Guyana – One Way Forward

Guyana – One Way Forward

Dear Editor,

It was expected that both the PPP and APNU would do their best to get elected into Government. They both gave it their best and should be contented with the results.
Frankly, for APNU to not know the depth of the betrayal felt by the supporters of the AFC since the last election is an extreme form of denial. The reality of that betrayal can be seen in the way the PPP has picked up increase in support throughout the country.

The PPP and APNU should not wait for the court to order that the counts for Region 4 be verified. This would put all of Guyana in a very bad place. Leading members of civic society are calling for dialogue. I support dialogue and agreement before the Chief Justice should render her decision.

I do not believe dialogue should be about shared governance, because a vibrant opposition is always necessary to give the people a different perspective. In Guyana, politicians are not generally known to put the people first; as such, shared governance can also mean that more politicians will share in the pie, leaving much less for the people. This will not do.

I put on the table for discussion interim measures in the form of Inclusive Governance as follows:
1. All Civil Servants, Public Servants, Teachers, the Armed Services, Government Corporations and Government-owned entities employing people must subscribe to a code of conduct that requires them to be non-political.
– Since they are beneficiaries of the State and have control of State resources; they must not have any political associations or exercise influence in favour of any political party.
– Agree to purge the services of anyone who cannot subscribe to this code of conduct
– Employment must be by merit – this should eliminate racial discrimination and political marginalisation, incompetence and corruption.
– Under this system, everyone can be included in governance for the people. You can also address things like gender representation etc.

2. Create a National Advisory Council comprising representatives from all the political parties not in power. This council must be given legal status and authority such that government must involve them in decision-making and cannot act contrary to their advice and recommendations.

3. With immediate effect, parliamentarians should be allowed to vote against their party without any restrictions and repercussions. Parliamentarians can cross the floor.

4. With immediate effect, persons from the diaspora should be allowed to be members of parliament.

5. Constitutional Reform. Commit to a National Consultation of reform. Implement Reforms before the next elections.

6. Election should be held under the new/reformed constitution.

7. After elections, the National Advisory Council can be discontinued if not required.

I see this as easy to agree to and to implement, and will provide for a form of shared governance while retaining effective opposition, as I believe that governments should change regularly.

Yours respectfully,
Sase Shewnarain

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