What astounds and infuriates me is that two parties which are collectively representative of over 50 per cent of the electorate cannot yet put forward a sound strategy for a united coalition slate two months before the most important general election in this country since 1964.
I have both of their 2011 manifestoes on file (I personally contributed to the AFC’s) and I’m satisfied that putting together the core ideas, incorporating qualified external views, and adjusting them for the current realities would provide a more than adequate blueprint for taking Guyana forward. Additionally, I believe that the combined opposition also outshines the incumbent in terms of experiential and intellectual human resource capital, even as I believe that there are existing talents outside of the political parties that need to be included in the executive.
Apparently the executive configuration seems to the bugbear for coalition, something that I believe at this point is unnecessary. The question of potentially alienating the supposed Indian base of the AFC has come up as a reason to offer Moses Nagamootoo the presidential seat, a position I find ludicrous coming from a party that was founded to upset the politics of ethnic division in Guyana. The politics of ethnic expedience has lost all currency, and to pander to it now would be to perpetuate the very thing that has crippled this country. In terms of sheer weight of democratic representation, the case is clear for a David Granger presidential candidacy.
Even as I have been a supporter of the AFC from the inception, I’m satisfied that Granger has the intelligence, the expertise and the gravitas to function as president in this critical period. I equally believe that Moses Nagamootoo would be an excellent prime ministerial candidate because he can function effectively both within the executive as well as the legislature. Nagamootoo as PM would most definitely not be the token rubberstamp that Mr Sam Hinds has proven himself to be.
With the above in mind, I offer the following suggestions for the executive portfolio with some current ministries adjusted to reflect what I believe to be a more efficient management of portfolios:
David Granger – President
Moses V Nagamootoo – Prime Minister
Joseph Harmon – Head of the Presidential Secretariat
Nigel Hughes – Attorney-General
Khemraj Ramjattan – Minister of Home Affairs
Carl Greenidge – Minister of Finance
Elisabeth Harper – Minister of Foreign Affairs
Beverly Harper – Minister of Economic Development and Diversification (Portfolio responsibility for Agriculture inclusive)
Rupert Roopnaraine – Minister of Education and Culture
Karen Cummings – Minister of Health and Human Services
George Norton – Minister of Amerindian Affairs
Cathy Hughes – Minister of Housing, Social Security and Labour
Christopher Jones – Minister of Youth and Sport
Ronald Bulkan – Minister of Tourism
Hamley Case – Minister of Natural Resource Management
David Patterson – Minister of Public Works
Vincent Alexander – Minister of Local Government
Basil Williams – Presidential Advisor on Governance
Mark Anthony Benschop – Presidential Advisor on Citizen Empowerment
Lance Hinds – Presidential Advisor on ICT
Janette Bulkan – Presidential Advisor on the Environment