I took some time over the weekend to read up on all the political parties that will be contesting this year’s election. While reading the APNU Unity Charter I came across a statement that was so profound that I felt the need to share it. The authors of the document were speaking about national unity, acknowledging that attaining it would not be an easy task; they used words like ‘difficult,‘ ‘ uncomfortable‘ and ‘frustrating.‘ However they made a pledge to be totally focused and committed to achieving it, but it was the invitation that followed that grabbed my attention. It read: “We ask all who can to join us in this task. If at this time you genuinely feel that you cannot join us, then give us your support. If you cannot even give us your support, we ask at least for your good will and your respect for our commitment.”
Editor, I found that to be powerful because national unity has been an ideal that has eluded us for several generations. The PPP/C and the PNCR have tried and both have failed. This new partnership APNU is wedded to the concept of national unity. In the unity charter they quite clearly state that the partnership is committed to a true government of national unity. They confess that sharing cabinet positions with political opponents will present a real challenge, but they said it was a challenge that must be accepted. In the words of the charter “it must be done if a government of national unity is to achieve its aims and survive.”
I came away with the satisfaction that an APNU government would protect the interest of all Guyanese. There will be no cause for fear by any ethnic group under an APNU administration. Rather than cause for fear they would have much to hope for under a government that will be committed to national unity. It is clear based on the Unity Charter that the partnership will not develop policies to bring the races into collision with one another. “APNU will restore law and order, and every arm of the government will be brought to bear to ensure that all citizens regardless of ethnicity will be protected.”
Editor, the APNU unity charter makes it clear that they have nothing to benefit from a divided populace. The damage done by over fifty years of mistrust and ethnic cleavage cannot be whisked away overnight; it will take time. Enemies of APNU would like to see racial animus continue, because they benefit from such an arrangement, but it will not happen, because APNU‘s first order of business will be to put what has become our national shame to rest. The goal will be to establish a consultative democracy where all sectors of the society have a voice in the government. Local government and municipalities will once again take their rightful places in the governing of their people and there will be genuine independence of constitutional bodies. Under the new dispensation, our rights as individuals and as communities will be scrupulously protected. As a consequence, the temptation for individuals, groups and even communities to take the law into their own hands will be greatly minimized. This is a major step in bringing the current orgy of lawlessness to an end.
The Unity Charter to my mind is recommended reading, especially for those who want to find out more about APNU, or those who do not understand the concept of the partnership and its goals and objectives. As the document states: “National unity is an imperative in Guyana’s current fragile social and economic circumstances. In a plural society, there is a clear choice between the uplifting benefits of cooperation and the downside of destructive political competition… the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Let us put an end to divisiveness and fragmentation. Let us restore hope to the unemployed. Let us recover our can-do spirit and create a better life and freedom from want for all Guyanese.” It’s time for change. It’s time for all Guyanese to enjoy the good life. It’s time for a government of national unity.