Kaieteur News – I failed to see what analysis can be produced to declare that President Ali is a failure, is dictatorial, doesn’t seem to grasp the complexities of Guyanese society, is aloof and doesn’t display the kind of humility that goes with West Indian leadership.
Two years are not long periods of time to adequately assess the performance of a prime minister or president. In the two years of Dr. Ali’s power, the analyst has to look for trends that do not auger well for the future.
Frankly, I have seen none of those ominous indicators. My opinion is that it has not been two years of failure or mediocrity or lack of vision. It has been a solid two-year performance that if the passion and purpose are maintained, Dr. Ali should become a transformational leader.
Opposition politician, Timothy Jonas was the guest on the Gildarie-Freddie Show on Monday evening and when asked about the two years of Dr. Ali’s tenure, he said that he thinks Dr. Ali’s has the best intentions (his words) and is trying his best to persuade supporters on both sides of the political divide.
I share Mr. Jonas’ sentiments and for that reason, I have not been critical of the performance of Dr. Ali since August 2020. I believe the president should be given a chance by the population to implement the programme of sharing Guyana’s wealth in a brand new age in Guyana’s social evolution.
Mr. Jonas did not stop there. He went on to say that despite the president’s genuine efforts to realise his One Guyana dream, the other half of the population is not persuaded. I want to disagree with Mr. Jonas and my argument will be academic rather than politically driven.
When we speak of a society’s frustration with its governmental leader, two caveats must be observed. Did we measure the dissatisfaction and if not, how did we come to that conclusion.
The second caveat is that we have to ascertain if the detractors of the head of government speak for the population or even their constituencies or how large in the society is the receptive ear. What critical voices against the government have to be careful with in analysing state performance is how reflective of the population is the condemnation of the opposition and their surrogates.
I think a seminal intervention in the debate of whether Dr. Ali has performed or not is a statement made about four or six months ago by Dr. Clive Thomas. I mentioned Mr. Jonas and now Dr. Thomas because both men are not in the PPP’s camp. Mr. Jonas of ANUG and Dr. Thomas of WPA are not PPP fans.
Dr. Thomas told his interviewer, David Hinds, that Guyana has finally gotten money that it can use to make alleviation (my word) of poverty possible. But he added that he regrets such resources have fallen into the hands of the PPP. Looked at from any angle, Dr. Thomas is saying the State now has money for poverty reduction.
It is my opinion that Dr. Ali has the genuine intention in an equitable distribution. If I am wrong, then I think society needs to see evidence of the skewed distribution. In this context, an Emancipation Day statement by Mr. Nigel Hughes is extremely relevant and I stress the adverb extremely.
Mr. Hughes advised that an analysis needs to be conducted by African leaders to ascertain how much African communities have been deprived so far. This is quite a logical attitude but it has an equally logical response. Unless the analysis is presented, then I think demagoguery can never replace facts and statistics. And demagoguery and propaganda are what pass for analysis in negatively judging Dr. Ali’s two-year balance sheet.
It is in this context, I think Dr. Ali has won the battle for three reasons. One is that his detractors in the opposition do not have a mesmerising presence among their constituencies for analysts to conclude that Dr. Ali is not in possession of a receptive ear among those who are not among his constituencies.
Secondly, within a 12-month period, Dr. Ali has reached, by his conspicuous presence, more communities and enclaves in Guyana than any prime minister or president since Independence and the reception has been plausible and at times exciting.
This is not to say that in the first year of office, Dr. Ali was more popular than Forbes Burnham and Cheddi Jagan. My point is he has been more among the people in his first year than Burnham and Jagan. Thirdly, I think in ways to come before the 2025 poll, Dr. Ali may have won over suspicious constituencies.
(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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