Jump high, jump low, the Government and Opposition will have to return to Parliament. Irresponsible utterances by those only interested that come 21st March the government is deemed “illegal” will prove to be immaterial, because our lawmakers, who are paid by the citizens, will have to return to the National Assembly and do what they must. They have no choice, jump high, jump low.
Even when nations are at war their leaders talk, because resolution comes from sitting at the table, hammering out differences, and proceeding to make agreements to be honoured thereafter. Somehow our politicians think that this natural course of events will elude them or they will not have to so subject themselves.
Guyana is not at war with herself, and her leaders must do much better to ensure the business of this nation is being conducted in a manner consistent with the office and responsibility they hold.
Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo cannot refuse to return to parliament in as much as he is making statements that he would. Likewise, President David Granger cannot refuse to engage the Opposition Leader in finding a way forward. Further, the statement by Mr. Jagdeo that after 21st March, he will not refer to Mr. Granger as President, ignores that where there is no president and government, there is no opposition leader. One office does not exist without the other and statements of such nature only help to sharpen the divide and increase tension in the society.
The refusal to negotiate is more or less bringing this nation closer to the brink of political chaos under the guise of democratic expression, fighting for democracy and representing the Constitution of Guyana. Whereas the constitution allows for a confidence motion and other means of dissent, the constitution at no time supports non-engagement of the president and opposition leader. There is nothing in the constitution that supports non-engagement. In fact, our political system has been established on the principle of “inclusionary democracy,” as outlined in Article 13.
Citizens and workers must not allow either or both of these constitutionally-elected political leaders, who are paid by we the people, to take us on an excursion down rabbit holes. It is an abrogation of responsibility not to adequately represent the interest of the people in a manner that does not threaten the safety and wellbeing of all, and the peaceful development of this country. It is time for political maturity.
The President and Leader of the Opposition will have to cooperate, for both know what the outcome will be if they fail to do so. The wise and informed among us know that too. The tendency of running to the international community to complain and thereafter ignore or parse advice given, does not present those who seek after such pursuit in a positive light. Representatives of those countries know that the principles and practices of good governance require adherence to and exhaustion of the governmental processes, for such are the characteristics of their societies and their citizens will allow no other approach.
And even as the international community urges cooperation, a credible voters’ list, involvement of the citizens in determining what development must mean for them, genuinely free and fair election, and respect for the constitutional judicial process, there seems to be no regard for these basic values.
What we are witnessing is a manipulation of the advice and the misrepresentation of the comments to serve partisan interest. In the political mayhem, we continue to bear witness to the selective application and interpretation of Article 106(6) and 106 (7).
No doubt, the confidence vote has sharpened the divide, not only politically, but along racial lines. Accusation and insults continue by one group towards another, giving the impression the other group is bad. Within recent times, the public is being fed doses of what is being considered the ills of the PNC, and those same commentators stay clear of making known one iota of perceived wrong by the PPP.
There is a view in the African community the coalition government, which is headed by an African, has been brought down by the confidence vote brought by a political party headed by an East Indian. Charrandass Persaud’s entry into the National Assembly was facilitated primarily by the African votes. Where for his vote Charrandass, an East Indian, is being hailed as hero by his fellow ancestry at home and abroad, Africans see him as a villain in using their votes to bring down a government that has their overwhelming support. These are strong views that cannot be swept under the carpet.
The vote has brought out extremist expressions across the political divide, amongst the rank and file and leadership, and these expressions are deserving to be tempered. To prevent mainstream acceptance and execution of such views, the time has come to hold politicians accountable, bar none, to ensure the de-escalating of tension by insisting civility guide their utterances and they work together for the common good of the people.
The desire for and pursuit of who must be ‘pun tap’ has no place in governance of the 21st century. Governance is about the efficient and effective day-to-day management of the State and all the people’s business, irrespective of who governs or is being governed. This land belongs to all of us, we must be allowed to live in peace and harmony, and equitably participate in the building and reaping of its bounties. Cooperation is essential for the realisation of these basics.
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