Businesses in “stand and wait” mode as elections loom

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By Kurt Campbell

regent-street[www.inewsguyana.com] –The Private Sector Commission (PSC) has stayed clear of applying any pressure on President Donald Ramotar to name a date for the holding of general and regional elections, as promised, but has bemoaned the effects pre – election periods have on businesses.

Speaking frankly but generally on the issue, Chairman of Trade and Investment of the PSC, Ramesh Dookhoo said businesses have suffered considerably from the “obstructionist politics” he has accused all political parties of engaging.

When asked about the effects the current uncertainty surrounding elections is having on businesses, Dookhoo told Reporters that “the private sector hates elections. We do no business before elections and we do no business after election, so we hate elections.”

President Ramotar had promised late last year to name a date for ‘E’ Day early in 2015 after he prorogued Parliament on November, 10, 2014. He is yet to announce a date with observers saying it will not come until internal issues within the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) are resolved.

, Chairman of Trade and Investment of the PSC, Ramesh Dookhoo
, Chairman of Trade and Investment of the PSC, Ramesh Dookhoo

Elections are not constitutionally due until November 2016. To this end, Dookhoo said “having elections before the five year is up is a huge disenfranchisement… we have suffered from the obstructionist politics on all three sides that has occurred over the last year in Parliament.”

“As a Guyanese and a private citizen I am ashamed by the fact that our politicians cannot find it in their hearts to work for you and me to have a better Guyana!” he exclaimed.

It was the Opposition that first drew attention to the impact the delay in naming a date for elections was having on businesses; saying it was putting a damper on the economy.

Council Member of the PSC, Kit Nascimento explained that once elections are known to be pending, in almost any country,it tends to encourage a “wait and see attitude” in the commercial sector.

He said businesses like to invest in predictable stable situations and “once an election is about to be held there is no doubt that it is going to have an effect on the business community and on tourism in that it creates a stand and wait and see the result attitude.”

He said pre – elections periods are certainly not an environment in which businesses can progress.

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