Shared government will create gridlock

Dear Editor,

Writing in the SN of January15 under the title ‘Ramkarran did not acknowledge African feelings of disenfranchisement’ Dr David Hinds suggests:  “I make bold to say that just as the PPP’s behaviour in office  has been heavily influenced by the perception and reality of  its treatment at the hands of the PNC in office, that the PNC’s behaviour in office was also largely grounded  in similar fears, perceived and real, arising from the PPP’s 1957-64 tenure. Mr Ramkarran’s reference to the Indian Guyanese and PPP feeling of electoral disenfranchisement is spot on. But he omits the African Guyanese feelings of disenfranchisement. Whereas Indian Guyanese suffered from elections that were rigged against them, African Guyanese suffer from the fact that the electoral system is rigged against them. The PNC stole elections. The PPP has not stolen elections in the same barefaced way, but they have barefacedly stolen the executive government.”

In the ‘politics of revenge’ as Dr Hinds ‘simplistically’ termed it, he sees both the  PPP/C/PNCR as ethnic parties who fear each other. The Burnham PNC era and Jagan PPPC era must be faulted equally. The PPP/C hijacked the executive government as a minority and the PNC rigged elections as the minority, both to maintain their own hegemonic power over Guyana. Dr Hinds candidly describes the PNC’s 24 years (1968-92) as just securing their ethnic base, comparing it as similar to the seven years colonial PPP (1957-64) government. Dr Hinds ignores that same PPP record which endowed Guyana with the highest literacy rate and fed the Caribbean as its breadbasket bequeathing it to its successor.  Under the Burnham Constitution of 1980 where the PNC rigged elections, neutered parliament, bankrupted Guyana’s economy, caused a mass exodus of many talented Guyanese, destroyed press freedom, ensured the subjugation of the judiciary and paramountcy of the PNC with the 1974 Sophia Declaration, and allowed the complete destruction of the country’s infrastructure, Dr David Hinds still nevertheless insists on shared government with the PPP/C as its equal.

Nowhere does Dr  Hinds admit PNC atrocities or its massive failures under the Burnham, Hoyte, and Granger PNC(R). He fails to acknowledge or mention the current PPP/C government still governs democratically with the same overwhelmingly African bureaucracy, ethnically unbalanced armed forces and the same Burnham constitu-tion proudly put in place by the PNC.  Has there been no progress in Guyana with the PPP/C government since 1992? Apparently Dr Hinds does not see any.

Without any Indian parallel and in consistent Afrocentric advocacy, Dr Hinds continues agitating for the PPP/C to operate outside of the Guyana constitution  and share the executive government;  he hopes to achieve power by race and not by democratic elections.

Someone has to clean up the mess. The PPP/C has not done a bad job so why should Guyanese create more misery for themselves by a combination of the two on the top seat? Currently power sharing has not worked effectively in either Ireland or Zimbabwe. With the current stalemate in Guyana’s parliament it only promises to become worse in shared executive government. Dr Hinds therefore needs to get on board and give some other alternatives and concrete ideas better than Mr Ravi Dev’s federalism. Shared government is the worst compromise. It will only create legal gridlock and chaos. In a democracy someone has to guard the watchmen, hence the need for an opposition. In federalism everyone wins, especially Amerindians; it would ensure their ethnic security and survival.

Yours faithfully,
Vassan Ramracha



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