Almost five months have passed but no measures have been put in place to counter the rise of a dictatorship and or protect our natural resources. As Mr. Glen Lall has informed us, our natural resources that are being given away and in fact also subsidized with tax benefits (Dec 27) to foreigners with Guyanese companies at a disadvantage to compete with them.
The public needs to be reminded that the plan or plot to install a dictatorship during the March 2 electoral rigging has not been abandoned. The plan was to establish what was essentially going to be a racist dictatorship with military and police support. The rigging was to give APNU a victory and then use the armed forces to secure the victory. The diplomats prevented that plot from coming to fruition through sanctions and international pressure. The ABCE countries’ intervention was not over preference for any party, but they could not afford to have a military backed government and a racist one at that. One recalls that the ABCE countries supported the removal of PPP from office in 2015. ABCE countries do not want to see a military supported government being entrenched.
The scoundrels have not given up on their desire to come to power. They still harbour feelings of assuming power through the backdoor. The PPP has not thought of an effective response. Since coming to power on August 2, the PPP has not pursued effective countermeasures; the government remains vulnerable as was observed with violence in West Berbice where three lives were sacrificed to divide the people. Intelligence gathering has been weak on the violence and arresting the brain behind the violence.
The PPP has shown itself to be very ineffective or adopting a “don’t care damn” attitude on security. During the five months attempt to rig the election, aside from a handful of dedicated loyalists who volunteered to protect the ballot boxes from tampering, the PPP was not very effective in combating the rigging. The PPP did not take assertive measures against the rigging, relying solely on diplomatic measures of the international community. It was the diplomats who were in the forefront against the rigging and who saved democracy. Had the diplomats been silent or not pro-active, the rigging would have been completed. On three separate occasions, measures were put in place to swear in David Granger; once Granger would have sworn in, then the election would have been over. A dictatorship would have been in place. And we would have had to go to court and wait for five years like what happened in 2015 and we are still waiting for a court date.
Democracy is very fragile in our country. Since August 2, virtually nothing has been done to counter any plan to destabilize the government. The kind of “one person leadership” in the government will not protect the victory of August 2. Collective leadership and interactions with the public are needed to counter destabilization plan of the former government officials who have no qualms about establishing a dictatorship. Collective participation in decision making is needed. The PPP needs to strengthen institutions within the party. The youth group (PYO) and the women’s organization (PWO), among other groups need to be rehabilitated and revamped. These groups need to be re-activated as in the glorious days of the Jagans. Village and party groups also need to be re-activated. These various groups need to be strengthened and put into action mode to counter destabilization acts of the predecessors.
On special benefits being given to foreigners for oil and gas investment, we want same for local investors. Tax breaks should be withdrawn from foreigners. In fact, locals should receive greater incentives than foreigners.
Haresh Kumar Singh