Could Jagan not have had conversations on a national front government with other stakeholders while working to persuade the PNC?

Dear Editor,

Our history did not happen in a vacuum. Neither is our history clothed in the simplistic good/bad binary. It is much more complex than this and an understanding can only be arrived at with accurate content and context.

As a then British-led society our post-slavery/indentureship history, local political formation and governance conflicts were in large part influenced by political parties situated within race and class rivalries; a border controversy and dispute; the Cold War; and ideological and political alliances with the Western (capitalist) and Eastern (communist) blocs. When history is accurately situated and events recounted it will bode well for our body politic.

Reference is made to Mr Ralph Ramkarran’s letter ‘The PNC was not even prepared for shared governance at the city council level’ (SN, October 17) in response to mine, ‘What did Jagan do during his presidency to put shared governance on the agenda?’ (SN, October15). My contribution to his article ‘The PNC, APNU and national unity’ sought to address his position in the context of the foregoing.  And if, according to Mr Ramkarran, “Hoyte was not only adamantly opposed to the idea up to the time Jagan died in 1997 but harboured a deep, personal hostility to him,” what prevented Dr Jagan from reaching out to other political parties (eg, the WPA and TUF) and civil society, in pursuit of his aspiration?

Here the assumption continues to be made that Dr Jagan was committed to a National Front Government (executive shared governance). Dr Jagan stood out in Guyana’s politics for some things, two of which were he was not a quitter, and he had the ability to win people to his point of view. Couldn’t he as President (1992-1997) have used these abilities to put the issue on the national agenda through conversations with other stakeholders, even as he worked to persuade the PNC?

Mr Ramkarran’s new focus to local and regional governments in the instant letter is an attempt to distract attention from his original focus on national government, Dr Jagan’s commitment to executive shared governance, and the PNC’s non-cooperation. If effort is made to stay focused on the issue the kinks in the story can be ironed out and our history placed in its proper context.  This remains my interest.

Yours faithfully,
Minette Bacchus

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