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Posts Tagged ‘Bharrat Jagdeo’

Dr Bharrat Jagdeo and Dr Frank Anthony begging not to be sent to jail

May 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Bharrat Jagdeo & Frank Anthony begging not to get sent to jail

Bharrat Who? Some Jagdeo legacies #corruption

August 29, 2014 Leave a comment

I know that I have had cause to express my curious appreciation of those columnists and dedicated letter writers – based in Georgetown and overseas – who, virtually, daily, lambaste Bharrat Jagdeo, his heirs and wannabes, most relentlessly with a view to regime change.

(I wouldn’t know how to do it with such pointed frequency, even though I have nothing against those gentlemen’s ultimate success.)

Incidentally “when yuh own louse bite yuh…” Research how many of today’s harshest, most strident critics were once in the same room with the matured Donald and young Bharrat. And silly me! Why do I keep wondering what would have been happening today if Moses or Ralph Hari Narayen had secured the PPP/C vote for Presidential nominee?

Perhaps my latter personal puzzle is the motivation for returning to what was, by around 1995, the Bharrat Jagdeo enigma. Along with the phenomenon of how, with electric swiftness, to the chagrin of his comradely seniors, the relative enigma became profound reality! With indelible consequences for his own party and our own country. (Recall too my sustained wonderment with regard to normally upright persons of ability, values and integrity, serving a regime who stole the people’s will for years.)

Bharrat Who?

Young Bright Burnham returned to British Guiana just in time to be embraced by Young Cheddi Jagan, only to swiftly become Jagan’s relentless nemesis. Old PPP knowledgeables still around would recall Burnham’s political acumen, inclusive of the “race-card” dealt to him, between ’53, ’55 and ’57. Fast-forward to ’92, ’95, ’97.

Out of the political blue arrived a young Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO) East Coast Demerara member; briefly a school teacher who went to Moscow to become an economist, returned to work with the PNC’s Haslyn Parris at the State Planning Secretariat, then emerged after the PPP/C returned to government near the end of 1992.

Like Cheddi his mentor, he had a rustic charm, deceptive smile and, privately, vast ambition. The latter fuelled by the Jagans – especially Comrade Janet.

Travelling with Cheddi and Senior Finance Minister Asgar Ally, young Soviet-trained Bharrat enjoyed a relatively brief apprenticeship before becoming full Finance Minister after the 1997 elections. Cheddi had passed on months before in ’97. But young Bharrat was moving forward. Like lightning!

I could not agree with the nastiness on the streets when Comrade Joe Hamilton, Aubrey and other PNC “militants” demonized Janet Jagan after the 1997 Elections. Say what you like she was a political Amazon.

Like Comrade Carberry I didn’t care about her being my President. She succumbed to the pressure of the streets and law courts and failing health.

Recall, then the unprecedented, governmental musical chairs organized by Comrade Janet: Young Jagdeo was made Prime Minister, President Jagan resigned. Prime Minister Jagdeo became President and re-appointed Samuel Hinds as P.M. all in four or five days! All politically vulgar, but constitutionally acceptable.

President Jagdeo, role and legacies

Manufactured and Readymade! Made in Janetland! My Guyana had her Bharrat as President of our Republic. I understood the hurt of such loyal “Cheddi Children” as Reepu, Moses, Navin, Clement, Ralph, even Roger and Robeson.

Look, even I, who had grown weary of my erstwhile PNC strategies and excesses, looked forward to what this baggage-less new Kid-on-the Political Block (literally a “kid”!) would offer.

I wrote about the “new Bharrat” as, mistakenly, many thought Cheddi was “a Bharrat” once. I did a whole newspaper supplement on his first 100 days. Such hope as he posed with Linden’s Afro-Girl students! Swiftly, President Jagdeo shed his masks and, Putin-like, even did some Forbes Burnham-like things. He seemingly made his Party secondary. He grasped Presidential and Constitutional authority. At his swearing-in he said Cde Janet would “always be (his) President”. Later he would describe her as “an ordinary citizen sharing her views”. There was venomous aggression against both Party and external critics. Old Cheddi stalwarts were immobilized, co-opted, hushed or evicted.

Enter the Real Jagdeo!

Unlike other more hostile commentators and political analysts, I can’t ignore the strengths and positives of leaders. However temporary, strategic or meant to deceive.

Mr Jagdeo did steady and sustain an erratic exchange rate – – even if his parallel market had something to do with that; he did seek out a more robust continental foreign initiative with Venezuela (Chavez), Brazil (Lula) and Suriname (the Doubtful Desi); Jagdeo did attempt massive infrastructural works – – even if many contractors never built dreams before; he withstood a five-year crime wave, eventually getting the murderous gang; he catapulted Guyana onto ­the Global Climate Change/Forest Preservation Map and he was a Master of Showpieces – ICC World Cup at new Stadium, Carifesta 10 and Jamzones many.

His loyalists of the current new PPP recently responded to a litany of his failed Presidency by presenting their own Super List of his Achievements – from the Law-of-the-Sea triumph over Suriname’s claim to his weathering the international financial meltdown. Good for them. But really, how will Bharrat be remembered? Not because of what people write and assess, but by the thousands of poverty-challenged citizens of this Blighted Land?

A powerful, petulant,

President’s (PPP) Legacy?

Jagdeo was masterful in having the selected Ramotar declare that, as President, he (Ramotar) would “continue” the policies of Jagdeo. Great for Bharrat, Catastrophe for our poor and powerless.

Frankly Speaking, to me, this lad from the fishing village of Unity, now known by the UN, Caricom, South America and the world, succumbed to the virus of unmitigated power, power that immobilised even successive bright intellectual opposition(s).

From Virgin Lands, Guysuco’s retired acreages; the so-called “Commanding Heights of the Economy”, the Private Sector, Investment Opportunities and Parliament, to even the electronic spectrum, Jagdeo channelled to his buddies. Using from nepotism, new legal entities, fronts, sleight-of-hand to retroactive legislation.

Frankly Speaking, young Bharrat made young Black Professional Persons seem like either an endangered species – or extinct. His is a powerful “legacy” of Indo-names in every sphere of authority, power, status and public life.

Sadly, even if not of his doing, under his watch sugar collapsed, crime and cocaine reigned, extra-judicial killings soared, greed submerged even sport, institutions were compromised and national morality plummeted as thousands fled and his own folks also suffered. And still suffer. Now add your List.

What is to be done?

The perennial question! What have been the Opposition responses to the Jagdeo legacy since he departed from Office but not from influence?

Unfortunately I’ll have to return to this as time and space shackle me here. (Just don’t ask Chris Ram that question). To me the Ramotar fellows – and Madame Gail – have done a fine job to stymie any effective measures the Brigadier’s Opposition have mounted. The Administration has used judicial challenges and delays to a fine art.

Budget challenges are by-passed, contracts are awarded like ice-cream and the PPP/C boys are rewarding themselves for any eventualities. Hail now the AFC’s No-Confidence motion! But wait! What’s in store for the Opposition? Stay connected.

Consider…

*1) Old PPP fellows tell me they get Bharrat livid by telling him that – “is you mansion and pension mek we lose de majority. What America, Britain and de PNC fail at you manage to do!”

Til next week!

(allanafenty@yahoo.com)

Guyana badly needs a national political bath

June 3, 2014 Leave a comment

June 3, 2014 · By Staff Writer

Dear Editor,

The nonsense of our political independence has reached worrying heights. Our children –Amerindians, African, Indians, Portuguese, Chinese, and a melody of mixes – are naturally apt and quick to learn. But the manner in which they acquire their education is not up to par with trends in the developing world. They are exposed to low educational standards and their teachers are not the best, though there are some notable exceptions. They are taught more about Shakespeare than Shaka, more about Galileo than Gandhi. They are quick to emulate and embrace foreign elements but ignore their own because their leaders have done so. Everywhere you go in Guyana you will see that the once dread colonialists are back in different shades and forms buying, selling and occupying properties left and right. They have come to occupy as well as wine and dine in the finest edifices Guyana has to offer. They have the tendency to invite a few locals into their circle explaining to them in discreet terms that this is the rightful place to be. But ask them to close the door behind them because they have earned a seat at their table. Our leaders and the desperate still run to these individuals to solve Guyana’s problems. What is the meaning of independence?

Then there is Georgetown which for some bizarre reason missed being renamed. There are GuySuCo, Guyoil, Guybridge, but not Guytown. However, this city has claimed a name of its own: Garbage Town. Nonetheless, every major institution in Guyana is located in the capital city reflecting a sort of internal colonialism. The rest of the country, including Berbice, has been in a state of perpetual monotony. People there go to bed early and wake up early. If the colonialists were to return, they would certainly recognize Berbice. More than fifty per cent of the people use latrines and open sewage as well as piles and piles of garbage, like Guytown, is a common sight. Yet, the current administration is in power principally because of the votes it receives from this region.

Then there are the media through which many Guyanese have come to express themselves. The print media are described as free as the air. But there are limitations. Open criticism of the government and exposure of peccadilloes are not tolerated. Nowhere in the world does one find an ex-President suing a columnist. Now, we have a Mayor suing a newspaper.

Then there are our politicians who shake hands with the world on daily basis either through direct personal contact, through diplomacy, or through the social media. One would expect that from this experience there should be some impetus for checks and balances and not opportunities to become paternal despots. What we have in Guyana are the politics of the donkeycart instead of democracy; the politics of personality instead of policy; the politics of antagonism instead of achievement. All this means stagnation instead of progress; decadence, dissatisfaction and disintegration instead of determination. We have hit rock bottom in Guyana. What a national shame! What a national nightmare! What a national disgrace! Guyana badly needs a national political bath.

Yours faithfully,
Lomarsh Roopnarine

http://www.stabroeknews.com/2014/opinion/letters/06/03/guyana-badly-needs-national-political-bath/

I still cannot believe that Guyanese are this slow & thick in the head

March 7, 2014 Leave a comment

Some things have to be spelt out

 March 6, 2014 · By Staff Writer

Dear Editor,

I still cannot believe that Guyanese are this slow and thick in the head.  Do they really need Lear jets, car accidents, and police derelictin to drive home their status, or lack of any, in this society?  Since some things have to be spelt out; I step up to do the honours.

If they did not realize and appreciate their lowly meaningless position before, now is the time for the great majority of citizens to get wise.

They are peasants, and peasants of the lowest sort in the eyes of the ruling aristocracy.  Whether professional or poor, credentialled or illiterate, successful or struggling, Guyanese outside of the upper political echelon are mere peasants, part of the labouring class, and just plain working stiffs.  They are non-existent mass coalesced at the bottom of the barrel, and they can like it or lump it.

Their lot is the Georgetown Hospital; it is why so much volume and ink are expended from the power brokers to enlighten the masses of its existence and stellar virtues.  Peasants go to the ‘public hospital’ or private ones, if they can so afford.  The political nobility go overseas to cool their fevers and deliver their babies, compliments of the longsuffering overburdened Guyanese taxpayers.  I regret to say that these same taxpayers have more suffering and burdens on the way.  Those who need details on the overseas babies can check with the sitting ministers.

Moving from health matters, ordinary citizens (peasants) are jailed, do not get bail, and get the book thrown at them for running afoul of the law.

On the other hand, minsters and their offspring enjoy near absolute immunity.  They are above and beyond routine police and court procedures; or the police go through some hazy somnambulist motions to mislead the public.  Before long issue and alleged perpetrator fade from view and memory.  In fairness to the senior officials, the self-discovered eighth wonder of the Guyanese underworld had it right when he said: no invitation extended by the police.  Thus, the high road is taken, literally and chemically.

Here is the bottom line: domestic political lawbreakers answer to no law and no one, save themselves.  Citizens are encouraged to embrace second class (or third class) status, and grin and bear.

The latest polls and propaganda reports indicate that they are most delighted to comply, and are thankful for where they are. In the meantime, peasants struggle with their house lots and mortgages in regular housing schemes, while the political royalty reside in Johannesburg.  That is better known locally as Pradoville 2, the latest representation of economic and social apartheid, Guyanese style.  The cradle of crooked luxury it is, conceived in perversity.  This is la dolce vita for the top dogs; regular ‘common breed’ dogs have to fend for themselves amidst heavy competition, and a scarcity of opportunity and essentials.

The lords of the manor call this democracy; I call it criminality.

Clearly, in nearly every aspect of Guyanese life, the yawning dismal disparity grows into an ecstasy of sullenness.  Rarely have so few done so much wrong to so many, and gotten away with it.  There is more in store.

 Yours faithfully,

GHK Lall

http://www.stabroeknews.com/2014/opinion/letters/03/06/things-spelt/

 

Categories: PPP Tags: ,

Guyana & Haiti are the two most corrupt countries in the Caribbean

December 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Guyana most corrupt country in English-speaking Caribbean
DECEMBER 6, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS
-watchdog body calls for Procurement Commission, new Integrity Commission,
“When desperately needed development funds are stolen by corrupt individuals and institutions, poor and vulnerable people are robbed of the education, health care and other essential services.”- UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon
Four days before the world observes the United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day, new rankings have placed Guyana as the most corrupt country in English-speaking Caribbean countries.
According to rankings released yesterday by watchdog corruption body, Transparency International (TI), the 2012 Annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) has placed Guyana at a lowly 133 out of total of 174 countries. Guyana managed a miserly 28 points out of 100.
And in the presentation of the Transparency International findings, head of the local chapter, Attorney at Law, Gino Persaud, and Secretary Frederick Collins, both lauded Kaieteur News which has been highlighting corruption in Guyana.
The newspaper has been investigating the various contracts issued under questionable circumstances and examining the numerous projects, many of which were believed to be overpriced.

TIGI officials: From left is Vice-President, Dr. Anand Goolsarran; President, Gino Persaud and Director, Frederick Collins.
The results were released by Transparency Institute Guyana Inc. (TIGI), the local contact of TI.
TI would have conducted its surveys gauging perceptions to corruption by examining relations in the public sector, the local police, Customs, procurement and doing business.
The index has become a signature tool widely used around the globe to measure the perceived levels of public sector corruption in countries and looked at keenly by investors and multilateral lending agencies.
Denmark, Finland and New Zealand tie for first place with scores of 90, helped by strong access to information systems and rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions.
Guyana tied Comoros, Honduras, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Russia.
“This ranking places us at the bottom of the English Speaking Caribbean with only Haiti below us at 165. It is noteworthy that in the Caribbean, Barbados ranks at 15 with a score of 76; both St. Lucia and Bahamas rank at 22 with a score of 71 and St. Vincent and the Grenadines rank at 36 with a score of 62,” TIG’s President, Gino Persaud said during a press conference at the offices of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) on Waterloo Street.
Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia once again cling to the bottom rung of the index. In these countries, the lack of accountable leadership and effective public institutions underscore the need to take a much stronger stance against corruption.
At the press conference also were former Auditor General, Dr. Anand Goolsarran, who is TIGI’s Vice President; and Director, Frederick Collins.
Persaud, a lawyer, said that the advocacy body will be writing government on the findings of the index.
Integrity Commission…
TIGI listed a number of measures that Government will have to implement to raise Guyana’s rankings. These include the appointment of competent and independent members of the Integrity Commission to scrutinize the financial disclosures of politicians and bureaucrats and with adequate staff and resources to ensure the Commission can adequately fulfill its mandate.
Persaud noted that Prime Minister Sam Hinds in June had promised to have new members of the Integrity Commission sworn within a week.
Among other things TIGI is also calling for the urgent appointment of members of the Public Procurement Commission to regulate government contracts and minimize their involvement; the implementation of modern anti-corruption legislation; implementation of whistle-blowing legislation; the enforcement of existing anti-corruption laws by investigating and prosecuting the corrupt and the strengthening of existing anti-corruption institutions such as the Guyana Police Force and the Financial Intelligence established under the money laundering legislation.
“These institutions are weak and unable to counter serious white collar crime and corrupt activities,” Persaud said in his read statement.
Guyana should also appoint an Ombudsman to address grievances from members of the public; ensure that all public monies are placed to the credit of the Consolidated Fund, and no public expenditure must be incurred without Parliamentary approval.
TIGI also called for all appointments to public offices to be advertised and made with due regard to technical competence, and not loyalty; and for the Access to Information Act passed in Parliament to be strengthened and made operational.
TIGI also called for the strengthening of civil society and for organisations such as the Guyana Bar Association, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Private Sector Commission, Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and the Guyana Press Association to become more involved in combating corruption by speaking out against corruption and being proactive within its own membership on tackling corruption and by partnering with us for collective efforts.
“We call on the press corps to be more vigilant in acting as a professional, impartial and responsible watchdog body against corruption.”
Corruption exists
According to Goolsarran, most countries are doing everything possible to “get to the top of the table” of rankings. He urged, as a start, that government accept the index in good faith and do something about it.
The officials drew reference to a judge in Brazil who targeted a number of politicians close to former President Lula and who was the laughing stock of many. The politicians were brought to trial.
Asked to comment on the impact of the findings, Dr Goolsarran said that serious investors use the findings by Transparency International to determine whether they would invest in a country. Many have opted to cancel plans for investment in Guyana.
TIGI is seeking funding now to educate Guyanese and will seek to meet with government and Members of the Parliament to discuss the issue which ultimately affects the way Guyana is perceived.
The TIGI officials refused to be drawn into answering questions whether President Donald Ramotar had done enough to tackle corruption in Guyana.
According to Collins, newspaper reporters and even the Auditor General’s annual report have been indicators of the situation of corruption in Guyana.
TIGI also disclosed that it has been asked by the Minister of Natural Resources to work with his Ministry on mining, an area which has been besotted with issues of corruption and lawlessness in recent years.
According to TIGI, the index demonstrates that corruption continues to ravage societies around the globe. Two-thirds of the 176 countries ranked in the 2012 index score below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean), showing that public institutions need to be more transparent, and powerful officials held more accountable.
According to Huguette Labelle, the Chair of Transparency International, “Governments need to integrate anti-corruption actions into all public decision-making. Priorities include better rules on lobbying and political financing, making public spending and contracting more transparent and making public bodies more accountable to people. After a year of focus on corruption, we expect governments to take a tougher stance against the abuse of power.”
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon has said that corruption afflicts all countries, undermining social progress and breeding inequality and injustice.
“When desperately needed development funds are stolen by corrupt individuals and institutions, poor and vulnerable people are robbed of the education, health care and other essential services. All of us have a responsibility to take action against the cancer of corruption.”
The private sector, too, stands to gain enormously from effective action, he said. “Corruption distorts markets, increases costs for companies and ultimately punishes consumers.”
According to the BBC, corruption was the world’s most talked about issue in 2010 and 2011.
http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2012/12/06/guyana-most-corrupt-country-in-english-speaking-caribbean/

Ramotar administration is a mirror image of the corruption, thievery, drugs & nepotism that were the hallmark of the Jadgeo

November 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Donald Ramotar has lived up to the expectations of his detractors
NOVEMBER 4, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
Dear Editor,
It was clear to many political observers and other interested parties that the Peoples Progressive Party Civic, did not field the best candidate at the November 2011 elections. The critics at that time argued that Ramotar was weak and an untested; that he was not a critical thinker and had never held elected office or managed any complex governmental or non-governmental organization. Ramotar was perceived as a party hack, who was hand chosen by then president Bharatt Jagdeo, for all of the reasons mentioned.
However, in keeping with Stalinist tradition the other more prepared and credible candidates all bowed out and acceded to the dictate of the Jagdeo faction at Freedom House. To be fair there were voices that championed the candidacy of Donald Ramotar, they claimed that he was a man who had come from humble beginnings and was involved in the labour movement, that he was a fair and honest man; in other words he was not Jagdeo. Today as we approach the one year anniversary of the Ramotar presidency what I find interesting but not surprising is that the naysayers were right. Donald Ramotar the seventh president of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana has lived up to the expectations of his detractors; he is a weak, ineffective and visionless head of state.
In December 2011 at his inauguration president Ramotar told the nation that he would appoint his cabinet in two days and even flirted with the possibility of a cross-party government. Integrity, inclusivity and impartiality were the hallmark of a well balanced inaugural address; however, forty eight hours later Ramotar retained his predecessor’s cabinet, dashing all hopes for inclusivity, integrity and impartiality.
Within days of forming his new government, on December 6th 2011 peaceful demonstrators were shot by the police while processing in Georgetown. This was followed by a bitter budget debate that saw for the first time in recorded history a sitting government picketing against the parliamentary opposition. Ramotar had promised that he was prepared to work together with all the political parties and stakeholders, but when it came to the National Budget, his minority government was not prepared to work with the Parliamentary majority APNU/AFC.
The budget crisis spawned the Linden electricity crisis, when the PPPC government imposed on the people of Linden an undue hardship (an increase in the electric tariff), without negotiating or consulting with the peoples representatives. In his inaugural address president Ramotar spoke of the exciting task of creating opportunities for all Guyanese, yet within three months of taking office he was imposing a draconian tax on a community (Linden) where 70% of the people are unemployed or severely under-employed.
It was becoming quite clear that the new Head of State’s rhetoric were equidistant from his actions and his government’s treatment of the poor and depressed communities. As the situation escalated at Linden and the people and their Regional and national leaders called on the president to meet with them, to sit down and listen and consult, this president refused. Then came July 18th 2012 and three young men were brutally murdered after the Guyana Police Force again opened fire on peaceful protestors at the Mackenzie-Linden bridge.
The following day the president met with the Opposition Leader and Regional representatives, but by this time it was too late; property would be destroyed and more people would be shot by the police, all because of a government’s refusal to meet it constitutional mandate of consulting with the people and their elected representatives. Consumed by crisis, and showing no real flair for bold and innovative leadership, the Ramotar administration continued as a mirror image of the corruption, thievery, drugs and nepotism that were the hallmark of the Jadgeo years.
Once again innocents lives of young African men were taken, killed at the hands of the police; Shaquille Grant at Agricola; Dameon Belgrave in Georgetown.
In a side note, it was no surprise a few days ago that the longest serving member of the cabinet and president Ramotar’s Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee admitted under oath, when answering a question from Attorney Basil Williams(at the Linden Commission of Inquiry), that he(Rohee) was not a visionary. So, with a head of state that has proven to be weak, ineffective and visionless, surrounded by a cabinet that is mediocre for the most part, but generally less than stellar there is not much hope for the ensuing period of the Ramotar presidency.
Mr. Editor I truly searched for something complimentary to say about this period, but all I could find was controversy and conflict. In a country where most of the people would be classified as poor, the Ramotar government celebrates things and calibrates its development based on big buildings, poorly conceived roads and brand name hotels rather than human development.
The level of unemployment in this country is unsustainable, the under education of our children and the school dropout rate nationally is unsustainable, the crime situation and the lawlessness of our law enforcement agencies is unsustainable, yet this president has been deathly silent and has failed to lead on all of these important issues facing our nation.
Even if one graded on a curve it would be difficult to give this president anything but a failing grade in his first year in office.
Mark Archer

After 20 years of the PPP, Guyana remains a semi-primitive society

October 23, 2012 2 comments

Dear Editor,

Ten months after the Jagdeo/Ramotar regime promised to end corruption and create jobs, we are left to wonder what the regime has done so far. Not only they have not reduced corruption and created jobs but they seem incapable of easing the burden on the poor and the working class. With unemployment on the rise, the PPP regime has been shown to be devoid of a feel for the economic reality in the country. Mr. Ramotar’s most recent statement that he will modernize Guyana is nothing more than a propaganda exploit. After 20 years of PPP rule, Guyana remains a semi-primitive society where people have to wait for extremely long hours in lines for service from every government department/agency, the traffic lights are in a mess, public hospitals are in shambles, and despite Priya Manickchand’s saying that all is well, public schools and UG are collapsing. In addition, constant power outages and the lack of potable water have become the norm, Georgetown is now the garbage/stink city instead of the Garden City, crimes have spiralled out of control and corruption has reached new heights never seen before in Guyana. But the fact that the cabal says the country is developing shows that the PPP regime is in denial.

President Ramotar’s refusal to change course is truly a nightmare. He has failed in his most important duty as President to correct the failed and corrupt policies of the previous regime. In office for almost a year, Mr. Ramotar did little more than play night watchman over the policies he inherited from Jagdeo. He did not even bother to give any of his predecessor’s policies a little tweak to convince the nation that he is making the necessary changes to ease the burden on the poor and the working class. This type of behaviour is difficult to explain to the average Guyanese except for the fact that coming from the corridors of Freedom House; it is a normal course of action.

We had hoped that having experienced the consequences of Jagdeo’s unpreparedness to deal with crime, corruption, and the trafficking of narcotics, President Ramotar would have been better prepared to address them. By now, his government should have had plans to restructure the country’s fiscal, monetary and trade policies to increase economic output and provide greater economic opportunity for the people while at the same time tackle corruption, crime, and the illegal trafficking of drugs. But this PPP regime seemed to have come to office with nothing more than dreams of ending corruption and the delusionary idea that employment can be created without an economic development plan.

Apart from that, the 2011 elections proved to be an act of providence for the combined parliamentary opposition parties—AFC and APNU. The opposition’s unique perspective of being the architect of a majority in Parliament gave them a better-than-average chance of developing strategies that could begin the process of correcting past mistakes and charting a new course towards real economic development. For the opposition to be taken seriously by the people, it has to pressure the Jagdeo/Ramotar regime to reduce VAT, create jobs, provide tangible increases in wages for civil/public servants, and establish the Procurement Commission and an Anti-Corruption Agency.

But the AFC and APNU have squandered this rare privilege and instead spent their time engaged in squabbling over inconsequential issues unrelated to the reality of the country’s economic and social dilemma and the urgent need to radically change the parlous state of the poor and the working class. This is clearly revealed by the fact that the list of issues the majority opposition have dealt with in Parliament is hardly recognizable in anything that would improve the lives of the poor and the working class.

That there has been no real progress by the majority opposition is not surprising. We have pointed out in previous letters that the PPP regime is lacking in substance but are we to believe that the combined opposition is no better prepared to tackle and improve the country‘s economic and social problems?

For more than a decade, Guyana’s finances have been grossly mismanaged by the Jagdeo regime. Today CLICO is bankrupt; the NIS is in dire financial straits and NICIL cannot account for millions of taxpayers’ dollars. The depth of the country’s financial crisis cannot be denied. Yet the PPP regime is in denial of this reality. They do not seem to grasp the urgency of the situation. What is required are honesty and a set of realistic goals to weed out corruption, create jobs and chart a pragmatic course that will improve the lives of the poor and the working class.

Because the PPP cabal controls the purse strings, it has been very easy for them to influence the electorate with baseless promises and illusory goals. The poor and the working class has for too long been the victim of this kind of crooked leadership. The PPP’s politics over the years has been nourished by racial voting which they have used to make a section of the population gullible. Its leaders have always said that “the people are their greatest asset.” Yet they have been selling them a pie in the sky at election time rather than telling them the truth. Wake up people!

Yours faithfully,
Dr. Asquith Rose
and Harish S. Singh