Yesterday’s newspapers carried a photograph of the President of Guyana at the rifle ranges. He lay with the lower half of his body on the ground and the upper half elevated in a shooting position.
He was seen taking aim at a target but the newspapers never told us how far his shot was off the mark or whether he fired live or blank rounds. One would have expected that at least the newspapers would have recognized that there was a human interest story there concerning the sharpshooting skills of the President of Guyana.
Since his election to office he has hardly been able to get off a political shot against his opponents. In fact, since his administration took over, the PPP/C has been fair game for an opposition which has a one-seat majority and which is behaving as if it won the elections and has a right to dictate executive policy.
The opposition has pursued a vicious political agenda against the government which has shown strong resistance. Had the Donald Ramotar administration not shown fight, this country would have been in serious problems because the combined opposition was hell bent on sending a message to the government that they are in control and will use its majority of one to frustrate the will of the executive and impose its own will.
This certainly, under the Westminster system, is not the role of the opposition but it must be appreciated that the hunger for political power is so strong that the combined opposition is not too concerned with traditions and conventions regarding the roles of government and the opposition. The opposition wants power and its one-seat majority in Parliament is exposing their power drunkenness.
Following the summer recess, Parliament will resume this month and the opposition will again go on the attack. It claims that it wants to create change but it is more interested in head hunting rather than in genuine reform.
Attack is its mode of operation. The opposition is flaying wildly at imaginary windmills. It wants to see heads roll and persons dismissed. Its idea of reform is political confrontation. This approach makes a mockery of all the rhetoric that is spewed about power sharing and political cooperation. The opposition wants to have things its way and have started out with untamed aggression.
The latest target is the Minister of Home Affairs. The opposition wants him to resign since it claims that national security policy has failed. It wants him to resign following some incidents involving the police in which civilians were killed. The opposition claims that the removal of the Minister will help promote reform.
The public understands this charade that the opposition is engaged in. The people understand the circuses that will take place with persons demanding the Minister must go and walking around with a coffin.
It is absurdity at its best. The opposition wants the Minister who is merely responsible for policy making to be held accountable for the recent incidents in which civilians were killed by the police. But it does not see the ridiculousness of its own stance when it calls for the Minister to go but say nothing about those who are in day to day and operational command of the police.
It does not see failure on the part of anyone in the chain of command of the police force.
The opposition is even seen posing with members of the police hierarchy totally oblivious to the criticisms that have been made by civil society organizations about the conduct of the police in the incidents that have led to protest action.
One opposition party has gone so far as to suggest that the Commissioner of Police needs help and he has been praised for adopting a new attitude.
Yet this new attitude has not prevented what has been described as reckless actions by the police. Instead of demanding change at all levels, the opposition is only demanding the resignation of the Minister because the real objective is to make the government look ridiculous.
This is a well drilled strategy which has been around for some time. Hoyte in fact promised to make the country ungovernable. The new opposition seems bent on calling after every controversial incident involving the police force for the resignation of the Home Affairs.
If the opposition wants changes in the Ministry of Home Affairs, the government should give it what it wants. The government should reassign the present Minister of Home Affairs and bring back the man with the guts.
Surely the opposition cannot protest this. After all, it is not the role of the opposition to decide who should be the Minister of Home Affairs. Or does it feel that this is part of its job too?
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