The shut out of the Opposition from Republic ceremony

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The decision by the PPP to use the observance of our Republic anniversary as a campaign rally and to then shut out the Opposition is the latest manifestation of how far we are from President Ali’s dream of One Guyana.

Coming on the heels of a similar shut out of the Opposition from the just concluded Energy Conference, it represents another slap in the face of Guyanese who cry out for normalcy in our country. It is as if the PPP does not care about the consequences of its actions—it seems to be deliberately courting danger. The party and government act as if Guyana belongs to one section of our county and the other section does not matter. In a country that has been blighted by dictatorship, this PPP appears to be the most hardened.

This recent action also comes in the wake of a USAID report that warns of disintegration if the two major political forces do not move to some form of power sharing. The report was scathing in its assessment of the PPP’s less than two years at the helm. Pointing to institutional breakdown and more than hinting at perceptions and reality of ethno-political discrimination, it recommends an overhaul of the governance architecture. It was indeed a damning report that did not place the government in good light. Coming as it does, from an arm of the USA government, the report potentially holds great significance not only because the USA is a super-power, but because that government was overtly entangled in the process by which the PPP was installed in office.

This report came on the heels of a bombshell interview of the Vice President by a USA journalist that was most uncomfortable for the government. The journalist revealed that she had evidence of alleged bribery and corruption by top officials. The government for its part was loud and quick to pushback against this allegation to the point of even suggesting that it was being dragged into the trade feud between the USA and China. Such a charge by the government gives the impression that its leaders are aware that the are under international scrutiny. Or so we thought.

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Then came the statement by President Biden that is worth quoting: “The United States remains a committed partner in working together with Guyana to reinforce democratic values, promote inclusive economic growth, strengthen regional security, and successfully meet challenges posed by the climate crisis. We look forward to building upon our shared values to collectively address global challenges and achieve a prosperous future for all.”

It is very clear that there is an inherent rebuke of the government on the issue of “ inclusive econo0mic growth”. Those who know diplomatic language know that that is very strong language that is more than a hint. Coming from a friendly government that was instrumental in the electoral outcome two years ago, one expected the PPP to take note and at least put its foot on the breaks. That it does not seem to care about what even the USA thinks is not a good sign.

We have repeatedly editorialized that the PPP is out of control. It governs alike a runaway train. This not good for a country that has not yet recovered from the fallout of the 2020 elections. How can a government be so disdainful of an opposition that controls almost half of the electorate? If it is not political suicide, then it must be a case of deliberate action aimed at igniting instability. We once again call on the PPP to change course. No single party in and out of office must arrogate unto itself such a sense of ownership of government and State. Guyana belongs to all its citizens and no government must be allowed to use government to perpetuate the opposite. We know that the PPP has had a history of stubbornness, but that is no excuse for the current monopoly of every inch of political space. Enough is Enough.



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