Only a tiny few would resist the opportunity of becoming the President of Guyana; most Guyanese, whether or not they are qualified would not refuse such a revered position. The lure of being President would entice most if not all politicians.
Although the opportunity is there for only a few to become President, those who have a taste of the prestigious life as the head of State and the glamorous living at State House surrounded by security, have always sought a second mandate. Even though the last President was not re-elected, being President is a true vindication of a life-long quest and the full essence of life.
Though some may disagree, it is expected that the current president is most likely to seek a second mandate. If he does, it should be his final call to duty and a destiny fulfilled. While it is injudicious to comment on the age or political future of anyone, the inevitable march towards one’s destiny has no respect for time or age.
Most Presidents may not want to admit except quietly to themselves that it is much more difficult to govern the country than they had expected. The coronation of new Presidents tends to be short lived, because of the sudden discovery of the challenges to fulfill their promises. This is true of this President. The myriad of challenges faced by the government in education, health care, the economy, poverty, unemployment and the reduction of crime is enormous.
The forensic audit reports and the illegal activities unearthed by the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU) have posed greater challenges to the government which spent $145 million. Still no charges have been filed against anyone. This has been an unnecessary distraction for the government. And then there is the border dispute with Venezuela, which the President cannot resolve by himself; the self-inflicted drug bond scandal, the trip to China and the illegal actions of the Kuwait Ambassador.
Having the most powerful job in the country is not a walk in the park. It is very stressful. It takes personal stamina, resilience, and courage to perform at such a high level. The results of the Local Government Elections were seen as a litmus test on the government. They could be a warning for the government to change its policies, improve the economy, create jobs and alleviate poverty.
While the government’s trustworthiness and integrity are shrinking, there is an expanding narrative that it is very slow to act on serious issues.
Yet it is the nature of most elected heads of state to seek a second mandate especially if they had done well and have weathered the political storms in their first term. Understandably, one of the reasons they seek a second term is to complete what they could not have achieved in the first term.
Unlike the veteran politicians, the current President who has been in politics for only a short period of time could make a strong case for seeking a second term by presenting himself as being new and different from the seasoned politicians. While many would want him to succeed, others are concerned about his ability to move the country forward.
His success in seeking a second mandate would depend heavily on how he meets the demands and satisfies the many diverse constituents whose culture of racial politics has proved difficult over the years. Also his success in seeking a second mandate depends on how much support he would get from the wider public.
The fewer people he ticks off during his first term, the more support he will receive for a second mandate.
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