The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) is doing all within its power to avoid winning a landslide come May 11, 2015. There is only one thing that the PPPC needs to do to sweep the polls; and it is studiously avoiding doing that one thing.
There is only one thing that stands in the way of the PPPC regaining its lost parliamentary majority and retaining the Presidency. That one thing is corruption under the PPPC governments. The bulk of the allegations surround corruption allegedly circulating around the major projects that have been undertaken by the PPPC.
The ruling party has been accused of using these projects to siphon off funds. It has been accused of cronyism, that is, the sharing out of benefits to its friends and associates. This it is said principally happened under the Jagdeo administration PPPC administration. The PPPC has denied these allegations.
Despite these denials any survey would establish beyond reasonable doubt that the one thing that stands in the way of the PPPC retaining political power is corruption. Even die hard supporters of the PPPC are fed up. They have stated quite clearly that they feel there is a need for change. And they are saying this not because they dispute that there has been development under the PPPC.
Only the blind would not concede that Guyana has made its greatest strides—has always made strides—under the PPPC. There is no disputing the fact that the lives of Guyanese are far better today than ever before, even though the opposition and some of their mouthpieces are stuck in some time capsule and would want you to believe that things in Guyana cannot get worse.
Denial can lead to delusion and there are many delusional persons around wanting to believe that Guyana is in a terrible state. This is far from the truth.
Despite the obvious improvements in the lives of citizens— better homes, better water, more stable electricity, better roads, better schools, better hospitals etc— there is one ugly thorn that continues to spike at the hearts of the people of this country. It is the shameless and unbridled corruption within the country and particularly the feeling amongst the people that the government is using major projects to benefit its friends and to siphon off monies for itself.
Why, despite all of this progress are so many supporters of the PPPC so apathetic and not enthusiastic about voting for the PPPC this year? What is the issue that is keeping the supporters of the PPPC away from supporting their party and guaranteeing them a landslide victory?
Corruption is the main issue. The PPPC is telling the people about all the progress that has been made. It is selling them the story that grand plans are in store. The main worry of the people, however, is whether the corruption can be reined in. This is the thing that is most upsetting to the supporters of the PPPC. It kept many of them away from voting for the PPPC in 2011.
They can do so again. If you go around the country and you speak to the supporters of the PPPC, the single issue that upsets them the most, the single issue that makes them say that there is a need for change is not the fact that their lives are not better; it is not the fact that there has not been unbelievable development in the country. The one thing that turns the supporters of the PPPC is corruption.
In the eyes of the ruling cabal there is no corruption. But this denial is what makes the PPPC delusional. They are not willing to address it because they are in denial. And therefore they have become delusional.
All it will take for the PPPC to win the 2011 elections by a landslide would be for it to announce immediately that come May 12 it will appoint an independent commission to go through all of the major contracts that have been signed by the PPPC government to determine whether there were any illegalities. This is all that needs to be done.
If President Ramotar makes this announcement come the next rally of the PPPC, there will be no need for any more campaigning. The PPPC will take 55 per cent of the polls.
But it seems as if instead of landslide, the PPPC will settle for the possibility of a close victory with all the suspicions and problems that are likely to be associated with such an eventuality.
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