (5/14/15 1:45pm) preliminary results are out. The right party won! Now, I must get home from work.