An extraordinarily unbelievable year for Guyana
If any Guyanese had regrets over 2012, it had to be those persons in the People’s National Congress who allowed their leader, Forbes Burnham, to draft a constitution as if he was immortal. As 2012 began, those persons were hurting badly. They missed their chance of returning to power after 20 years in the opposition.
The Guyana Constitution does not allow for parties to form a coalition, therefore the PNC has to contend with being in the opposition once more.
The year 2012 produced a minority government crazily behaving as if it had won a majority in the national elections the year before. If anything was ironic about Guyana, it was a Guyanese presidency that refused to concede anything at all to the Parliament while across the Atlantic, the American presidency was pleading with his opposition not to push him off the fiscal cliff.
The difference in the two presidencies was that one was psychologically conscious enough to recognize reality and that reality was that the country’s budget could not succeed without serious dialogue with and serious concession to the opposition. At the same time the other (in Guyana) was fanatical in its illusions that all power was still there to be controlled and hogged.
No policy, action, incident or event was more macabre in 2012 than a dossier sent by the Guyana Government to international stakeholders complaining about opposition intransigence in the Parliament.
One wonders if there is any commonsense left in a regime that has gone in bizarre directions that makes it a joke in Caribbean politics. When that dossier reaches the stakeholders, obviously an explanation will be asked of the opposition. People just do not want to learn from the lessons of the past.
The reason why it took more than two years for the Jagdeo presidency to even collect a small amount of the promised US$250 million from Norway for his LCDS project, was because when the Norwegians met here with the certain NGOs and the opposition, an impressive analysis was given to them about a government that was not transparent, democratic and clean. From thereon, Jagdeo had a nightmare collecting his money, to the point where he openly chastised the Norwegian Prime Minister, who remained unmoved.
So what are the UN, OAS, CARICOM and the ABC countries going to do with the dossier? It is doubtful that they will ever act on it, especially the Americans, because State Department officials are aware of the power of Congress to confront a president who does not have a legislative majority. As for the Canadians, from their recent experience with minority governments, they will know that Parliament is supreme.
But the complaint is only one act in the circus. What about the complainer’s behaviour? This is what has created anger throughout the 83,000 square miles of this country. A recalcitrant, corrupt, authoritarian regime possessed with a morbid instinct to dominate, and dominates the people of Guyana in every sphere, sends a document to the major international organizations and influential governments asking for intervention over an opposition in Parliament that it says is abusing its power in the House.
A commentator typing a simple article evaluating the behaviour of the PPP administration in the year 2012 can inadvertently end up with a book manuscript. As you keep enumerating the egregious wrongs, you find that the pages are reaching into the hundreds, because the acts of depravity are in the hundreds.
Of course 2012 had just begun when my UG contract was terminated. Our esteemed Jesuit priest Father Malcolm Rodrigues in a letter in the Stabroek News on the termination commented on what a way to start the year.
Here in Guyana is a cabal that wants the world to focus on what the opposition is doing in Parliament while it continues on a path that could only bring destruction. How close we were to it in 2012 when the people of Linden rejected authoritarian edicts. How close we came to mayhem when anger went in the wrong direction in Agricola.
A regime that accuses the opposition of bad behaviour wallows in the self deception that they are the good guys. That is why it is advantageous to the Guyanese population if the international stakeholders listen to the PPP. They will come and investigate. They will come and listen.
The opposition should invite them to visit. This is where the opposition can use its enemies’ document to its own advantage. No probe into bad behaviour by the opposition can exonerate the PPP from the evidence of horrible governance in 2012. More on the contents of 2012 in Guyana in later columns.