THE People’s Progressive Party (PPP) yesterday took to task the recently coalesced Joint Opposition parties, which it says reveals its shadowy nature rather than any genuine concern for national unity by attempting to conceal its identity under a full page advertisement in the media yesterday: “Guyana is ready for a Government of National Unity.”The PPP last evening by way of a public missive questioned the motives of the joint opposition and reminded that “it was the PNC (Peoples National Congress), now APNU (A Partnership for National Unity) that spurned all reasonable attempts by the PPP during the 1960s and during the entire period of authoritarian rule to forge a Government of national unity.”
This, the party explained, was done on the spurious ground that the PNC were the “Bolsheviks” or “majority” party and the PPP the “Mensheviks or “minority” party and therefore could not negotiate on equal terms.
“And is it not the same PNC now APNU that kicked out its junior coalition partner from the PNC-UF coalition government after just a mere three years into the life of the coalition?”
The PPP statement asserts, “The fact of the matter is that the APNU is only trying to create a facade of national unity by cosmetic means, when in actuality it is simply a case of old wine in new bottles…This attempt by APNU to reconstruct its image will not succeed, especially when seen against past experiences of the PNC on the question of a national unity government.”
The ruling party used the opportunity to call on the PNC to explain why it refused to enter into a government of national unity with the PPP during the 1960s and again in the 1970s when it refused to become party to a National Front Government proposed by the PPP.”
Meanwhile, the party’s youth arm, the Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO) last evening also railed at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) over what it calls a formal arrangement with the Guyana National Youth Council (GNYC) to develop strategic messages aimed at mobilising youth to vote during the upcoming May 11, 2015 General and Regional Elections.
“We are also concerned about the manner in which the announcement was made, the process used to select the GNYC, the legitimacy of the GNYC and its mandate as far as representing the interests of Guyanese youth are concerned, the content of the agreement reached and the apparent exclusion of other national and legitimate Youth organisations.”
The PYO specifically placed on record the fact that it is extremely concerned over the involvement of Mr. Glen Bradbury, Chief of Party (USAID/IRI LEAD Project), and Ms. Julie Sookram, representative of IRI LEAD Project “whom we understand represented the GNYC at this meeting with GECOM.”
The PYO in a statement to the media last evening said that as a national youth organisation, the PYO condemns in the strongest possible terms, “the exclusion of other independent and political youth organisations from the purported agreement reached.”
According to the PYO, the GNYC, in no way speaks for or represents the thousands of youth under the PYO’s membership.
“As a matter of fact, the GNYC has no authority to conduct any business with GECOM on behalf of Guyanese youth.”
In fact, the PYO further charges that GECOM erred in the execution of its mandate when it failed to inform its Commissioners of its intention to utilise the services of the questionable GNYC and when it failed to make public both the minutes and contents of the agreements reached with the GNYC as far as developing messages and strategies to encourage youth to vote.
The PYO said too that it “also wishes to express outrage over the involvement and interference of the controversial Leadership and Democracy Project (LEAD) in the domestic affairs of the country…History has shown how projects like these have swayed the outcome of elections in other countries by targeting youths through cosmetic organisations such as GNYC and sending them subtle cues.”
The youth organisation said too that similarly, it believes that the GNYC has deeply rooted political interests and affiliations to opposition groups in society which are trying desperately to access executive power through dubious means.
“The PYO therefore calls on GECOM to scrap its arrangement with the GNYC and engage a wide cross -section of youth organisations with the aim of achieving higher levels of transparency, cooperation and democratic principles as far as rolling out an effective voter education and responsibility programme for Guyanese youth is concerned…The PYO will not be muzzled or sidelined on this matter, and will use all avenues available to ensure that it is part and parcel of the process of ensuring that the 2015 elections are free, fair and transparent.”