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On the morning of December 29, 2020, I tuned in to the Voice of Guyana to listen to the 7 am Guyana time news broadcast. Some minutes after 7 am I heard an interview featuring the Honourable Minister of Finance. The minister was asked to explain the financial situation as it was when the new administration took office in August 2020. The minister claimed to be citing official records at his disposal as he responded to several prompts put to him by his interviewer. I have to say unlike other government speakers on the subject the Honourable minister gave the impression that he was avoiding the usual political adversarial attacks and sticking to a description of the financials of what the coalition government had accomplished: (a) from 2015 and (b) during the tenure of the caretaker administration. The picture he described was uncomplimentary to the outgoing administration. In the words of the minister, it could only be described as a “disaster.”
Unlike his colleague the Honourable Attorney General, Mr. Anil Nandlall, the Minister of Finance did not claim that the victory of the PPPC in the March 2 general election represented, “the triumph of good over evil,” the strongest indictment I have heard since I began listening to public discussion. However, what he disclosed and wishes his audience to regard as factual in the administration of the coalition government would discredit any administration since the Second World War. Since we the people of Guyana expect to be able to come to grips with the process of government by listening to the free communication of various political organizations and in particular of the main rivals, I feel bound to recommend to government media that equal time should be offered as early as possible to the official representatives of the previous coalition government to respond as it sees fit, and is inclined to do to the indictment placed into the public area by the Honourable Minister of Finance on December 29, 2020. Such an offer if it is accepted will allow the population to form opinions based on what each of the main rivals is prepared to defend as true and factual. The exchange will also allow the responding party to correct any exaggeration and to explain any breach on its side on the rules of normal financial behaviour as laid down by the constitution, by financial regulations and by best practice.