Democratic backsliding under the PPP

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Dear Editor,

As the famous proverbial phrase reminds us, “old habits die hard.” This is simply defining or referring to the PPPC Regime. From August 2, 2020, nothing has changed from their initial twenty-three (23) years, pre-May 2015.

Many Guyanese have short memories; therefore, it is necessary to remind them of the many atrocities committed by the PPP regime. They have destroyed our economy, disregarded the rule of law, demoralised our security forces and racially and economically discriminated against Guyanese of African descent.

The leadership of the PPPC constantly boast of being democratic, transparent, accountable and professes to be without “sin.” Yet, the scripture reminds us in John 8:7, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone …” Can those in the leadership affirm this? Honest opinion, they cannot! The PPPC regime barefacedly violates and tramples the Laws of our Land, and this has gotten worse since their instalment into government.

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The Laws of Guyana are clear and should be upheld by ALL. Therefore, good governance, transparency and accountability cannot be selective, especially by those in the seat of government. In examining the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act No. 20 of 2003, Section 67 (1) elucidates, “the Minister shall present to the National Assembly within sixty (60) days after the first half-year of each fiscal year a report on the year-to-date execution of the annual budget and the prospect for the remainder of that fiscal year.” We are now in the last quarter of 2021, and the regime is yet to comply with Section 67(1) of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act.

As of September 22, 2021, it is precisely two hundred and four days (204) since the approval of the 2021 Estimates and Expenditures (budget). In retrospect, the sixty days (60) requirement for the tabling of the mid-year report has succeeded by one hundred and forty-two days (142). Therefore, Editor, the regime completely violates the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act. Moreover, the National Assembly is currently in recess since August 10, 2021, and the mid-year report has not yet been tabled.

Many have chastised the APNU+AFC Government for its style of governance of our beloved Nation. However, the Coalition’s policies were guided by the rule of law. Therefore, I can boast that the Coalition government addressed many of the debilitated policies and framework we inherited to put our Nation back on a positive and respected footing. I can only guess, with the country’s current state, Guyanese can decipher the better steward between the two governments to manage the affairs of Guyana.

Editor, say what they want about the Coalition. During our tenure in government, former Minister of Finance, Mr Winston Jordan, ensured compliance with Section 67 (1) of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act. After every budget from 2015 to 2019, mid-year reports were laid in the National Assembly. I have no recollection of PPPC while in government before May 2015, had reports tabled, particularly for 2012 to 2014, since I was part of the tenth Parliament.

As a legislature with basic knowledge in economics, our Nation’s economy’s outlook is troubling. It is underperforming, and the expectations of exponential economic growth seem to be a long way ahead.

The 2021 budget theme, “A path to recovery: Economic Dynamism and Resilience,” was full of expectations. However, the Nation awaits the tabling of the overdue mid-year report to critically and thoroughly examine the performance of all the sectors. This delay makes one assume that performance across the sectors may be abysmal. Hence the withholding of a detailed report on Guyana’s Economic Performance for 2021.

Several International Financial Organizations projected exponential growth for Guyana during the first and second quarters; CARICOM Business Newsletter, vol, 4 No. 13 (April 2021) reported that Guyana is projected to have a 26.0% at the end of 2021. In June 2021, World Bank projected a 20.9%, while IMF projected a 16.4% for 2021. May I remind the PPPC regime of their obligation to the people of this land to inform them of the country’s economic performances relative to the projections?

I close by reminding the PPPC Regime that as a group that conveniently lauds the word ‘democracy,’ however, they should consider practising true democracy, which is accountability to the people. I, therefore, call on Hon. Dr Ashni Singh, to uphold the tenets of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act, specifically related to the matter, ventilated and table the mid-year report of 2021 to the National Assembly.

Yours in service,
Ms. Annette Ferguson
Member of Parliament – APNU+AFC



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