…being managed sadly as single-party unit – David Hinds
By Michael Younge
The ruling People’s National Congress (PNC)-led A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government is not practising transformative politics and is being managed as a single party as opposed to a multi-party structure in which life is given to the notions of shared governance and political inclusivity.
This is the position of political analyst, Dr David Hinds, who is also an Executive Member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) party which forms part of the APNU/AFC coalition.
Dr Hinds, speaking with Inews during an exclusive interview on Thursday, insisted that Government was underperforming in certain areas because of the inability of its politicians to properly manage coalition dynamics.
“The overall governance score sheet has also been mixed – strong foreign policy management but too many political errors of judgement in domestic affairs. I think this is due to less than sterling management of coalition dynamics. The biggest error is the overconcentration of political decision making within the Government and trying to manage the coalition as if it were a single-party administration,” he remarked.
Hinds explained that the success of the coalition will depend solely on its ability to modernise its partner by demonstrating a higher level of political maturity when making key decisions that could affect the public’s perception and by extension, the development of the country.
Asked whether he believed that shared governance was still the only answer to Guyana’s political woes, he responded in the positive. That form of governance was largely touted by former President Desmond Hoyte and endorsed to an extent by former PNC/R Leader Robert Corbin when he became Guyana’s Opposition Leader in the early 2000s.
Former Presidents Cheddi Jagan, Janet Jagan, Bharrat Jagdeo and Donald Ramotar who sat in the highest seat of power for more than two decades have also accepted from time to time that shared governance appears realistic but it could not work unless those proposing practical structures also proposed feasible initiatives for building political trust and compromise.
Several attempts at working out a formula for shared governance since the early 1990s have failed for one reason or the other.
But Dr Hinds was adamant that it is still the most feasible answer to bridge Guyana’s political impasse.
“But I am concerned about the capacity of our politicians to rise to the occasion. Take for example the mini-shared governance in the form of the coalition. It has not been transformational. There is not a genuine desire on the part of the politicians to share governance – they still take a “dominant-party” mindset into the partnership, which undermines the essence of shared governance. So, you end up with a fragmented Government rather than a partnership based on mutual respect and shared purpose,” he maintained.
Dr Hinds added that “This is now my biggest fear of a PPP-PNC power sharing government. They may go into a power sharing arrangement only to undermine it. But I still think it is our best option for some sort of political stability”.