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The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) has expressed disgust at the revelations released in the recently aired Vice News program on corruption in Guyana.
However, the party said it is not surprised. “Our party has long drawn to the attention of Guyanese the evolution of the Criminalised State which has now become normative—it is now fused into the Authoritarian State. WPA has also argued that when a government is allowed to function without institutional and other forms of checks and balances as has been the case since the PPP returned to power in 2020, governance deformities are inevitable. WPA wishes to highlight some of the deformities revealed in the Vice News program.
First, it is clear that an individual official has replaced the institutions of government and State when it comes to matters of Foreign Investment. By Mr. Jagdeo’s own testimony, he is paramount to the government and State on these matters. We have now moved from Paramountcy of the Party to Paramountcy of the Leader.
Second, the Paramount Leader has developed his own private network through which he conducts government business. Again, the Vice President and his friend, Mr. Su, do not hide this fact. Mr. Jagdeo clearly runs his own parallel Cabinet that is accountable only to him. No wonder he told the press that he does not attend official Cabinet meetings. WPA asks how many more Mr. Sus are swirling around Mr. Jagdeo and operating in Guyana. Are there a Mr. Sus for Barbadian investment, for Indian investment, for Russian Investment, for Canadian investment etc? WPA feels that there is more in the mortar that the pestle.
Third, as WPA observed in the past, Mr. Jagdeo and the PPP have adopted the praxis that Guyana is their private domain. They are not accountable to any institution—they are above the law. When these alleged deals involving the Vice President, Mr. Su and the Chinese investors are made, who are the accountable to? How many such deals have been arrived at? How much money are involved? Are there other middlemen involved? Is the president part of this scheme? How much does he know? Does he know Mr. Su?
Fourth, although the Vice News program did not explicitly address this subject, it is obvious that the Vice President is not operating without the blessings of the president and government. WPA thinks that this is an important observation since it would determine what action, if any, the government takes in the face of the revelations. It is against this background that WPA expresses no confidence in the government to impartially probe this matter. While we do not reject calls for Jagdeo’s resignation or removal from office, we do not have much hope that that would come to fruition. Even if we are proven wrong, we do not believe that his ouster would happen in pursuit of the truth. The government if it goes in that direction would do so as a form of distraction.
WPA therefore recommends three courses of action. First, we support the invitation of a reputable International Organization to do a thorough probe. If the government refuses to cooperate with such a probe, then it confirms the WPA’s view that Jagdeo has the full support of the government. Second, WPA calls on the parliamentary opposition to demonstrate its outrage by immediately filing a No-Confidence motion against the government in the National Assembly. Such a motion would force the co-equal branch of government to carry out its oversight function—it would put the Speaker and the National Assembly on trial. Finally, WPA reiterates the need for a broad-based anti-dictatorial popular movement to force the government to act and to simultaneously combat the rapid rise of this new manifestation of dictatorship. Dictatorships ultimately recoil only in the face of the power of the people.