A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)’s unity charter is a must read for all Guyanese. The Charter is an aspirational document. The authors, mindful of our quest for national unity, acknowledge that attaining it would not be an easy task; they used words like difficult, uncomfortable and frustrating. However, they made a pledge that APNU would be totally focused and committed to achieving it, but it is the invitation that follows that is worthy of note.
It reads; “We ask all who can to join us in this task. If at this time you genuinely feel that you cannot join us, then give us your support. If you cannot even give us your support, we ask at least for your good will and your respect for our commitment.”
As we navigate our way in the current political waters, this type of messaging is powerful, because national unity has been an ideal that has eluded us for several generations.
The unity charter quite clearly states that the Partnership (APNU) is committed to a government of national unity. The Partnership is cognizant that achieving this goal will be difficult and accepts the challenge. In the words of the charter “it must be done if a government of national unity is to achieve its aims and survive.”
On the 14th February 2015, APNU (a five-party Partnership) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) signed the Cummingsburg Accord. The purpose stated – that this accord was to establish the framework within which the signatories undertake the arrangement of the structure and priorities of a new government which will be a government of national unity. This proposed framework is supported and presented to the Guyanese public by a broad -based multi-ethnic Alliance comprising political parties, civil society groups, organisations and individual citizens. This was a second step by APNU towards the achievement of a National Unity Government.
Over the past four and a half years the APNU+AFC coalition has lived up to the spirit of the Unity Charter and protected the interest of all Guyanese. There has been no cause for fear by any ethnic group under an APNU +AFC administration. Rather than cause for fear, there has been much hope and balanced development under a government that is committed to national unity. The evidence shows that this coalition government has managed the affairs of state in such a manner so as not to bring the races into collision with one another.
Under this administration law and order has been restored and the public has been assured that every arm of the government will be brought to bear to ensure that all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, are protected.
APNU asserts that no one benefits from a divided populace. The parties that came together (APNU+AFC) to contest and win the 2015 General and Regional elections formed a national unity government and started the arduous task of mending a broken nation.
The damage done by over fifty years of mistrust and ethnic cleavage cannot be whisked away overnight, it will take time. Enemies of the APNU+AFC coalition would like to see racial animus continue, because they benefit from such an arrangement, but it will not happen.
The tide of ideas in Guyanese politics has turned. In the words of His Excellency David Granger, “we are a movement. We are a movement to create a community with a common cause. We are a movement to reaffirm our commitment to confront the challenges facing our nation. We are a movement to establish an equitable society, in a stable political environment with a prosperous economy. We are a movement, most of all, to secure the future of or youth and our children.”
The Coalition has worked tirelessly to establish a consultative democracy, where all sectors of the society have a voice in the government. Local government areas and municipalities are once again healthy, and part of our democratic architecture.
Under this new dispensation, Constitutional bodies are functioning and independent. The rights of individuals and communities are now scrupulously protected. As a consequence, the temptation for individuals, groups and even communities to take the law into their own hands has been greatly minimized. This was a major step in bringing the PPP’s orgy of lawlessness to an end.
The Unity Charter is recommended reading, especially for those who want to find out more about APNU, or those who do not understand the concept of the Partnership and its goals and objectives. As the document states; “National unity is an imperative in Guyana’s current fragile social and economic circumstances. In a plural society, there is a clear choice between the uplifting benefits of cooperation and the downside of destructive political competition…. the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Let us put an end to divisiveness and fragmentation. Let us restore hope to the unemployed. Let us recover our can-do spirit and create a better life and freedom from want for all Guyanese.”
The future is in Coalition governance not political and racial division and PPP one party domination. It’s time for all Guyanese to enjoy the good life.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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