EYEWITNESS: Hope for the best…


…but prepare for the worse

Well…here we are, on the third day of the New Year. Yep! Time sure does fly when you’re recovering from the shock of a Government being voted out on a no-confidence motion by the Opposition!! Being the first time for us added an intense frisson to the period, not to mention the existential fear in Guyana by sections of the populace of being beaten into a pulp every time the PNC doesn’t get its way in politics!

Anyhow, from far-off Cuba where he’s getting his second cycle of chemotherapy for his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, President Granger sent a very carefully-crafted New Year’s message that we need to parse just as carefully to get his take on what’s ahead. While he was away, as your Eyewitness explained earlier, the old line PNC hardliners have seized Nigel Hughes “33 is not greater than 32” gambit like a piece of raw meat thrown into a school of sharks. In the feeding frenzy, the PNC hardliners are also attempting a palace putsch.

The President, who returned yesterday, summarised what the APNU/AFC coalition achieved last year and then outlined a long laundry list of what “his administration” will be working to achieve this year. It was only at the fag end of his release that he ALLUDED to the no-confidence resolution, which had instructed he and his Cabinet to resign. Said he rather elliptically:

“Recent developments in the National Assembly have created opportunities for enhanced political cooperation. Meetings between the Government and Opposition will take place in the new year to discuss and determine the way forward for our country. Your Government is prepared to work with the Opposition to ensure that our national objectives are achieved and that 2019 can be a satisfactory year for all.”

So what’s he saying? That he accepts the rules of our political system that instruct him to resign and would quash the outlandish move by members of his party to subvert those rules – as adumbrated in the Constitution??  Doesn’t seem so since he refused to say so unambiguously.

He says, “Meetings between the Government and Opposition will take place in the new year to discuss and determine the way forward for our country.” What’s there to “discuss”?

It would seem he’s bowing to the hardliners in his party – as his PM Nagamootoo and other Ministers have done – to reject the clear cut acceptance of the democratic process and risk returning the old “wrong and strong” thuggish image to the PNC. Your Eyewitness hopes he’s wrong.

Through mainly Granger’s perceived integrity, the PNC’s pariah status was rehabilitated.
Is he willing to gamble that away?

…on Mother of Parliaments example

Moses Nagamootoo and other members of the coalition Government met the western ambassadors about their refusal to resign because “a majority” didn’t vote for the no-confidence motion. Your Eyewitness hopes the British Ambassador had the fortitude to tell him how it’s done in real democracies. They suck it in and get on with a new election!

In 1979 when the Labour Government was defeated 311 to 310, on a no-confidence vote; PM Callahan immediately said, “Tomorrow I shall propose to Her Majesty that Parliament be dissolved as soon as essential business can be cleared up”. His opponent Mrs Margaret Thatcher replied: “As the Government no longer have authority to carry on business without the agreement of the Opposition, I make it quite clear that we shall facilitate any business which requires the agreement of the Opposition”.

In a similar manner, all Jagdeo’s doing is quoting Mrs Thatcher: “…the Government no longer has authority to carry on business without the agreement of the Opposition”.

Call it “caretaker govt” or what you may!!

…with that cook-up rice

After all that cook-up rice amidst the cacophony of the almost continuous explosions of firecrackers on Old Years Night, Guyana must be groggy.

He wishes for more clarity as the year goes by!


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