Lost, completely lost, in the rejection of the no-confidence vote (NCM) by those who said it was a constitutional farce to remove a sitting government by one parliamentary vote was the incandescent fact that the very government won the election by point three percent.
The final results of the 2015 elections showed that APNU+AFC beat the PPP by 4,503 votes. Those votes do not add up to a parliamentary seat. You need 5000 votes to become an MP.
I was in the 2019 May Day rally when I heard TUC General-Secretary, Lincoln Lewis, in his address said that an NCM needs far more than one parliament vote to remove a government.
President Granger at the launch of his party’s 2020 election campaign described the December 2018 NCM as nonsense. What would be his reaction if asked if he thinks an organisation that won a general election by point three percent ought to have a legal mandate to govern and it is morally proper for such a formation to make policies for the entire country and exercise unrestrained power with such an infinitesimal majority that in cricketing terms is described as a coat of varnish?
The crucial question, which academics need to analyse is; was there a connection between the need to have the NCM given the existence of the point three percent reality?
Was it this reality that drove the PPP to sponsor the NCM? I applaud the initial reaction of David Hinds when the NCM was passed. He said given the narrow majority of the APNU+AFC, it should have threaded carefully in how it governed.
This is indeed a strong point and it is missing in the repertoire of those who continue to see the NCM as a farce because one parliamentarian, they believe, should not have the constitutional authority to bring down a government.
The reality of just one MP voting to remove a government has angered many in the APNU+AFC castle but I have no sympathy for them because they used their point three percent coat of varnish to use power without broad-based consultations in the society.
They had a moral duty to consult because of the narrow mandate.
I can offer myself as an example. Let me be brutally candid with my detractors on using myself as an example. I don’t care what your reaction is. I believe my contestation here is valid and morally sound.
I think someone like me that gave political and election support to APNU+AFC should have been consulted by my government on the restructuring of UG because I have the qualification and experience to offer my thoughts.
It didn’t have to be a paid employment. It didn’t mean that your offerings had to be implemented.
A second example was the closure of the sugar estates. Such a decision had far-reaching implications and qualified specialists who studied the industry whether they live in or out of Guyana should have been brought together to search for answers. The policy to close or not to close was not the only dimension.
What if the consensus was to close then by consulting you had available ideas on the alternatives? The APNU+AFC did not bring into being such a group. Charran told me he did not know of the decision to close even though he sat on the government side in parliament representing Region Six. Maybe he is lying. I don’t believe he is.
The third example is the media. The APNU+AFC inherited the Chronicle and NCN. A wise direction to have gone into was to assemble a group of media personnel including persons from the Kaieteur News and Stabroek News to generate ideas on how to restructure the state media.
Look what Guyana got after 2015. The Chronicle has the identical visage that it wore when the PPP was in power. With a point three percent majority, the APNU+AFC chose to remove two popular African rights columnists from the Chronicle using the authority invested in them knowing full well that the authority rested on a narrow mandate.
A fourth example was the annual budget. How many times in those four budgets were the trade unions consulted? Alright, if you don’t want to confabulate with PPP aligned unions like GAWU and NAACIE what about the other unions?
The two UG unions come to mind. What input the TUC had in the annual budgets of the APNU+AFC administrations? In fact, in the very last budget, the TUC head and the Finance Minister had a tempestuous disagreement arising out of statements the minister made on the television programme –“Walter Rodney Groundings.”
If an NCM is nonsense so is a point three percent government majority.
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