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Whereas you may prefer to have the party of your choice elected to government if you haven’t achieved this you would want a government that will do well by the country and people. A successful government means the betterment of all of us. A successful government could lead to peace, harmony, prosperity, and inclusion which are the things we want.
When I speak about successful government it is not about one that stays in office but one that delivers for the people:- Rights and the Rule of Law, respect, equity in society, freedom of the press, proper management of our resources, protection of our environment, real wages, working class dignity, equal treatment for bauxite, sugar and public sector workers. We want the government to succeed for those reasons but thus far this is proving elusive.
Gov’t stifling press freedom, dissent and inclusion
This regime continues to create an alternate society, an alternate reality. They are creating their own opposition, their own facts, and their own truths. They are using their own political choice as the opposition and their own media to propagate and support their creation of an alternate reality in Guyana, and what they want to fool the nation is efforts at inclusionary government.
We are beginning to see signs that press freedom is threatened. Last Saturday President Irfaan Ali held a press conference and excluded the private media houses, save for one that is perceived to be sympathetic to the government. When they hold press conferences with their chosen few, they will determine what we will be told. It is not press freedom when you shut out half of the media or shut out media you feel that is not supportive of you. The media has an important role to play in informing society of what is taking place and helping to hold the government accountable.
A government that wants to create their own nation, their own reality is not a government operating in the interest of all. The shutting out of the media comes against the backdrop of the refusal to meet with the genuine, significant and recognised opposition-the APNU+AFC- and not the opposition they created that has less than 6000 votes, that received less than two percent of the total votes.
They have created an opposition to erode and replace the main opposition. Whereas GECOM has declared the PPP elected to the Government the PPP does not determine who is the Opposition. The votes determine that. By marginalising the APNU+AFC the PPP has created a situation that never happened in the history of Guyana. Never in our history have we had this disruption of social (i.e. political) order.
Gov’t creating pseudo democracy
This regime is in pursuit of total power and total control as they move towards the creation of a pseudo democracy. They have not only marginalised the main Opposition they are also refusing to engage with other legitimate social partners, handpicking who they prefer. The exclusion of the Guyana Trades Union Congress from the Trades Union Recognition and Certification Board, a significant group in society, means that this group does not have representation even in a body that is created to represent the interest of workers.
Shutting out social partners is all part of undermining democracy in the creation of their own pseudo democracy. All evidence of the PPP/C’s manoeuvre points to the fact that they are fearful of a dynamic society and diverse views. They may even be fearful of a multicultural society. Obviously, they don’t seem to be able to cope with our multicultural society as evidenced over the years where successive PPP/C regimes have sought to undermine and destroy others.
They have presided over the destruction of the bauxite workers’ pension plan, worth more than $2.5 billion, the single largest pool of money owned by African labor. Whereas they continue to invest billions into the beleaguered sugar company, that some see as an albatross around the neck of the Guyanese people, they are refusing to take a constructive approach to viable bauxite and have the operation in the Berbice River reopened.
They are coming up with excuses to prevent or delay re-opening the operations at Kwakwani and Aroaima that cannot withstand scrutiny. Over the years they sat on their laurels and gave support to RUSAL for the transgressions they have committed against Guyana workers, the violation of Guyana laws and disregard for Guyana sovereignty. They continue to refuse to bring RUSAL to the table and have the Russian management account.
Undermining the independence of the judiciary is also part of their scheme. This regime has dismissed previous charges against themselves, and are charging coalition officials, instead of allowing due process so the people could have confidence in the judicial system. They are behaving as though their supporters are above the law.
And even with the management of this deadly pandemic (COVID-19) they are operating as though they alone can do it. They are not managing this pandemic in the national interest. Guyanese are made to feel powerless as they watch on as the disease ravishes and deaths are spiraling out of control because the government is pursuing an exclusionary instead of an inclusionary approach.
Tensions in society
This regime is creating both internal and external tensions. Internally they are undermining democratic institutions, principles and laws of rights and inclusion. Externally they are provoking confrontations by meddling into the internal affairs of another sovereign nation and putting the lives of Guyanese at risk. They are creating an environment of tension and societal suppression, particularly of dissenters. Governance of this nature cannot be successful for long because what the behaviour leads to is domination and suppression.
People inherently resist oppressive and dictatorial government. A society that breathes strife, and in societies such as ours beleaguered with racial tension and mistrust, this can only lead to increasing ethnic tension and violence which the PPP/C historically appears to have a penchant for. Guyanese must speak up and be prepared to stand up and resist PPP/C domination. This is not about Afro Guyanese only; this is about all citizens of Guyana.