If there is any general election in this country where the indications are large that those who are in power now if reelected will not be willing to be transparent, accountable to the citizenry and demonstrate the obligation to be forthcoming with the nation, it will be the 2020 poll.
The present crop of leaders if reelected will negotiate the future of this country with powerful multi-national organisations whose possession of skilled resources outstrips Guyana’s by the trillions. All one has to do is to examine the present competence and ability of our leaders to reason and negotiate and one can see we are going over where we were since Independence – the precipice.
Here is one example of leaders who refuse to be honest with the nation, refuse to see they have an obligation to explain things they made public and show no embarrassment on the mediocrity in the skills of negotiation that they have graphically demonstrated the past week. The new political parties have a gift from these contemptible leaders. They should run with it to the bank with supersonic speed. It is left up to the electorate to decide.
Let’s describe how rulers can be contemptuous of a nation. This display of contempt comes at a time when these very leaders are asking for your vote in an imminent general election. In fact, the president, no exciting, visionary, president, thinks that a landslide victory is possible.
Here we go. On Thursday, October 24, the AFC held a press conference. It was hosted to publicise a problematic area in the relationship with APNU – the acceptance of Khemraj Ramjattan as the PM candidate for 2020. That was the only ventilation at the press conference.
No diplomatic finesse was resorted to. No subtle, complex vocabulary was employed. Vexations flowed from the mouths of those AFC leaders who lined the table facing the media. There was a one-dimensional discussion by these leaders – the APNU is stalling on the acceptance of Ramjattan as the PM candidate. The mood was volcanic. One leader was so incensed that the reporters were told that one of the AFC’s 2015 election dreams has been trampled upon by the APNU – constitutional reform. The speaker said after the Prime Minister submitted an initial document on the subject, the process was either sabotaged or resisted.
The press conference concluded with a pyrotechnical adamancy – the AFC will not accept a prolongation of the negotiation over Ramjattan, the talks between the two teams on the revamping of the Cummingsburg Accord will cease, and the leaders of the two sides will meet to face the issue of the PM candidate.
That happened. Mr. Granger and Mr. Ramjattan met after the tempestuous complaint by the AFC. There was only one item on the agenda – Ramjattan as the PM candidate. To date, the voters that are being implored to give APNU+AFC a victory in 2020 have not been told what the two men have decided.
Let us use a hypothetical example. The vice-captains of a cricket team cannot agree on the third empire. One of them insists that the game will not be played unless Jones is the third empire. Talks broke down. The solution was left to a meeting of the two captains. After they emerged, the two captains refused to say if Jones was accepted or rejected and that the discussion has been moved back to the vice-captains. Looked at from any angle that is infantile rubbish.
If your underlings couldn’t agree and you took on the job of finding a solution, how can you refuse to say what decision you made? When Ramjattan and Granger met, only one outcome was possible, in the context of the AFC’s volcanic press conference. Both Granger and Ramjattan, both APNU and AFC have not seen it morally proper, politically obligatory and electorally wise to tell the people of Guyana what is the decision they made on the PM candidate.
In fact, the AFC leaders after their national executive meeting last Saturday have flatly refused to answer a direct question on the Ramjattan imbroglio. These people lack even elementary skills in political action, diplomatic bargaining and moral responsibilities. Commonsense could inform Granger and Ramjattan what to have said after their dialogue.
Yes, we have identified Ramjattan as the PM candidate but it is not as simple as it appears; there are nuances to be looked at. Alternatively, no we were unable to arrive at a specific decision, and more time is need to which both parties have agreed. Are these the leaders that will continue to rule Guyana? My patriotic advice to you – take billions of moments of reflection before you vote.
(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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