In Guyana, we have observed that politicians sometimes have selective and short memories. For over a year, the Leader of the Opposition has been running to the Office of the President under the pretext that constitutionally he must consult with the President. For whose benefit?
Are the people of Guyana any better off since Mr Granger commenced these 2013 rounds of talks with the President?
1. Soon after the 2011 elections, the AFC and APNU called for the establishment of a Tripartite Budget Commit-tee and were totally ignored by the PPP.
2. In April 2012, during the 2012 Budget season the AFC and APNU called for a reduction in VAT; a reduction in the Berbice Bridge toll; an increase in the workers’ wages (we observe the AFC calling for 10 percent); re-establishing the Public Service collective bargaining process; ceasing the blatant abuse of the contract hiring process (with even drivers and cleaners now deemed contract workers with no security of tenure); guaranteeing the independence of the constitutional offices – Parliament Office; Gecom, Judiciary and the Service Commissions – by their removal as Budget Agencies to ensure that they receive their subventions directly from the Consolidated Fund; restructuring GuySuCo and GPL to make them into viable corporations; restructuring NICIL to bring its financial assets into the Consolidated Fund; restructuring GINA and NCN to make them into responsible national institutions; establishing the long delayed constitutionally mandated Public Procurement Commission as a matter of urgency; putting in place appropriate arrangements for the governance of key projects and entities, ranging from NICIL, the Amaila Falls Hydro power project to the NIS, with a view to greater transparency and eliminating corruption; devoting more urgent attention and resources to the plight of the unemployed, the youth of Guyana and the depressed communities and areas.
The score card is that the PPP/C has totally ignored the majority opposition on all of the above items.
Then in November 2012, the AFC and APNU submitted their 11 point letter with the most important issues they wanted resolve, many of which are above. The PPP totally ignored the majority opposition on all of the above items.
With such overwhelming evidence, it is clear as daylight that the Leader of the Opposition does not understand the nature of the political animal called the PPP. The PPP as a philosophical and political entity gives nothing to the opposition. The meetings at the Office of the President are a charade since there is ZERO deliverable for the people. Mr Granger should really spend more time with the old political warriors like Carl Greenidge and Debra Backer learning the basics on the PPP. This army mentality is most unsuited for politics; he is not dealing with an officer and a gentlewoman in these meetings, but with experienced politicos who will smile with you and politely say no and as soon as the meeting is over, they throw all of the opposition ideas that do not match with the PPP’s into the garbage.
The PPP continues to operate as if it is the majority and the only reason this charade is in process is because the PPP desperately needs the Money Laundering Bill passed.
Which minority government will move to institute a 26.7 per cent increase in electricity rates and the opposition leader in whom some strength resides, will run to meet them every time they call for a meeting? The word is out in the streets, the traditional supporters of the PNC are very unhappy, and Mr Granger will be chastised politically for this sloppy kind of politics. It happened in 2006, and with political leaders like Moses Nagamootoo, Nigel Hughes and Khemraj Ramjattan in play in the next elections, the chances are high it will happen again, especially at the upcoming local government elections if one is to believe the secret internal PPP poll that we saw.
The masses at the bottom of the economic ladder are finding it difficult to feed their families and on top of that this uncaring regime drops 26.7 per cent more on them, then blames Mr Granger in the process for the budget cuts. Yet Mr Granger continues to undermine his PNC members and supporters. Where did he learn his politics, or does he understand his role as leader of the opposition?
Harish S Singh