International terrorism, nuclear proliferation, territorial disputes, the accelerating threat of climate change, the constant flow of refugees as the well as the ever increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases continue to be the main features of the extant global crises.
Competing powers, exercising varying degrees of influence in particular regions of the world have brought about a shift in the world power structure harking back to a multipolar system, which by its very nature, is fraught with complex and grave dangers.
The everyday struggle for survival by the poor and powerless in both developing and industrialized countries hangs like millstones around their necks in the same way as the nuclear Sword of Damocles hangs over the world.
In the existing global situation, Cheddi Jagan’s call for a New Global Human Order is as relevant today as it was when it was first adumbrated.
Guyana will be entering the new year with the promise of a good life manifesting itself primarily with the gifting of boots, boats, buses, breakfasts and plantain chip factories.
Thousands of sugar workers will join the breadline, teachers will continue to be fooled. And workers and farmers will continue to feel the brunt of an economy that will continue to plummet downwards, the optimism of the ruling elite notwithstanding.
The crime situation will continue to chase away, if not scare visitors and potential visitors from abroad, while wreaking havoc on the lives of many Guyanese at home.
Scandals and the manifestation of corruption, malfeasance, nepotism and favouritism, compounded by racial and political discrimination, violations of individuals’ constitutional rights, threats and trumped up charges against opposition leaders will be the order of the day in 2018.
The trampling on parliamentary privilege, the abuse of the Standing Orders, persistent harassment by the Speaker of the House, the rubber stamping and railroading of bills through the National Assembly will continue in 2018, much to the distress and frustration of the political opposition, forcing them to increasingly resort more and more to extra-parliamentary struggles involving the popular masses.
The political opposition will be called upon to be more inclusive, accommodating and flexible in its relationship with other social organizations as they step up their demands, through mass struggle for constitutional reform and free and fair elections at the municipal and regional and national levels.
The critical and burning question of tactical and strategic electoral alliances will emerge as a matter of top priority for political and social forces in the course of the new year. In this respect, consensus building on matters of policy and candidatures will pose a major challenge for all stakeholders.
In the months ahead, the ruling APNU+AFC is likely to become more and more isolated as it lurches from pillar to post in its quest for political survival, characterized by the increasing fracturing of the alliance.
With cracks in the ruling elite, growing political instability, increasing protests and restlessness by the working people under deteriorating socio-economic conditions, a revolutionary situation is bound to emerge. That political process, if skilfully led and directed, can result in a democratic and constitutional change of government come 2020.
In this situation, the political opposition must prepare to defend its organizational structures and its members as well as its gains, since the ruling elite will have to depend more and more on repression and oppression to maintain itself in office.
Clement J Rohee