The time is apt for the government to review and revise its approach, not just to electioneering, but also to governance. The current dilemma confronting the government is how to remake itself and remain popular with the people. The failure or success of the government is increasingly tied to good governance, quality of its leadership and how it is accepted by the public.
Winning five of the nine towns is quite an accomplishment for the government but it should not be happy with the overall results. It is clear that the People’s Progressive Party is clearly entrenched in its constituencies.
There is evidence that the PPP has lost some support in different parts of the country. Even in some of its strongholds it has lost support. Georgetown, Bartica, Linden and Rose Hall are constituencies where the PPP lost support.
When a reporter asked executive member Ganga Persaud to indicate new local authority areas that the party had won compared to 1994, the fact is that nothing had changed.
If the government is to maintain its growing popularity and confidence of the people, it must improve the social systems, reduce poverty and joblessness, lower the crime rate, end corruption, create jobs and develop the economy. These are important key components that are needed to maintain the social order and peace in society win elections and provide a good life for all.
The government has a lot of work to do. The electoral results of the LGE should serve as a timely wake-up call for it to chart a new course and change its strategies. It is not making much of a dent in the communities controlled by the PPP although it is enjoying a small movement to the point that former President Bharrat Jagdeo was moved to concentrate his efforts “among the supporters”. He was cognizant of the fact that he was losing his people to the new boys in the government.
It is also clear why the PPP proclaimed electoral victory at the just concluded local government elections when in fact there was no contest in many local government areas. The battlegrounds were the municipalities and the PPP lost significantly, ending with fewer seats than it had as a result of the previous elections.
If the truth be told there were many cases for the opposition to seek to recover lost ground. Claiming electoral victory was just one way.
The government must now be proactive. It should not be reactive. In part, its narrow victory at the polls in 2015 was due largely to the fact that it was seen to be a better, more organized, team-oriented and uncorrupt with the capability to develop the economy, provide good governance, end corruption and reduce crime. This image continues to be uppermost in the eyes of an increasing number of Guyanese.
For the government to remain strong, viable and be successful, its respect for the people must continue to be its driving force. It must continue to pursue inclusiveness, and a commitment to integrity, accountability and good governance.
Most important, it must accept criticism, hold itself accountable for its actions and hold itself to the scrutiny of the people before the next election trumpet sounds in 2020.
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