I was in the National Park on May Day 2019. In his address, I heard Lincoln Lewis say that it should take much more than one parliamentarian to vote out a government in a no-confidence motion.
In a subsequent critique of Lewis’s position, I asked a pertinent question which no one who supports the 2015 election results and those who continue to embrace the style of governance by APNU+AFC has answered.
If it were unacceptable for just one parliamentarian to vote to bring down an elected government, why it is legally and morally right for the APNU+AFC to make policies and administer total power through the vote of one parliamentarian.
The APNU+AFC regime has passed four budgets since 2015 which became law through the passage of one vote in the House in a configuration of 33 seats for APNU+AFC as against 32 for the Opposition. Was it right for a government, which won a mandate by point three percent to administer the entire country and passed Bills, which the entire country must accept?
The answer is yes but with conditions. The most important of these conditions was consultation. If your rule hangs by a thread, meaning you just have a one-seat majority then surely you must know an aggravated crisis can bring you down. This is the pitfall APNU+AFC either ignored or was contemptuous of, thus Charrandass came into play.
Why must a regime, which got almost equal number of ballots as the opposition in the general election close down the sugar estates without consulting the very opposition, which is strong in the sugar sector?
How many taxi services, big companies with huge transport fleets, and individual vehicle owners were solicited for their positions on the banning of used tyres and the embargo of importation of cars eight years and over?
To what extent was the university community consulted on the need to bring in a foreign based vice-chancellor to run UG after 2015? To what extent were other stakeholders in other areas of national life asked for their participation?
I will get personal now and I don’t care what the reaction is. I was never deterred from advancing my beliefs and I never will be. Your detractors will use evil and dirty words to insult you. You must understand that is life and continue with your journey.
In Guyana, there are few people with any moral authority to lecture others on the proprieties of life.
So let me get personal and I expect the following reaction; “Oh, I now see why Freddie is so critical of the government.” In every sector of authority because of its infinitesimal edge over the opposition, the APNU+AFC should not have made policies without dialoguing with crucial stakeholders.
As someone who served the university for twenty-six consecutive years, why the government didn’t identify me, yes me, and come to the conclusion that we need to take on boards such stakeholders if we are going to transform the university? But no! The University of Guyana Act of 1963 was amended and ready to be tabled in parliament and no one asked for my input.
My question from the heart is what was wrong with my expectation? I am not a biologist. I am not a forestry specialist. I am not an insurance expert. I am an academic who worked at UG for 26 years. Don’t I have a right to be consulted? Should not the government see the obligation to talk to stakeholders like me?
This argument could be extended to all spheres of existence in Guyana of which the sugar industry stands out as a monstrous act of contempt. The APNU+AFC acquired a majority of less than one percent of the total votes cast in a national election and has been using that coat of varnish to make fundamental rearrangements of institutions as if it is a popular government with a popular mandate.
Unless we get the proof of the money Charrandass took (if you can’t supply the proof then stop calling the man corrupt), then why is it not a legitimate question to ask of Charran’s state of mind?
Day after day, Berbicians ‘cuss’ him down over the retrenchment of seven thousand sugar workers. And he was at the time the Berbice representative in Parliament and was not even consulted on the closure of the estates.
Charran is on record as saying that he read about the closure in the media. He told me that with colossal vexation in his throat. A government with just a one seat parliamentary majority and less that 51 percent of the vote should never run Guyana again. Period!
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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