2020 is just around the cor­ner

Weekend Mirror - - EDITORIAL -

I write in re­sponse to the Kai­eteur News ed­i­to­rial of Septem­ber 14, “A Bro­ken Party.” The ed­i­to­rial of a news­pa­per is meant to re­flect the opin­ion of that medium on the is­sue, I do not believe this ar­ti­cle was writ­ten by the Ed­i­tor-in-Chief, Adam Har­ris, nor does it re­flect the views of its pub­lisher, Glenn Lall. Nei­ther is so naive as to believe that the Peo­ple’s Pro­gres­sive Party is “a bro­ken party.”

This ed­i­to­rial re­flects such bias views and ar­ro­gant con­tempt for the PPP, that it is most likely writ­ten by some­one with the mind­set of a Fred­die Kis­soon, al­though Fred­die is not that naive ei­ther.

The ed­i­to­rial be­gins, “History has shown that the Peo­ple’s Pro­gres­sive Party (PPP) has de­scended into an abyss of a mere vote-get­ting ma­chine based on race pol­i­tics bent on di­vid­ing the coun­try.” Surly, this “ed­i­tor” is ig­no­rant of the po­lit­i­cal history of the coun­try, and should have done some re­search be­fore putting his pen into gear. With all the ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties that took part dur­ing the 2015 Gen­eral Elec­tion, the PPP/C se­cured 202,694 votes to the APNU+AFC 207,200 votes, a difference of 4,506 votes. In 2011, the APNU and the AFC con­tested sep­a­rately, but se­cured a total of 175,011 votes, com­pared to 166,340 for the PPP/C (source: GECOM).

Then at the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Elec­tions in March 2016, the PPP/C won 24,894 MORE VOTES than the govern­ing APNU+AFC, se­cur­ing 48 NDCs in the sev­enty (70) Lo­cal Author­ity Ar­eas con­tested. These results clearly demon­strate that the PPP is still the largest po­lit­i­cal party in the coun­try. This, dear ed­i­tor, is our history as doc­u­mented by GECOM, and no ra­tio­nal per­son would de­scribe this as a “bro­ken party”.

But it gets even more ab­surd. This Kai­eteur News “ed­i­tor” prop­a­gates, “The PPP is dis­tinc­tive from other po­lit­i­cal par­ties in Guyana be­cause it is cor­rupt and crooked. It does not have a vi­sion and the chal­lenge its mem­bers face to­day is new lead­er­ship. The party is at a crit­i­cal cross­road, it is a bro­ken party, and its mem­bers are ask­ing se­ri­ous ques­tions about its fu­ture, its lead­er­ship and what role it can ex­er­cise in the fu­ture gov­er­nance of the coun­try.” Well now, this di­a­tribe is be­gin­ning to sound more like an Abel See­taram on pethi­dine.

So be­fore I re­spond to the non­sense spewed in this so-called “ed­i­to­rial”, let me once again for trans­parency and self-dis­clo­sure, ad­mit that I was once a fierce critic of for­mer Pres­i­dent Bhar­rat Jagdeo and his PPP Ad­min­is­tra­tion. While liv­ing in New York, my hunger for news out of Guyana caused me to be neg­a­tively in­flu­enced by the on­slaught of news crit­i­cal to the PPP gov­ern­ment, prop­a­gated by the lo­cal on­line press and Mark Ben­schop on his hate ra­dio. With­out facts or ev­i­dence, I too joined the mis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign, and ma­li­ciously ac­cused the Jagdeo Ad­min­is­tra­tion of cor­rup­tion in much the same way as this ad­min­is­tra­tion is do­ing now. But then, af­ter re­turn­ing reg­u­larly on va­ca­tions, I was able to see first­hand, the meta­mor­pho­sis that had taken place from the hope­less­ness I had left be­hind when I mi­grated dur­ing the reign of the PNC. For de­spite the al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion pros­per­ity was ev­i­dent ev­ery­where. Guyanese owned more cars and beau­ti­ful homes that ever be­fore. There were new schools and hos­pi­tals and a net­work of beau­ti­fully paved roads. Guyanese had jobs and money in their pock­ets. Black­outs were rapidly di­min­ish­ing. The crime rate was still too high and there were pock­ets of prob­lems of course, but in gen­eral, peo­ple were mostly happy.

The po­lit­i­cal land­scape in Guyana is a vi­cious one, and it is very easy to ped­dle lies and mis­in­for­ma­tion and slan­der ones char­ac­ter for po­lit­i­cal gains.

The APNU+AFC has a strat­egy to re­tain power in 2020. It is ruth­less, and re­lies on the un­scrupu­lous tac­tics the PNC had been us­ing ef­fec­tively for years against the PPP. Tac­tics that have res­onated well with their po­lit­i­cal base. The APNU+AFC re-elec­tion cam­paign strat­egy is now known. The strat­egy has been leaked by the Basil Wil­liams emails and fo­cused of three main ar­eas:

They will, “Keep pro­pa­gan­diz­ing on the is­sue of hav­ing in­her­ited an empty trea­sury” from the PPP in 2015.

They will “con­tinue to re­state that the econ­omy was sur­viv­ing on drug money.” And

They will “con­tinue to prod fa­vor­able me­dia houses and so­cial me­dia op­er­a­tives so that they fur­ther fuel the per­cep­tion that the PPP is racist.”

It is now ob­vi­ous from the con­tent of this ed­i­to­rial that some­one is us­ing Kai­eteur News to help the govern­ing APNU+AFC achieve this ob­jec­tive.

With all the scan­dals; lack of per­for­mance and bro­ken prom­ises, the APNU+AFC is get­ting more des­per­ate now. They can no longer play the “anti-cor­rup­tion” card be­cause they are now cor­rupt. They can no longer play the “eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment” card be­cause the econ­omy is strug­gling and there are no in­vestors lin­ing up to come to Guyana. Nei­ther can they play the “in­crease so­cial wel­fare” card be­cause with the lack of jobs, in­creased taxes and 14% VAT on wa­ter and elec­tric­ity, more poverty and crim­i­nals are be­ing cre­ated. All the good cam­paign rhetoric have been de­stroyed in their first two years in gov­ern­ment. So now, as peo­ple start drift­ing from them, they pull out the only op­tion left avail­able, the race card. And they will use what­ever means nec­es­sary, with the aid of “fa­vor­able me­dia houses”, Com­mis­sion of In­quires, Eric Phillips and oth­ers to get that mes­sage out, even though they have no cred­i­bil­ity on im­prov­ing race re­la­tions. Af­ter all, this is the same gov­ern­ment who fired ev­ery Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary (PS) of In­dian de­scent af­ter tak­ing of­fice, and only sent home one PS that was Afro-Guyanese. And this had noth­ing to do with the pol­i­tics, qual­i­fi­ca­tions or com­pe­tence of those fired, for they were all highly trained and com­pe­tent civil ser­vants. But rather, their race and eth­nic­ity!

While there is no doubt that the bulk of the PPP sup­port­ers comes from Indo-Guyanese. I have heard the Party Gen­eral Sec­re­tary men­tioned re­peat­edly at the PPP Congress and at meet­ings through Guyana, that the PPP is a multi-ra­cial Party and have wel­comed Afro-Guyanese to be part of this cul­ture.

As I have said be­fore, the Granger Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s great­est fear is hav­ing to com­pete against a highly mo­ti­vated PPP/C in 2020 with Bhar­rat Jagdeo as its Pres­i­den­tial Can­di­date. So, for this ed­i­to­rial to sug­gest that the PPP “is no longer a vi­brant po­lit­i­cal party and has no cen­tral­ized mes­sage”, tells me that the writer has not been read­ing the news, the let­ter col­umns, nor at­tend­ing the weekly press con­fer­ences at the Of­fice of the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion. For this “ed­i­tor” is ei­ther de­lib­er­ately prop­a­gat­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion, or ma­li­ciously try­ing to plant the seed of doubt in the minds of our sup­port­ers by in­sin­u­at­ing that there is con­fu­sion and ri­valry within the Party struc­ture. He wrote, “Al­though they will not speak pub­licly about it, many of its sup­port­ers have never re­ally trusted their present leader or have truly re­spected his in­tel­lect, but would not speak pub­licly about it. They wanted an in­fu­sion of trans­for­ma­tive and vi­sion­ary lead­er­ship but this will not hap­pen with its cur­rent leader at the helm.”

I am stunned that this piece of garbage was al­lowed to be pub­lished and de­fame the col­umn that is as­so­ciated with my friend, Ed­i­tor-in-Chief, Adam Har­ris. This is not his style, he did not write this. But I will say this em­phat­i­cally:

There is no di­vi­sion within the rank and file of the Peo­ple’s Pro­gres­sive Party. Those rice farm­ers who were fooled by the $9,000 a bag for paddy, and the sugar work­ers conned into believ­ing they would get a 25% in­crease, have al­ready re­turned home. The mem­bers of the Peo­ple’s Pro­gres­sive Party stand firmly and united be­hind our Leader and Gen­eral Sec­re­tary, the right Honor­able Dr Bhar­rat Jagdeo. There is no other politi­cian in Guyana to­day that is more loved, ad­mired, re­spected and knowl­edge­able like Jagdeo, and there is no other that is more feared too, just ask the Lead­ers of the govern­ing APNU and AFC.

Un­like the Granger Ad­min­is­tra­tion that gov­erns by trial and er­ror, the PPP has an abun­dance of vi­sion­ary lead­ers with the proven track record to run this gov­ern­ment from day one. Those that were once anx­ious to see the backs of the PPP are anx­iously await­ing their re­turn to gov­ern­ment. The good news is, 2020 is just around the cor­ner.

HARRY GILL PPP/C Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Guyana

© PressReader. All rights reserved.