Excitement is in the air as news of the formation of the People’s Republic Party by a multiracial group of Pastors reverberates around Guyana.
At a time when the nation is most divided and the Parliament has not extended the Coalition’s term in office after it was defeated by the No-Confidence Vote, the launching of the People’s Republic Party (PRP) could not have come at a better time. The Coalition is now an illegal caretaker government squatting in office, refusing to resign the Cabinet and dissolve Parliament, as required by the Constitution.
The Leaders of the PRP – Pastor Premraj Parshotam, the Region Six coordinator; Pastor Patrick Bourne, who is the Region 4 coordinator; Presidential Candidate Dr. Valerie Leung; Glennis Smith, Pastor Timothy Norton, and General Secretary and Linden Pastor Terrence Joseph – stand tall and are to be commended for their moral and spiritual courage, in stepping up at such a time as this.
We now wait to see if other Church leaders would throw their financial support, and active, participatory support behind this new Party, and sign up as candidates, nominators, and campaigners. Now is not the time for fear, fence sitting, and excuse making. Let’s see how many would join the army of support and be “Nehemiahs” not “Sanballats and Tobiahs.”
While the other more well-known church leaders in the Assemblies of God, Full Gospel Fellowship, Lifespring Ministries, those in the Georgetown Ministers Fellowship and the Guyana Evangelical Fellowship, have largely remained silent or are complicit in their support of the defeated Coalition, the PRP folks are not afraid to be a prophetic voice to the nation, and calling the nation to turn to godly, moral values as a foundation for national leadership. (Just recently, the Full Gospel Fellowship held a prayer breakfast for Mr. Granger and the Coalition leaders, also attended by top Assembly of God leaders. It would be curious to know who paid for that event at the expensive Marriott Hotel, and whether this was approved by the leadership boards of both denominations).
Since the old days of the PNC dictatorship, while the Churches were not marching in the streets or openly opposing the PNC’s rule, the churches have held many prayer meetings, interceding for a righteous government to rise up. But notwithstanding these prayers, the churches still peddled the notion that a “Christian” PNC dictatorship was preferred than an atheistic or communist PPP, the alternative.
There are some who now misguidedly still think the Coalition is a Christian government, but the Coalition by its own actions have pleaded “not guilty” to being a Christian, moral, godly government. The majority in the churches, however, are of the view that the PNC Coalition has failed the nation.
When the PNC government fell through a no-confidence vote of their own MP, some Christian folks went on Facebook uttering such nonsense as “no weapon formed against thee shall prosper,” although the PNC was already “defeated” according to the Constitution. As a Christian myself, I said, “the Lord gives and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord,” and “Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin” (God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end; you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting).
My Christian view was the Lord brought down the PNC because they backslid and broke their promises to the people and governed corruptly, as the folks they replaced. The PNC trampled on the goodwill and trust placed on them by crossover voters who wanted to give them a chance.
Sadly, just days after they got in Office, the Coalition quickly got into the wrong trajectory giving themselves huge pay increases. This was followed by a scandalous D’ Urban Park project that ate up nearly a billion dollars, a payment of a huge settlement of over a billion to a major campaign donor, and the downward slide of procurement scams, the drug bond scandal – corruption got deeper and deeper, and instead of being the “change,” the Coalition became the “exchange.”
The churches that have prayed for a righteous government to rise up now have the chance to support an emerging group headed by our own “Esther” figure – a brilliant daughter of the soil, with much integrity – Dr. Valerie Leung. Dr. Leung is a solid, morally upright person and known in church circles. She is experienced in business and is as smart as she is courageous, holding a Bachelor of Laws, a Masters of Laws and a Doctorate of Laws degree.
I call on all Guyana, and people of all religions who believe in Government based on moral, godly principles to support the Peoples Republic Party.
Dr. Jay Bharrat
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