I have long reasoned that in Guyana, common sense is not largely the modus operandi of the governing parties. The only time the citizens get what they want ‒ or what was promised to them ‒ is when they fight.
When the PPP was in the opposition, prior to 1992, they fought for all the rights and privileges that should have ordinarily been theirs. For 24 long years they fought for free and fair elections and the right to peaceful assembly. It took the magnanimity of President Hugh Desmond Hoyte to bring about the free and fair process of the electoral system in Guyana. Then for 23 years the PNC fought against the PPP’s abuse of the state media and state apparatus. The opposition also fought for local government elections and a de-politicizing of the judiciary.
Then the AFC joined the PNC and fought for the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission. Then they both joined the unions and fought the PPP for collective bargaining and increased wages and pensions.
Now that the coalition is in power, the opposition PPP is fighting for the regularizing of the Public Procurement Commission. They are fighting APNU+AFC for the establishment of the Integrity Commission and the re-establishment of the Ethnic Relations Commission.
Additionally, now that the coalition is in power, the Public Service and the Teachers’ unions are fighting for some of the same things that they fought for under the PPP government. The unions are still fighting the government and begging them to return to the negotiation table. There is an unbelievable fight for collective barging, even though it was a campaign promise of this government.
The parents are fighting the Minister of Finance, begging him to reverse the VAT that he added to the tuition cost for their children. The business proprietors and vehicle owners have been fighting with the government and their city representatives to have the parking meter law revoked.
It is obvious that Guyanese will never get what they deserve without a fight. When the Alliance For Change (AFC) was an independent and objective party, they got fed up of the fighting and led the move for a no-confidence motion against the PPP government. It caused President Ramotar to prorogue the parliament, and the rest is history.
I am saying that Guyana needs a third party that will create the same kind of objective independence that the AFC once provided to the parliament. Guyana needs a party in the parliament that will objectively and unbiasedly represent the will of the Guyanese people. Left to themselves, the two major parties will make the Guyanese public fight for everything that should be rightfully theirs.
Their collective actions are plain for all to see.