I think AFC leader Mr Khemraj Ramjattan owes the PPP regime an apology. He had warned that the government had planned to “buy out” 2 or 3 opposition members of parliament and so he kept a sharp eye on his AFC MPs. Never did he envisage that the dictatorship had its eyes on the APNU and by Wed 18th April it had succeeded in “buying out” all 26 APNU members. You just have to give the PPP credit when it comes to subterfuge. It is a supreme grandmaster of machiavellian politics.
The regime, despite losing the majority vote at the 2011 elections and being forced to form a minority government, has in the space of 4 months, succeeded, without going back to the polls, in increasing its parliamentary strength by 26 seats compliments of the APNU. And the APNU has now turned the parliament into a farce.
Despite Opposition Leader David Granger’s rhetoric on Tue 17th April that the budget would not be passed in its current form the APNU has been voting in favour of each and every line item in the budget, even those that are glaringly what Dr Cheddi Jagan would have deemed to be white elephants such as the 2 Chinese ferries the Sabanto and the Kanawan.
Mr Granger was present at seminar at the Pegasaus Hotel on Sun 15th April when eminent Chartered Accountant Christopher Ram stated that the 2 ferries would cost tax payers $500M each monthly in fuel alone and that it would be more economical to send the ferries back to China, yet the APNU voted in parliament for the ferries. Off course some PPP crony will get “a contract” to supply the fuel.
My information is that the current total monthly fuel bill for all of the vessels being operated by the Transport and Harbours Department is $50M and that they make no profit. With the addition of the 2 Chinese ferries the fuel cost per month will jump by $1B. I am further told that the vessels would not be able to carry much load because even as they are empty of any cargo, fuel, and water, they are already floating at their water line level. Please see pics attached.
One would have expected that no matter what talks the PPP and the PNC/APNU were having that at least APNU would have voted against the Chinese ferries. But I guess when you are negotiating from a position of weakness you can’t risk ruffling the feathers of the government. Maybe that is why APNU was silent on the dismissal of UG lecturer Freddie Kissoon.
It looks like we are heading for a PPP/PNC National Unity Government which will see a continuation of dictatorship politics. Where is our next Walter Rodney to lead us in the bitter struggles that lie ahead? I trust that Mr Nigel Hughes can be persuaded to fill that role.