Congratulations are in order in terms of APNU and the AFC forging a single slate for the national elections on May 11. These parties have done what Burnham and Jagan could not do after their long deliberations in the 1980s. I am confident that Guyana will be the winner from this new alliance.
Many of us know of the pain from the bad and corrupt system in the PNC heyday. It was loyalty to the party and a party card to get anything done. The people of Indian origin felt marginalized and were treated as second-class citizens, except for those who were loyal to Burnham.
Have things changed? The answer is a resounding no. I and thousands of other Guyanese voted for the PPP with the hope and understanding that they would bring an end to this PNC madness. Since Mr Jagdeo took office we have seen the Burnham style of leadership raise its ugly head. Even though the PPP did not require a party card, it was loyalty to Jagdeo that mattered. Large sections of the African Guyanese population were marginalized and treated like second-class citizens, just as the PNC did to Guyanese of Indian descent.
In both the PNC and the PPP, loyalty to party was paramount rather than loyalty to country. Guyana was locked in a perpetual cycle of distrust between the majority Indian and African Guyanese. Do we allow this distrust to continue? The power to stop that lies in our hands.
My opinion is that David Granger is an honest and impeccable man in terms of integrity. The PPP paints him with a brush that is more reflective of some of the leaders in the current configuration of the PPP. He will make an excellent President. His running mate is no stranger to politics. Moses Nagamootoo and David Granger will do what Jagan and Burnham looked towards in an alliance – bringing Guyanese together, and being loyal to our country, not to a political party.
I am also heartened that the new alliance has agreed to have the representative of the electoral list and the Speaker of the National Assembly come from civil society. May I recommend that these two individuals be gender balanced and should not be of Indian or African origin. I believe that Guyana possesses great scholars and it would not be difficult to find these two stalwarts.
I would not venture to name people, but there are outstanding Guyanese at home and abroad who can serve in these positions with honour and distinction.
I look forward to a happy and successful campaign, with the result of real change in our land. I call on all patriotic Guyanese to support this alliance, so together we can really build our country. It is long overdue.