EVERY PPP/C President since 1992 has had a baptism of fire and not one has been able to concentrate energies, time and resources toward engineering the nation’s future according to the developmental path charted in successive PPP manifestos and the Poverty Reduction and National Development Strategies drafted by the Cheddi Jagan-led Government. The political Opposition has been like the legendary albatross riding on the backs of the nation’s progress, which is evocative of ‘walking on quicksand’ for the Government; but despite this cross to bear, the transformation of Guyana’s socio-economic and infrastructural landscapes within a time span of two decades is nothing short of miraculous. In all those years, development and progress were allowed to continue and escalate because the PPP/C had a parliamentary majority.
And this is President Donald Ramotar’s greatest challenge, in that, for the first time ever, the PPP/Civic Government’s developmental trajectory is embattled in the National Assembly, with every developmental initiative being shot down by the joint Opposition (APNU and AFC). That, coupled with the Opposition’s customary extra-parliamentary destructive escapades, has tested the President’s fortitude to the limit.
However, it is in reflecting on the contributions, immense self-sacrifice, commitment to nation-building and all the attributes of Dr. Cheddi Jagan that one can recognise the genesis of that spirit to endure and prevail over the obduracy and negative dynamics of anti-developmental and anti-national forces bent on circumventing progress under a PPP/C Government, even at the cost of the welfare of their own supporters.
That spirit is and has been shaped by the heroism of Guyana’s foremost freedom-fighter and all who stood obdurately at his side over long, hard, unrelenting years of struggle, who braved and endured much to position this country on a pathway to peace, progress and prosperity. There are many laying claims to have been the founding fathers of the PPP, but it is in the party that encapsulates all that he represented and strove for that his spirit resides, and this is the inherent message sublimated in the continuation of the relentless struggle against the destructive and oppressive forces.
President Ramotar played an integral role over the years of struggle against colonialism and undemocratic forces, until the elections of 1992 heralded the dawn of a new era of freedom and progress for the Guyanese people.
During the dark years when all Guyanese were shackled by under-development and abuse, there was always the enduring hope by the party of shaping a better and brighter future for the Guyanese nation, but this current dispensation in the National Assembly has made President Ramotar’s developmental strides seem as though he is walking in a bog, mired in opportunistic grandstanding and theatrical comedy of errors, which no-one finds humorous, because the resultant somersault in Guyana’s developmental trajectory would have tragic consequences for this entire nation.
The patriots and martyrs of the freedom struggle transcended every divide. The gains and transformative demographics since general elections of October 1992 were nothing short of miraculous, but the dark forces of unpatriotic, opportunistic glory-hunters seem to be prevailing, and to all it seems that the only solution to this impasse that is stymieing and reversing national development would be early elections, so that the quicksand impeding social development and economic growth would gradually recede into clearer waters, where developmental endeavours and initiatives can flow freely into the clear waters of peace, progress and prosperity.