This is a respectful appeal for urgent political dialogue between the President and the Leader of the Opposition to address the pressing social and political problems of Guyana in the national interest. In particular, the two political leaders are called on to revisit the decision on the appointment of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). The call is for them to confer in good faith to find a mutually acceptable solution on the current controversy over the unilateral appointment in October 2017, of the Chairman of GECOM. Such an outcome no doubt, would lower the racial and political tensions which have gripped this country, and to prevent this manmade, political and social disaster from escalating.
The unilateral appointment of the Chairman of GECOM has generated much controversy on the legality, constitutionality, and suitability of the new Chairman. In the circumstances, and in the name of Almighty God, the greatest contribution to Guyana by the newly appointed Chairman of GECOM is to graciously tender his resignation. This will open the door for the high level political dialogue for the good of our country. Please Mr. Chairman of GECOM, this course of action on your part will be a blessing for all in this fair land of ours, and a lasting legacy for you in the history of the electoral life in Guyana.
The political leaders are called on to promote active national peace and harmony by practical actions in legislation and public policy. It is time to pull back from partisan political self-interest, and together cultivate and build in a sustained way, a more just, fair, compassionate, and inclusive country for the good of all citizens. Let us learn from the past mistakes, and take the required measures to get right our politics, race relations, governance structures, constitutional reform, electoral processes, and national development programme to achieve national confidence.
Let us admit that the people of our country and its economy have been negatively affected for more than sixty years on account of the reality of race-based power politics, dominated and continues to be dominated by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and the People’s National Congress (PNC). The nation is crying out for a national peace, security, and the creating and sustaining of a more just society for all its people. A heavy burden and responsibility rests with the leaders of the political parties. History will judge them harshly for continuing failure to liberate us from the scourge of the politics of race, vengeance, and vindictiveness.
It is time to look to the future. The resolution of the controversy over the Chairmanship of GECOM to the mutual satisfaction of all parties would be a good start and confidence-building measure leading to the imperative of national trust and moving to higher trust. This calls for leadership, commitment, inclusiveness, and fashioning a common national vision. It is in the hands of the President as the Executive Head of the Government, to take the lead in engaging individually and collectively the political opposition, the private sector, the labour movement, civil society and professional organizations to address and resolve our social, economic, development and political challenges, and forge an agreed, urgent programme for the immediate short term and medium term implementation.
Such an initiative needs to be supported and sustained with the view to:
- foster mutual understanding, good race relations, and to find agreed solutions to problems and controversial issues;
- promote for all, social justice and peace to impact positively on social, economic, and political life;
- build stronger democracy and good governance in terms of inclusive participation, transparency, and public accountability;
- promoting public policy measures for stronger economic growth and development; and
- create a more just society for all.
I invite the media, letter writers, and organizations to join in this call for high level political dialogue to save our country and move it forward.
Samuel J. Goolsarran