As the weeks since the general and regional elections slip away, and as the focus leans more towards surviving the deadly coronavirus, no one should forget where we are as regards the political future of Guyana.
The Coalition says it has won the elections and so has the PPP. We know that that (two winners) is impossible, so until all 10 administrative regions would have been recounted, it means that we will have to wait a bit more for a definitive and conclusive result, if that is possible.
What is more pellucid, however, is that, henceforth, one-party dominance of Guyanese politics is over. It is in this context that the AFC in the past week called for some kind of government of national unity to help heal the country’s gaping political, racial, ethnic wounds, the distrust and mistrust of each other, and to soothe what some refer to as Guyana’s ethnic security dilemma.
In our statement we noted that “the Party that is legally empowered to form the next government, accede to an agreed governance arrangement that involves shared governance, national unity and constitutional reform.
The AFC remains confident that the APNU+AFC Coalition was victorious in the elections and expects the final declarations and rulings to confirm that. In light of the current tense political environment the AFC believes that regardless of the final declarations of GECOM and the rulings of the Courts to come, it is incumbent on our national leaders on both sides of the political divide to take bold and decisive action in the interest of achieving national unity, healing and reconciliation.”
Our Party therefore calls on national leaders to immediately begin talks in good faith to achieve these objectives of unity, healing and reconciliation. Our leaders have been authorized to participate in any such meaningful exercise. We propose the following:-
• A Government of National Unity for a mutually agreed defined period.
• A census and national registration exercise to be undertaken and completed within the life of the national unity government.
• Constitutional reform to be pursued and completed within the life of the national unity government, which must include a reform of our electoral system.
Additionally, “the AFC holds the view that Guyana is at a moment in history when a concerted effort must be made to rid our country of its protracted and debilitating ethnic divisions. No Government can be oblivious to this difficult but necessary mission. The Party therefore calls on our national leaders to immediately commence talks in good faith to achieve those objectives of unity, healing and reconciliation. The AFC has authorised its leaders to actively participate in that critical exercise. To this end, the Alliance For Change maintains that following the completion of all legal and constitutional proceedings, it is imperative that the Party that is legally empowered to form the next government must show magnanimity and accede to an agreed governance arrangement that involves shared governance, national unity and constitutional reform.”
Given our opinion on this issue, we believe that it is apt for us to conclude with a quote from a recent column by Dr. David Hinds of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), a coalition partner, in which he expresses the view that some form of unity is required to move this resource-rich country forward.
Dr. Hinds writes that “at some point, we in Guyana would have to face the fact that the greatness we confer on our two major political founder-leaders is severely diminished by the inability to find a workable solution to the most pressing challenge of their time.
I still believe that one of the most compelling factors that influenced the rise to office of the present Government was the very fact that it is a partnership.
Despite the mass instinct for tribal politics among Guyanese, there resides a simultaneous instinct for political jointness. The dialectics of unity and disunity are a fact of seriously fractured societies, I make bold to argue.
It is whether the leaderships they throw up are enlightened enough to seize moments of hope and turn them into possibilities for reconciliation, consensus and national cohesion. The Coalition gave hope to half of the population that the long night of ethno-political despair and disrepair could turn into a bright morning in which all Guyanese could be secure. From APNU to the APNU+AFC Coalition, the leaders showed that compromise and courage could lead to adequate, though not perfect, outcomes”.
(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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