Dec 13, 2011 Letters
I am sure it is well documented somewhere that during the run-up to the recently concluded elections, I was a vociferous critic of the old regime and had serious misgivings of Donald Ramotar’s ability to be the Nation’s Chief Executive.
It is early days, and with a cloud of legitimacy (hanging over his government), evidenced by the cries I heard at the Stabroek Market Square last Friday night and the PPP/C razor-thin parliamentary majority, no one knows what the future will bring.
However, what I do know, and what I have observed during the first week of his administration, does not bode well for the people of Guyana.
His first mistake as a Chief Executive was failing to close the door behind his predecessor Bharrat Jagdeo.
Two days after being sworn in as President, he returned Jagdeo’s team to the field and included a few misfits and incompetents of his own.
Operating as if he was given a clear mandate by the electorate, and in the face of accusations of serious electoral abnormalities, this CEO ignored the signals from his base and the majority of the people and opted for one-party rule.
By essentially keeping the Jagdeo cabinet and failing to listen to the people who voted for change, Mr. Ramotar has set in train a prescription for possible gridlock and disaster.
I will not enter into the events of December 6th, or what some are already calling Black Tuesday, but old people use to say; “show me your company and I will tell you who you are.”
I remember when the American car company Chrysler was failing and a new CEO, Lee Iacocca, was brought on board to turn the company around.
Realizing that the consumers had lost confidence in his company’s product, this CEO met directly with the consumers, found out what they wanted, and then went back to his head office, fired the old team and put a new winning team in place.
One wonders what Ramotar and by extension, the Guyanese people have to gain when Robert Persaud, Clement Rohee, Leslie Ramsammy and Juan Edghill and others, are let loose once again on the people.
One wonders what will become of the other Jagdeo fixtures who were untouchables and operated above the law during the previous regime.
It is obvious that this President lacks the courage and advisers, so I have some advice for Mr. Ramotar. First order of business, close the door on the Jagdeo era; reshuffle your cabinet.
Yes, I know you just picked them but people know you are new so they will cut you some slack.
Pick a cabinet that not only looks like Guyana, but truly represents the percentage splits at the elections.
Bring in a few technocrats to run some of the key Ministries and Government Corporations and get Roger Luncheon as far away from you as you possibly can, he has become an institution man.
Also, if you want to survive as President, you must immediately go to the street and listen to the youth. I was at Stabroek Square last Friday night, you should have been there.
They are hurting, they are mad and they are the majority. You cannot survive without their support and they will not allow you to ignore them. The police cannot use excessive force on them again, for they have served notice on your government and the leadership of the Police Force.
Bringing charges against Brigadier Collins, Attorney James Bond and the leaders of that march was a dumb move, you should have ordered the charges dropped and met with them.
In the same conversation where you instructed the Minister of Home Affairs to drop the charges you should have asked for his resignation, insisted that charges be brought against those in the past administration accused of crimes too numerous to mention, and ordered the Attorney General to immediately convene a Commission of Inquiry into all the extra-judicial killings in Guyana.
Then you could have requested from the leader of the PPP/C list, that certain people’s names be removed from said list of parliamentarians.
By keeping them on the list you told our children that, as a leader, you are willing to reward bad behaviour for narrow political interest.
As we enter these uncharted waters you will need all the help you can get.
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