The Working Peoples Alliance (WPA) has called for a restoration of cohesion here and has urged the main opposition, PPP, to retreat from its “naked aggression.”
In a statement the WPA said it notes with much concern the developments in our country since March 2 when Guyanese went to the polls to elect the next government. According to the party, even for a party that is well aware of the dangers of elections within a winner-takes-all framework, “we are alarmed at the turn of events. As things stand, what is at stake is the very survival of the multi-ethnic covenant that has held our country together since emancipation.”
The WPA said the signs of dislocation are too evident to be ignored, but, in the circumstances it will deliberately refrain from commenting on the matters before the court. The party said a fair comment must await a comprehensive observation and analysis of all the evidence from all sides of the political spectrum. It is against that background that we pledge to abide by the ruling of the court and let the rule of law guide us to safer territory.
WPA has, throughout its long life as a political party and actor, advocated for a political solution to our historical problems in the form of a power-sharing Government of National Unity which guarantees our major ethnic groups protection against domination by the other. It is the foremost reason for our initial and continued membership of the Coalition which we view as a steppingstone towards such a government. We renew that call now in this hour of desperation.
“It is unfortunate that the narrow branding of the Coalition both from within and without has partly resulted in the ongoing election being perceived as a straight ethno-political fight between the two major parties. WPA’s attempts to alter that narrative were clearly not as successful as we wanted it to be. Our considered view is that the situation warrants a radical intervention to restore some semblance of cohesion.” “But even as we advance that idea which seems to be coming from several quarters, we must implore on the major actors, particularly the PPP to retreat from the naked aggression that has characterized the events of the past week. The storming of GECOM’s command centre was a form of “militaristic” intervention that has compromised that party’s claim as an untainted actor. We are appalled that those, including the diplomatic community and the international and local observers, who are seemingly fixated on the purity of the elections have ignored that grave incident.”
The WPA said the orchestrated protests by the PPP which followed that action at GECOM cannot be dignified as demonstrations in defence of democracy. There is nothing democratic when schoolchildren, law enforcement officers and other innocent citizens are intentionally targeted for extreme violence. WPA is convinced that those mindless attacks were not the outcomes of spontaneous action—they are part of a well-planned campaign of intimidation.
“It is why the WPA urges the international community and other observers to do everything in their power to avoid the trap of being played to engage in overt and covert partisan entanglement. It would be helpful, in the long run, if these international observers confine themselves to the internationally accepted role of neutral observers. National reconciliation cannot be easily achieved if one side feels a sense of victimhood,” the WPA statement added.