A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has introduced itself to Guyanese and is progressively taking on a definite form. Very soon it is expected to present its election front-runners to the nation. This long awaited partnership is generating a lot of buzz in both the traditional and new media as Guyanese share their thoughts, expectations and even suspicions about the APNU.
The Working People Alliance (WPA) is a part of the APNU, and this has finally prompted some very fierce and mischievous rhetoric from within the PPP. Indeed, now that well-placed speculation has it that Dr Rupert Roopnaraine will most likely be the prime ministerial candidate for APNU, it appears that some folk are getting nervous.
For the PPP through its presidential candidate to attack the WPA by calling their presence in APNU a betrayal of the late Dr Walter Rodney is deceitful and injudicious. Dr Rodney vigorously fought the abuse of power and the dictatorial rule of the PNC under Mr Burnham. He gave his life in that struggle. Dr Rodney and the WPA were fighting PNC tyranny alongside the then opposition PPP.
The PNC is no longer the party it was under Mr Burnham. To argue that the party has not changed is to be blatantly dishonest. Over time, all political parties change like everything in life.
The ease with which some commentators ardently reflect on the ‘miserable’ Burnham days and miss the transformative nature of Desmond Hoyte’s politics is remarkable. Maybe it is because under Hoyte Guyana was able to attract serious international aid and large foreign investment like GT&T, Omai and Barama. Even Booker Tate was invited to assist GuySuCo in 1990. Oh, and flour came back. The Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) arguably remains the most comprehensive economic strategy to be ever produced by Guyana.
Today, sagacious politicians have recognised that Guyanese have had enough of single party rule. The brilliant minds in the WPA recognise that fact and have therefore aligned themselves in a political partnership that truly understands and openly believes in shared governance.
I strongly believe that if Dr Rodney were alive in Guyana today he would have been fighting the establishment; he would have been fighting elected dictatorship and ubiquitous corruption. To be a part of a partnership that intends to restore transparency in governance, eradicate corruption, nepotism and institutionalized incompetence is not betrayal. Refusing to conduct an independent inquiry into the assassination of Dr Rodney, after nearly two decades in office and after the allegedly conspiratorial party had agreed to it; that is betrayal. To be name dropping Rodney’s name at this time for narrow partisan political gains is disrespectful to his legacy.
The WPA must indeed continue to forcefully reject the mischievous rhetoric that will emanate from sources bent on spreading division, fear and confusion among some Guyanese as they prepare for the next election.