While the recount continues to hold the attention of the electorate who voted to select the President and Party of their choice, there is, apparently, a quiet undercurrent of brokering amongst political parties in the name of shared governance.
It’s not the kind of thing that didn’t come across as a command from the US Madam Ambassador in her open letter to us all that said “The major parties – and the smaller ones too – all offer the opportunity to continue an excellent bilateral relationship based on a shared commitment to supporting improved governance, prosperity, and security in Guyana. Let’s get on with that important work.”
But it’s the kind of diplomatic tourism that Kofi Anan once used as a metaphor during a mediation in Kenya in 08 and the kind of bottom shopping that has become the domain of the Madam’s “smaller ones too” that have been given the impression that our government can be assembled by foreign decision and not the dictates of a national Constitution- ceding sovereignty to the powers that offer broad- stroked ‘Political and Diplomatic’ intervention as a one size fits all, to align with their specific agenda.
We’ll resist reminding them that one size doesn’t fit ‘all’ even in their countries but will instead, look, very concisely, at some of the critical layers involved in the establishment of shared governance in Guyana and the practicality of the application through a ‘western model’, made more for the success of a western agenda than for longevity in Guyana’s postcolonial climate.
Popular thinking is that shared governance has worked in Israel so it must work in Guyana.
Of course there are indisputable similarities to Netanyahu and the PPP, with Benjamin being credibly accused of slaughter with genocidal intent and assault on his nation’s treasury.
This is not at all incomparable to Jagdeo’s reign of terror through election rigging, the slaughter of Afro Guyanese and a maze of international loans slushed through a system of accounting by the husband and wife team, Ashni and Gitanjali, last name Singh, with interrelated crimes exposed by, then, noble watchdog Chris Ram, who detailed the national financial rape by NICIL, as only he could.
Like Netanyahu, Jagdeo, too, was the nucleus of a cascading of crimes, like the larcenous acquisition of real estate by PPP members then re-sold at usurious prices.
There was the land that was gifted to the people of Guyana by Guysuco which Jagdeo sold to international criminal and friend of Trump, Oleg Deripaska, at about 60% discount, ON THE BOOKS.
There was, like Netanyahu, Jagdeo’s abuse of power and tax payers’ dollars, in using 3 of the 4 transformers in his area to power his mansion, as his citizens remained on mandatory load shedding schedule; and all the other excesses dark minded despots deploy for self –assurance.
And though Netanyahu and Jagdeo are cuts of the same criminal cloth they are not slices of the same political pie. No Western country offered commentary or pre-supposed that there was a crisis of democracy or people’s rights in Israel at any point during its three elections in one year.. and, for those thinking otherwise, America gives foreign aid to Israel…USD 3.8 billion in 2019 …so one would think “protecting their interests” would apply to those recipients too.
But that’s for another conversation.
The differences amongst Israeli Jews are as granular as the differences amongst the six races occupying Guyana… not the least of which is racial division which became chasmic under the Jagdeo iteration of PPP mal –administration and exists now as daily expulsions of social vomit on the internet community.
It is cavalierly ambitious to suppose that a summit chaired by foreigners with a power point presentation and some stock phrases to ascribe to situations and assumed solutions could mend the inheritance of disadvantage and excavate the poison that is injected through racial indoctrination at an early age.
A few weeks ago, a Guyanese East Indian grandmother posted a video of her prompting her grandchild to respond ‘black man’ after she asked a series of racist questions, one of which was “who is a ugly monkey?” The child responded ‘black man’gleefully and received the endearing “yeeesss” from Granny.
It was conditioning at best and child abuse at worse…and was as calculatedly inflammatory as the video of the UG Student, Kayume, setting a cash trap to see when ‘black man goin’ teef it.
That’s the kind of mind altering that will not be eroded by any round table session with foreigners pouring over some academic model.
And floating around in the shared governance orbit is the establishment of political legacy…which makes it all the more unpalatable.
You don’t start with legacy. You earn it.
Legacies tend to follow ground breaking acts born of enough substance that they are inherently enduring and, therefore, evolve into so much significance, such invaluable benefaction that they become legacies.
In other words governing is the mission. Legacy is its reward when it is a championed endeavor that positively impacts every person, every class, along the social spectrum.
You don’t start with it. You start with the thing that leads to it.
What Guyana needs is Constitution reform.
The current Constitution sits amended to threads by Jagdeo who, like his predecessors Cheddi and Janet, kept the very self-serving parts that they condemned Forbes Burnham for then expanded them out to get us to laws that were constructed on a Partisan ideology for beneficiaries that were not inclusive of all six races…resulting in thousands of acres of land being ‘leased’ under 99 year terms – a law reserved for business longevity – to nonbusiness recipients of Jagdeo’s Party who are, largely, of East Indian descent.
The reformed Constitution should stipulate that a 1 seat majority cannot vote to make changes that will affect 60% – 70% of the population, which is what happens when the larger Parties rule.
There should be some studied implementation of assigning 3 seats to smaller Parties which will, of necessity, increase Charrandass duty patrol.
This type of oversight will require chartered participation of Civil Society which will perform within legally binding parameters to lobby Parliament on citizens’ behalf .
And not the least of importance is that boycotting or disrupting Parliamentary sessions BY ANY PARTY should be banned, outlawed, de-constitutionalized because members of Parliament are to work for the people, not for themselves, not for a Party and certainly not for the damn show especially because they act on our behalf.
Just thoughts on how the Constitution can be revamped to serve all Guyanese.
We’ll also say this, especially to the Guyanese asking for the Carter Center and OAS members to be participant in Guyana’s politics.
Any government- OF ANY PARTY THAT IS – that loses an election and is installed by a group of outsiders following a blueprint, is one that makes a mockery of the electoral process and subverts sovereignty for puppetry.
It is the Constitutional right of the electorate to determine who will form its government by ballot and by predetermined procedures protected by law.
An installed government would hamper democracy by circumventing all this.
And while we’re on this part of the subject, we’ll address the threat of sanctions leveled against Guyana by those who feel that we are sufficiently indebted to be completely beholden, so they can act like Tommy Two Shoes holding a bucket of cement as they dare us to go against their commands.
Guyana was essentially pawned to the West for the duration of PPP rule but more so under Jagdeo who accepted more Foreign Aid by volume and dollar amount than any other Administration in the history of Guyana…See US InterAmerican Development Bank.
There are still untold aid packages from China which can be added to Bai Shan Lin and other rapacious contracts to Guyanese and their patrimony- like Jagdeo hiring a car company ‘China National Import and Export Corporation’ to repair the new and expensive Sugar Factory- a USD 30M repair on a USD 110M construction that had never squeezed a drop of cane juice at Skeldon, when sugar was on its death bed.
And Russia and Rusal and international criminal Deripaska .
Russia’s cancellation of USD 17 million in debt between 2004 and 2013, Rusal’s unpaid leases of USD 1.2 M monthly to villages at Kurubukaka and Hururu mashed up with Oleg’s purchase of the the people’s land at an unusual discount, an expose of NICIL and the crew, in which ‘honest’ business man Gerry Gouveia gets ‘honorable’ mention, are just a few damning documentations of the way Jagdeo used national revenue sources for wealth for personal and/or tribal wealth advancement.
We’ll say here, too, that none of the loans for sea defense and drainage and irrigation made significant changes in flooding because significantly nothing was done in those areas for which those funds were specifically earmarked.
Might we add a look at government spending from 1992 to 2015 and our trade balance (import/export difference).
And here’s some on the deforestation program signed with Norway to halt logging in Guyana’s rain forest which is part of the lungs of the world.
Incentive was $250 million to be paid in parts correspondent to reduction, with the first portion of $30 million paid in 2010.
In signature PPP fashion, however, Jagdeo sold that piece of real estate twice because Bai Shan Lin and Vaitarna were still logging per their contracts with his government when he contracted with REDD –Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation to stop the logging.
And like his dossier with intelligence agencies, not the least of which is US State Department shows in its para 2 : On the other hand, Jagdeo’s motivation is not preservation for preservation’s sake, and Guyana may ultimately offer its forests to the highest bidder…
that could have been forward planning if there was a contemporaneous uptick in national standard of living when these incentive payments were made; even if they were recorded as an asset for the corresponding period on the national balance sheet…which we’d love them to post in case we missed it.
Instead, he embarrassed the nation once more, as his looseness with national aid became international conversation.
So when we say he is thug and a charlatan it’s not personal but provable.
The soft coup that Jagdeo planned through Charrandass has failed because the anticipated 60 day ascension to the government was not the immediate result.
What followed was a Government exercising constitutional provisions to ensure that those who placed it into power in 2015 were not going to have their votes annulled by a thug with a fancy influence peddling machine, in Mercury LLC, touting his faux grassroots campaign.
This episode in our political history has taught us, above all else, that our Constitution is truly a guard rail and the ultimate arbiter of any challenge to our rights.
It confirms, too, that entrenched racial division remains the default trigger for political ambition and will continue to serve that purpose until it is addressed adequately and realistically.
We will submit that repairing racial division is a priority but is not one that can be executed in foreign entity’s time or with its goal as ours. We need to employ a comprehensive and structured approach, utilizing civil society not representing religion, race, group or politics but representing purely Guyanese and with the aim of establishing a charter that will embrace our motto. It must exhume and disinfect the ingrained distaste for so many threads in our social fabric and will require periods of work, implementation and correction, on a rolling basis.
And it may take several months but that’s what will be required for us to get it right, for us to establish that democracy is greater than ideology and our right to select a Government of our choice is equally as non negotiable as the right of all those who claim to be champions of democracy.
And for those ambitiously pursuing legacy, please know that any Shared Governance, per the blueprints drafted in the western sociopolitical laboratories will be the legacies of Western Countries, whose flawed democracies should testify to how their ideas work.
Governance is shared right now, in the Construct of an Opposition and will work for its intended purpose if it is not weaponized but is deployed as the stabilizing check, to curtail ideological excesses and balance, to ensure the equitable distribution of revenue and aid in the form of services to all geographical regions and the nation’s six peoples.