The President is in denial mode

Dear Editor,

There is an urgent need for an ‘intervention’ in the way the President is handling Guyana’s disturbing criminal and corruption crises, and mostly because the President appears to have entered a steadfast denial mode. He definitely hit his nadir when he talked about the perceptions of corruption while others were talking about real corruption.

Some of the President’s closest supporters who proudly touted him before the 2011 election as the next President also gingerly cited him as not being tainted by pervasive corruption (ie, illegal or inappropriate receipt of public monies or assets) and even confidently predicted he would preside differently over government if elected. Nineteen months later, he appears to be in absolute denial and may even be addicted to being in denial. But since no one seems to know why, it now occasions the call for an intervention.

The President has to know by now that his apparent addiction to denial is affecting those around him who really care about Guyana. With certain members of the diplomatic community now joining Guyana’s two leading independent dailies, their columnists, letter writers and a host of upstanding individuals and stakeholders in calling for government to frontally address crimes and corruption, it is time for the President to decide he needs to meet with someone who will function as a facilitator or mediator to help deal with the twin crises since he alone cannot do it. The President has to also know that he can finally govern effectively if he stops being defensive and angry when asked to deal with crimes and corruption.

Most critics and observers know that something is wrong with the way the President is behaving, and even I, as an extremely harsh critic of his lack of leadership that is now coming back to haunt his presidency, have started wondering if he literally feels like a helpless prisoner in a political cage controlled and guarded by those who helped put him there.

His lack of leadership, whether as PPP leader or on GuySuCo’s board or even now, does not necessarily have to hereafter define his presidency or determine his legacy.

Yours faithfully,
Emile Mervin

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