The big parties must lead the way to end race-based voting 

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Dear editor,

I have a dream that one day the leaders of our political parties would not be selected based on race. I am in so much pain having to witness APNU perennially selecting a Afro-Guyanese Presidential candidate and AFC, in an attempt to strike ethnic balance, selects an Indo-Guyanese Prime Ministerial candidate. How can we accuse the electorate of race-based voting when the leadership themselves, of both main parties make their candidates selection based on said racial algorithm.

Why should we be bothered if both our President and Prime Minister are Indo-Guyanese? If they are the best candidates for the job, based on intrinsic non-race qualities, then we should embrace that union. If they are the best candidates for the job, based on intrinsic non-race qualities, then they should get our vote of confidence. If they are the best candidates for the job, based on intrinsic non-race qualities, then we should proudly hold them up to the world as our leaders.

Unless we start to see each other as Guyanese, we would forever be living in a resource rich but undeveloped hellhole. Unless we as a people can live together as brothers and sisters, can vote based on issues and can hold our leaders’ feet to the fire regardless of their race, we will forever be wearing the badges of CARICOM fools.

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It will take the leadership of the two main political parties to lead the way and move away from this divisive race based political endorsement. But unless we courageously stand up and force them to change the way our leaders are selected, then any attempt to advise the electorate that they should be electing their leaders based on issues and not race, will only fall on deaf ears.

The reality is that nature of politics is one where the ends justify the means. If it means gaining power requires that the masses are stratified and separated based on race, then that would be the dark political road taken. As always the impoverished, like in most circumstances, will be the ones living through the pains of such political foolery.

Sadly, I’m not very optimistic of living that dream in my lifetime. My only hope is that most of our 780,000 share this dream and utilise the power of their inked index finger to make our leaders act differently.

Regards

Dr Mark Devonish



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