Many persons are saying that the AFC and the WPA, as part of the new government with APNU, have to speak out against unpopular policies of the new dispensation because silence could harm the credibility of both of these junior partners in the Coalition. From the AFC side, their pronouncements on the Harmon controversy have encouraged that perception. The AFC even called for the reduction of the large number of portfolios Mr. Harmon holds.
This perception will grow even larger now, because a few AFC Councilors in Region 2 support the removal of the REO who is an APNU selectee. Deputy Mayor Sherod Duncan is from the AFC, and he is certainly not silent on the parking meter fiasco. It means therefore that people will continue to press the AFC to speak out against bad or egregious mistakes of both central and municipal governments.
The Working People’s Alliance is being called upon, too, to denounce unpopular policies. But for all intents and purposes, the WPA seems to be one man only – Dr. David Hinds. It is only Hinds from the WPA that has pronounced on the mistreatment of the vendors. Hinds is the only one from the WPA that thinks prosecution needs to be pursued out of the findings of the forensic audit. Hinds is the only one from the WPA that is talking about the Walter Rodney Commission report. Amidst this ongoing reticence of the WPA on national issues, there suddenly appeared a WPA press release on the Walter Rodney death anniversary. One hopes the WPA is not living only to issue press releases.
If the AFC and the WPA are being urged to comment on unfair policies or unpopular postures of the Coalition Government, why isn’t the PNC doing the same? Surely, the PNC cannot believe that because it is the senior member of the Coalition, it will be unwise and unstrategic to openly criticize the very administration it leads. It is short-sighted if it thinks that way, because the Government of Guyana is not a unitary construct. It is a coalition, and a coalition means that each component is not bound to accept any kind of mistakes the government makes.
There are increasing areas of dissatisfaction that the PNC as a Coalition member ought to let Guyanese know where it stands. There is a new PNC in Guyana. The old PNC died a long time ago. The new PNC has leaders who are not carrying baggage from the past. President Granger is certainly a fresh breeze. Why would the leader of this new PNC and his close party comrades want to tolerate some of the messy situations that the Coalition Government has found itself in?
Let’s start with the President himself. Mr. Granger says he doesn’t want people to praise him all the time. He wants to have objective assessments. Against this background, the PNC, as a party, should have castigated the Chronicle for its refusal to publish David Hinds’ column that disagreed with the President on the Rodney Report. The PNC’s press release on the matter should have stated that in this new dispensation Guyana has entered into, the Chronicle cannot go back to its depraved, propagandistic physiology. Strangely, the PNC remained silent.
Then there is the ancient profligacy of the City Hall. The City Council is run in the name of the party that David Granger leads. But the City Council and its Mayor and Town Clerk behave as if they are living in the days when they could do to Georgetowners whatever they want. Each day brings another tale of Town Clerk arrogance. Is the PNC happy with the little dog kennels that have been allocated to vendors on Merriman Mall? This situation is sick and abominable. How could the PNC as a party tolerate such abuse of its own supporters?
Now we have the parking meter scandal. Look who are in Mexico to examine the parking meters? APNU member, Patricia Chase-Green, from the City Council, the past 25 years. Oscar Clarke from the City Council, the past 25 years. And Royston King from City Hall the past 20 years. To make it worse, APNU’s own councilors did not know the trio had left for Mexico.
Why would a new PNC allow these old habits from its old Councilors to tarnish the credibility of David Granger? What political mileage does the new PNC stand to gain from its refusal to seek the removal of both Chase-Green and King? Finally, will APNU councilors break rank from its AFC colleagues and vote for the retention of the Region 2 REO. If the man is not performing why stick with him? Only the new PNC can answer that.
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