By Political Correspondence
As the President of Guyana, Mr. Ramotar is found wanting because he has become disengaged and too selective in his pronouncements. The president has not laid out a plan of where he intends to take the country. It seems to us that he has turned out to be more of a ceremonial President—one who cuts ribbons and delivers speeches, but less of the transformational, motivational, effective and proactive head-of-state. It appears as though ministers and the heads of various state agencies and corporations are allowed to act and implement policies independent of input from the government and the people.
We are not convinced that he is in control and knows what is taking place around him. We believe that he exist for the pure purpose of advancing the interests and policies of those who run the country from behind the scenes. Based on what we have seen, we would argue that the minority Jagdeo/Ramotar regime since taking power more than nine months ago has done nothing but to neglect the youths and the poor and the working class whose only desire is to improve their living standards in a country where they are being suppressed by the rich and powerful. This is what is actually happening in Guyana and it is euphemistically called democracy.
In the run-up to last November’s general election, and even before, the PPP led by Bharat Jagdeo engaged the populace about the kind of country and future they envisioned for the people, their children and grandchildren while the two opposition parties APNU and the AFC sought political power on the basis of meritocracy and sound plans and conducted themselves as the “government-in-waiting. It did not happen!
During the election, the PPP spent valuable time and money feeding voters a diet of promises, but without telling them how and when they would be achieved. Many, including their supporters are now calling their election promises a big joke. The PPP regime spent months perfecting its Manifesto and yet after its glitzy launch, the document has found its way somewhere in the graveyard of irrelevance after the election. Today, no references have been made of the policies and principles enshrined in the document by the Jagdeo/ Ramotar regime. But even if the PPP chooses to reference its Manifesto, the document was never intended to breed life into the ailing economy, create employment, or increased the standard of living of the poor and the working class who are struggling to make ends meet. This is at the root of socio-economic stagnation in Guyana.
Nine months after the election, we now have a country with a stock of problems that hardly the PPP regime or anyone at the political directorate level seem to know how to tackle, fix or even willing to take on. Sadly, the parliamentary opposition, but worse yet, the Jagdeo/Ramotar corrupt regime have all but gone dumb, deaf and blind. The PPP energy has died a sudden death and APNU’s loud shouting in Parliament has suddenly become inaudible whispers. Parliament which sat for only 32 days out of 120 days allotted for it to meet is in full recess for nearly two months while the people’s problems still persist, but no one to solve them.
The Jagdeo/Ramotar regime has no discernible plans or commonsense programmes to stimulate the economy, tackle the many social problems associated with crime and violence, illegal trafficking of narcotics, youth unemployment which is at 55%, and Georgetown city problems. Additionally, the PPP administration has no concrete plans to rescue agriculture, jump-start manufacturing, revive the sugar industry, reform local government, fix the flooding problems, and improve the educational and health care sectors. If there were plans, they were obviously poorly articulated or improperly thought through by the PPP because there are no meaningful or tangible accomplishments. In fact, if any were achieved, the people would have noticed and there would have been no need to remind anyone. Instead, we have witnessed an endless game of PPP propaganda, distortions, untruths and fabrications during the NCN-TV debates on corruption. The regime continues to be pre-occupied with inconsequential issues and the President not only appears withdrawn, tired and frustrated even with his own party hierarchy, but has been acting more like a ceremonial head of state.
That aside, the majority AFC and APNU opposition must insist on the establishment of the Procurement Commission, the appointment of an Ombudsman, the implementation of the information act, local government elections, and an anti-corruption agency and an end to police murders and brutality of the youths. This should be at the core of all negotiations of the so-called tripartite talks between APNU/AFC and the PPP.
After 20 years in power, did the people really expect something different from this PPP government when the major power players are the same persons from the previous Bharat Jagdeo regime? The truth is, people should always learn from history and experience; and as Marcus Garvey said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history are like a tree without roots.”