PPPC in denial of November 28 results-GHRA
- says any snap elections will again be along racial lines
The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) has blasted government yesterday saying it appears that the ruling party, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is in denial of the November 28 elections results.
The ruling party, which lost the majority in Parliament, is struggling with a determined opposition which holds a one-seat advantage.
With a huge budget cut and several troubling motions tabled by the opposition, Guyana and the PPP/C are both in uncharted waters.
GHRA, a watchdog body, said that the recent budget exercise was the first parliamentary expression of the division of political power produced by the results of national elections in November 2011. GHRA is referring to the unprecedented actions by the opposition to slash a massive $21B from the budget, sparking a number of protests by workers of especially government agencies.
According to GHRA, the fact that a ruling party was unable to “rubber stamp” its budget through the Parliament for the first time since 1968, is in itself a welcome sign of democratic evolution.
“Unfortunately, the present ruling party, rather than take credit for democratic progress, appears to remain in denial of the November election results. Excessive language describing the opposition as ‘dictatorial’; pressuring public sector workers to demonstrate in front of Parliament; holding candlelight vigils at the state-owned NCN TV station; using state media to sustain distorted panel discussions; and the on-going disinformation campaign in interior areas, all indicate resistance to political negotiation as created by the recent elections.”
GHRA also blasted the A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) for meeting with government at the Office of the President to discuss a budget deal.
“The willingness of the major opposition party to discuss a budget deal at the Office of the President (OP) in the middle of the Parliamentary debate is disconcerting to citizens trying to follow our rickety political process.
Resolving national budgetary issues by party leaders in this manner is only possible because in our system MPs are not accountable to constituencies,” GHRA said in its statement yesterday.
The matter was one of a number of issues discussed by GHRA’s Executive during a May 5 meeting.
“Even informal budget meetings should take place in Parliament, not the OP or the courts or party headquarters. The fact that this particular meeting appears to have ultimately created distrust on all sides of the political spectrum may turn out to be not a bad thing in the long run.”
Taken together with the action of the Chief Justice in refusing to entertain a constitutional motion over the composition of Parliamentary Commissions, the budget cuts achieved by the APNU and the AFC have provoked speculation over the possibility of a snap election being called by the PPP government, the organization said.
“The alternative, more positive response to such setbacks would be for the ruling party to treat both as wake-up calls to engage more constructively in Parliament. By contrast, a snap election would reflect a desire to return to the ethnic dictatorships which characterized Guyanese politics since the 1960s.”
GHRA also warned that any snap election would be along racial lines again.
“Moreover, since the ruling party has to date offered little to either its own supporters or other citizens, particularly the young, with respect to jobs, education or a more attractive future, any snap election could only be won by appealing to ethnic loyalties.”