In her last Sunday column, Stella Ramsaroop made a trenchant point that I agree with. Stella wrote; “It gives me a headache whenever I ponder the condition of the opposition parties in Guyana. It is difficult to put a finger on exactly what it is that causes the opposition parties to seem so dysfunctional. Sometimes it is like watching a circus…”
I have no quarrel with this judgement of Stella Ramsaroop. I doubt a majority of Guyanese will. The word circus is most appropriate. These people are like clowns on display. The Parliament is the circus.
You would think that in the evolution of post-1992 fascism in Guyana, there had to come a point where the combined opposition would have made the demarcation and once the lines were crossed, business as usual would have come to an end. It simply boggles the mind to ponder what goes on inside the heads of those who want to beat the PPP at the next election.
Speaking as a citizen, for me the line that was crossed was the pretence that Mr. Jagdeo was legally married. This was unspeakable deception that no opposition should tolerate. This non-legal marriage fiasco remains the largest aberration in modern Caribbean politics. It is patently absurd that a CARICOM Prime Minister (Dominica) could go on trial for pretending that he was a Dominican citizen only when in fact he held papers from another country, yet Mr. Jagdeo remains untouched over his marriage to a woman who carried his name, was given the title of First Lady, but was in fact in a common-law arrangement with the President of the country.
The situation is unbearable if you believe Ms. Varshnie Singh, who told a press conference that she repeatedly requested the signing of the legal papers, but Mr. Jagdeo was non-cooperative. We live in one of the most comical banana republics ever. A President is accused of one of the most serious transgressions, yet in the most nonchalant manner, he refuses to confront each criticism made against him by his former common-law wife while they lived together at the expense of the State.
President Jagdeo has every obligation to discuss with the nation the charges of Ms. Singh, who shared the same Government-supplied house with him for years, went under the name of Mrs. Jagdeo and was accorded the title of First Lady.
I ask readers which country in the world a President’s wife can engage in such a campaign of accusations and the President sees no obligation to tell the nation that the lady’s pronouncements are lies or they are truthful and he will ask for the nation’s forgiveness. The last straw, of course, is the woman’s unambiguous statements of abuse by the President.
This was not the limit for the opposition. No lines were crossed. And the opposition dutifully performs their acts in Parliament. If ever the parliamentary opposition should have slammed the door shut on Parliament it was when Varshnie Singh went public. All the opposition groups, in and out of Parliament, should have demanded Mr. Jagdeo’s resignation and should not have ceased a campaign of non-cooperation with Parliament unless he had done so. But unfortunately the clowns do their routines in the circus.
Stella calls them a dysfunctional opposition. That is a respected term. More relevant adjectives should be pathetic, nauseating, defunct and comical.
My alienation with the opposition existed long before the Singh revelations. But my complete break occurred when these parties chose to remain in Parliament after the deception came into the open.
Let us repeat for emphasis – deception is an accurate description. It was a deception that went on for years because President Jagdeo knew that Ms. Singh was not the First Lady because he was not legally married to her.
You wonder what went through the mind of Ms. Singh. I firmly believe that she thought she would have got back at Mr. Jagdeo by engineering his fall after she went public. It was an expectation any woman in her place would have had. I believe Ms. Singh knew that no President could have survived her declaration of suffering.
The lady no doubt sensed that the opposition now had the chance of a lifetime. She was dead wrong. The opposition made their customary press releases offering their sympathy and the clowns went back to their circus.
Since Ms. Singh made her alleged (that word again) abuse public, things may have improved for her. The President acquired a huge fortune over the sale of his house. Ms. Singh must have consulted her lawyer right away.
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