Luncheon’s ‘rumble’ statement was yet another manifestation of political thuggery
It is an unfortunate fact of life under the PPP government that Dr. Roger Luncheon’s incendiary statement to the parliamentary majority was par for the course. Luncheon’s remarks telling the Opposition that the PPP administration was ready to “rumble”, and that it was entrenched in its position of support for Clement Rohee was yet another manifestation of political thuggery and outright bullyism that is the face of the new PPP in Guyana. As I listened to the press conference I could see clearly that this was a regime that was uninformed, out of touch with the wishes of the people, and seriously in need of a reality check.
The people of Guyana must now decide what we must do in the face of such outright disrespect and intolerance. On the 28th of November 2011 we the people spoke and the majority of us voted for the opposition and sent them to the National Assembly to be our voice. On the 31st of July after 24 members of the Assembly had spoken, in a debate that lasted for 10 hours, a motion of no confidence was passed against Clement Rohee the Minister of Home Affairs. That the Ramotar administration has chose to defy the wishes of the people, is a testament to their (the PPP) dictatorial style of governance over the last two decades.
Roger Luncheon has now served five presidents over a 20 year period and it is my opinion that like his masters the PPP, he has stayed a bit too long at the party and maybe imbibed way too much of the power punch. It is clear even for the casual political observer that this group needs a good shaking up, and one wonders if Donald Ramotar is really the man in charge. In a few weeks Ramotar would have completed a dismal first year in office. One marked by parliamentary fights over a flawed budget, the imposition of illegal Interim Management Committees (IMC), Linden, Police shooting, and an air of unrest that has gripped this nation. Ramotar as a head of state has failed to instill confidence in the people and by choosing to retain the Jagdeo cabinet he signaled to the population that the change they voted for would not be forthcoming.
Now Mr. Ramotar has sent another signal via Dr. Luncheon that he and his administration are prepared to “rumble” (fight) with the people. The defiance that this administration has expressed over the Rohee debacle shows clearly that it has become out of touch with the ordinary Guyanese.
Presidents shuffle their cabinets all the time; in fact, most administrations take an introspective view after the first year and make the necessary adjustments.
But I am sure that the PPP will not be making any such adjustments, and I am just as sure that Mr. Ramotar will only remove Mr. Rohee when he is faced with a situation where he has no other choice.
What is being asked of this President is not something that is unprecedented, Ministers of the Government around the world resign and some are removed all the time. In several Caribbean nations Ministers of the government have resigned because their United States Visas were revoked. Some Ministers have resigned because they failed to properly manage those placed under their charge.
So, with Parliament about to reconvene and the parliamentary majority firmly rejecting the Minister of Home Affairs, and the bellicose utterances coming from the Executive Branch, interesting days are ahead. Personally I feel that the President should relieve Rohee and Luncheon of their duties, for both have served him badly.
Rohee and now Luncheon, if they continue to serve, will be major distractions for the upcoming legislative agendas of both the government and the Opposition. The people, having been disrespected and dismissed, will eventually have their say. Already we are beginning to hear soft rumblings that must be addressed immediately.
Mr. Editor, as Dr. Luncheon spoke to the press on Thursday, somehow it conjured up two images from the not too distant past. Both were pictures of defiance by dictators who not too long afterwards were toppled; Manuel Noriega waving his machete and taunting George H Bush to “bring it on” and Sadam Hussein standing on his palace balcony, rifle in hand, a picture of defiance against the impending US invasion.
The problem with dictators is that they read their own press clippings, but history has shown that it is always better to listen to and follow the wishes and the aspirations of the people.