I thank Dr Randy Persaud who in championing both the PPP and PNC as multiracial parties in his letter, `The representational politics of the AFC,’ (KN 10-03-09), categorically stated, “Both parties are committed to the rule of law and to democratic governance.” Unfortunately he omitted to summarise the PPP and PNC’s history of “rule of law and democratic governance from 1957 to 2009, so I shall try to do so.
Both parties have communist and socialist constitutions that are undemocratic. This leads to leaders who are mini dictators who have absolute control over the parties at all levels with no checks and balances. Such a situation sees the leaders exercising total control over the parties’ congresses. The leadership then perpetuates itself through manipulated and rigged elections with the PPP’s most infamous rigged elections of 1962 to deny non communist Balram Singh Rai the chairmanship, and the PNC’s of 2009 to deny Winston Murray the title of leader.
At the national level both parties descended into dictatorship. The PNC, due to an insufficient and unreliable African vote bank had to resort to rigging elections in 1968, 1970, 1973, 1980 and 1985 by padding voters list and stuffing ballot boxes with PNC marked ballots. The PPP won a free and fair election held by non socialist Desmond Hoyte in 1992. Since then the PPP, assured of a large, and so far reliable, Indian vote bank, has “won” elections by playing on racial fears of the Indians.
The PNC during its socialist experiment, “critically supported” by the PPP, made the state media its mouthpiece and propaganda arm. Much constraints were placed on the Mirror, Catholic Standard, and off course the WPA’s Dayclean. The current 17 years reign of the PPP has seen the state media being continued as a government praising entity, whilst some independent media houses were closed or otherwise harassed such as CNS 6 and Stabroek News.
The PNC, under the socialist mantra of party paramountcy, sought to control the army, police, civil service, trade unions and the judiciary. Today, the PPP has even greater control over many of these institutions through favouritism, nepotism, and selectively high emoluments. People know that if they cross the PPP there will be repercussions as in the cases of retired Attorney General Doodnauth Singh and retired Judge Jainarayan Singh Jnr, who have had their pensions and gratuity withheld by the regime. Imagine your own AG having to sue you for his entitlements!
In the latter 1970’s and the early 1980’s death squads were unleashed on WPA leaders, thugs were set upon opposition supporters, and kick down the door bandits preyed upon Indians. Meanwhile the PPP held secret power sharing talks with the PNC. This all ended during the Hoyte regime when House of Israel leader Rabbi Washington was tried and convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Armed bandits were hunted down, tried, and hung. However Guyana again saw the rise of death squads in the early 2000’s. This time there was no strict political control and pretty soon it was murder for hire inc.
Both PPP and PNC, through inter party warfare, have brought untold suffering to Indians and Africans since the 1960’s. It was riots, arson, and murder, followed by strikes, arson, and murder in the 1960’s. It was murder for murder in the first decade of the 2000’s. These two parties have destroyed Guyana. Tell me Randy where was/is the PPP and PNC’s rule of law and democratic governance?