We are calling on all Guyanese, regardless of race, creed, status or political affiliation to respect the rule of law which is the linchpin to eradicate corruption, crime, inequality, and poverty, some of the main problems plaguing Guyana. It also constrains behavior and thereby protects citizens from arbitrary and discriminatory actions by the government.
Twenty years ago Guyana was on the path to eliminate extreme poverty but this effort was derailed due to the new breed of leaders who took over the PPP at the turn of the century.
Since that time, no significant progress has been made; instead, the new PPP leaders have charted a new course that has marginalized a certain ethnic group, turned a blind eye on corrupt practices and are using the state resources to enrich themselves, their relatives and friends.
The rule of law is a principle that is frequently spoken about and is quintessential to the promotion of democracy, freedoms and economic growth, hence the development of Guyana.
It has generally been accepted as a principle of good governance and accountability, whereby no one is above the law, which is accessible and should be equally applicable to all, inclusive of the duty bearers of the state. Yet, ironically, it has been ignored by many in the PPP hierarchy, labeled the untouchables at Freedom House who the police are afraid to charge, irrespective of the crimes committed by them.
The most recent case is the alleged threats issued by the Attorney General (AG) on the owner Glenn Lall and staff of Kaieteur News. It was reported in the press that a senior police officer has stated that the AG is a “BIG ONE and we can’t touch him.”
Instead, we were informed that the Police Force is trying to lay charges on the reporter for illegally taping the AG. If this is true, then it is very unfortunate that we have a very scared, bias, unsound and unprofessional Police Force, which by itself is not adhering to the rule of law either.
It is a known fact that if an ordinary citizen had threatened any minister of the government, he would have been arrested immediately and charged with the worst crime even without a recording.
Over the years, the Police Force has not even respected their motto, which is to serve and protect, instead they have violated the civil rights of the poor and vulnerable in the most barbaric way.
No one, not even the AG should be above the law, and as the Chief-law enforcing officer, he should set the right example. So the mere fact that the Force is making these claims that Glenn Lall cannot be reached to clarify his statement, is dishonest.
The fact that they are accusing the reporter of falsely taping the Attorney General is reason to believe that they are indeed afraid to charge the AG because he is a “BIG ONE.”
And they will give some BOGUS reasons for their fake actions. The public has known for a very long time that Guyana does not have a POLICE FORCE but a POLICE FARCE which is very dishonest, unprofessional, corrupt and afraid of the PPP regime.
Unlike the PPP, we believe that promoting and obeying the rule of law should result in a more just society, the building of a culture, and the acknowledgement of freedom and respect for the rights of individuals. Likewise, obeying and respecting the rule of law should be one of the fundamental policies of the PPP, but the untouchables at Freedom believe that they are above the law and that it should only apply to the poor masses and not to them.
We also believe that embracing the rule of law should be the primary objective of the regime because it is a major source for sustainable economic and human development. It guarantees accountability, predictability and transparency in governance. Thus, adherence to these principles protects business, creates confidence, attracts investments and ensures respect for and enforcement of property rights and freedoms as guaranteed by the Constitution.
Obeying and respecting the rule of law and with zero tolerance for corruption and crime is crucial for the government to promote a business-friendly economy to achieve economic growth and sustainable development in Guyana. Thus the citizens should demand that their “duty-bearers” in the government, including the Attorney General and his colleagues, respect and obey the laws of the land.
Asquith Rose and Harish Singh
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