By The Piper
The PPP is making a big strategic mistake by attacking only the AFC. If the PPP wants to win future elections it will only do so by getting (back) some votes lost to the AFC. The APNU base is basically unmovable.
To attack the AFC, therefore, is like declaring war on the very citizens you want to join you in a campaign for victory. Does the PPP leadership really believe that AFC supporters will come to them on account of slapping around the AFC (Berbice) leadership?
The Opposition has kept up an unrelenting attack on Prime Minister and First Vice-President Moses Nagamootoo (Naga) and Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan. While a good deal of the criticisms are warranted, and should be kept up, others are more troublesome and need careful reflection.
The legitimate charges against the two former PPP stalwarts include breaching the Cummingsburg Accord, thus effectively handing over state power to APNU. President David Granger has apparently made some promises to rectify that situation and the nation now waits for the baby to be delivered. To date, however, the PPP is on reasonable grounds on that score. The more serious charge against Naga by the PPP concerns the massive interference in the state media, a portfolio that the Prime Minister has near absolute control. As a candidate, Naga had trashed the Guyana Chronicle as a rag, and in parliament voted with the APNU to starve NCN and GINA out of existence.
Moreover, upon assumption of high office, Naga also promised that the government would not interfere with the free press. The PPP is also on good grounds in criticising the about turn on that issue. All headlines in the Guyana Chronicle must now be cleared by a handpicked state operative working for the PM. That deserves severe criticism and the PPP is on the right track again.
As for Ramjattan, the criticism is mostly about the rising crime rate and about one measure, the Minister’s insistence on closing bars at 2:00 a.m. and threats to bring that forward to midnight. Criticism of crime rate in any country is fair game for an Opposition party and so the PPP can understandably get ways with that one.
What is not fair, however, is the constant criticism of the Prime Minister’s security details, renovations of the PM’s official residence, and the vehicles at his disposal. The man is the Prime Minister and the things named above are well within the boundaries of reasonable expectations. The current leader of the Opposition should recall similarly unfair attacks against his benefits. The time to stop the attacks is now.
It is clear that the PPP is only picking on the two persons named above. Not a single criticism has been made against the current President, who for all practical purposes, is standing back and enjoying the brutalization of the AFC. Jagdeo did make some points against Minister Jordan but these have quickly faded in the background. Raphael Trotman, the Minister of Governance is also ‘sporting’ while his AFC colleagues are being trashed. Why? That is the question that must be answered.
Freedom House needs to wake up. Here is a tip for the PPP – why not go after the $1.6 billion that is earmarked for improving Mandela Avenue, a one-mile roadway that needs very little improvement. I promise you that would be more productive than attacking Naga and Ramjattan. It would also be more in line with the functions of a responsible Opposition.