The spectacle contrived by the APNU-AFC coalition at its launch at the Guyana Pegasus on March 4th would have left many Guyanese scratching their heads, or shaking them in shocked disbelief, on reading some of the bold assertions of the coalition leaders. Presidential Candidate David Granger spoke of taking the ‘…boldest step in six decades…’; of the replacement of political hostility with unity; of replacing confrontation with cooperation; and replacing dictatorship with democracy.
Was this the same Granger, who, as head of the combined opposition in the 10th Parliament, led the charge to block legislation and funding which would have allowed for the realization of the unity, cooperation and the “democracy” which he now so glibly speaks of?
Was there not ample opportunity to avoid the funding cuts: for the University of Guyana Scholarship Fund; the Amerindian Development Fund; Interior Aerodromes, the CJIA Expansion Project, – to name a few – and in so doing exemplify the unity of national purpose and to so dispel the issues of animosity in our political life?. Isn’t it true that the incessant virulent attacks, in and out of parliament, by the opposition and certain sections of the national media, have had a retarding effect on critical national projects? A critical example being the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project which is so vital to reducing energy costs at the domestic, commercial and industrial levels thereby encouraging both domestic and overseas investment, and expanding employment and the economy? So we have now presented to us an APNU-AFC coalition of opposition parties who were pivotal in the abject failure of the 10th Parliament dangling the suggestion to the nation that they are entirely blameless and are squeaky clean without any shadows arising out of their recent parliamentary sojourn.
And the unkindest cut of all… claims of “… dictatorship” – this from the mouth of a former top commander once serving in an army which swore fealty to the PNC – then in power. The same PNC – which he now leads – from a time when each and every Guyanese was a criminal for the possession of wheaten flour, split peas or channa!
Is this the same Granger whose continued refusal to appear before the Rodney Commission of Inquiry and his weak efforts at distancing the PNC regime from any involvement in the murder of Dr Rodney identifies the studied recalcitrance of that organization at this effort at truth and reconciliation in Guyana?
The remarks of life under a re-elected PPP becoming “nasty and brutish”, after all the above can only be taken as a gratuitous threat and as an insult. One may well ask: What has been APNU’s contribution to the state of affairs in Georgetown where one of the leading personalities has been Lord Mayor for the better part of two decades???
And… yes folks! There was that public recognition and congratulations of Mr. Granger for the APNU-AFC cooperation in ensuring the non-passage of the anti-money laundering and the countering of the financing of terrorism legislation in the National Assembly (AML/CFT) – an act which has brought Guyana regional and international ignominy but which has, perhaps, put the new coalition now fully on the defensive in attempting to refute charges of facilitating money laundering, drug dealing, and terrorism.
The Pegasus Launch of the APNU-AFC Coalition, given the main actors assembled, and subliminal negative messages it portends when seen against a backdrop of an ever improving economy and life in Guyana can only be seen as the launch of a “Trojan Horse” for a return of PNC rule.
Over nearly twenty three years of Government the PPP/C has managed to bring Guyana from dire straits of existence to one of expanding progress and prosperity. The miracle that is unfolding all over Guyana is as a result of the hard work in all areas of national endeavour of the Guyanese people facilitated by the sound, patient leadership of the PPP/C. Guyana’s present nine years of year-on-year growth is unprecedented in its post-colonial history and our pride of place as an export economy assuring national and Caricom food security has been re-established.
A diversified economy has allowed us to ride out the shocks of the world financial crisis since 2008, and an increasingly better educated, confident and assertive people are fulfilling vital roles at all levels at home and abroad and, now more than ever, the Guyanese people – in stark contrast to the national assembly – have achieved peace, progress, more well-being, and ever increasing prosperity as a result of cooperation in accomplishing national tasks. The results in record production in agriculture and mining, improvements in health and education, remarkable increases in first-time home and car ownership, expanded energy and physical infrastructure, and ever improving employment are not simply palpable but could be seen, felt, used and experienced all over Guyana!
Challenges certainly remain, but these are not unusual for developing countries coming out from an inherited situation of crippling debt, capital flight, near starvation and negative population growth all inclusive of politically inspired strikes, arson, domestic terrorism, and political crises and assassination. What has been unusual are the now well documented attempts at real economic sabotage rising from the opposition benches in the ill-fated 10th Parliament prompting its prorogation.
The relative peace and stability we have achieved is a tribute to the good sense of our people and the maturity of the PP/C leadership in government over these last twenty two plus years. The new platform has been proposed which aims at further unlocking the creative energy, enthusiasm and resourcefulness of women and youth by widening opportunities and facilitating the widening of their ambition and horizons for accelerating their development and Guyana’s progress.
But what is on offer from the newly re-minted opposition as a coalition? We have: promises of jail for ministers, administrators and their staff; vows to dismantle vital infrastructural and investment
initiatives; a scaring away of investors in vital natural resource sectors; and an attempt to engender fear, hopelessness, and a loss of will in a people who are now really thriving.
Now is the time to comprehensively reject the oversized egos, desperate adventurers, and irrational opportunistic policies being cobbled together by the APNU/AFC coalition which has had its precedent in the failed PNC/UF coalition of 1964 and the subsequent tragedy of PNC misrule.
Now is the time to ensure steady, sound growth, and progress and sustainable development for Guyana and all its people by re-electing, at the upcoming May 11th National Elections, the solid performers of the PPP/C with a clear mandate to continue to govern in the best interests, both individually and collectively, of all the Guyanese people!
Minister of Public