APNU+AFC coalition displayed a penchant for establishing commissions of inquiry except an introspective one
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LAST week, I posited that the APNU+AFC coalition was not only fragile but loose which affected its ability to govern Guyana effectively and efficiently. Two issues hamstrung the coalition from delivering in the first years in office: (a) to iron out internal dissonance, and (b) the miscalculation of the PPP/C’s power and influence, namely, its stellar record of resistance against political recklessness. While I am not surprised by the above oversight largely due to incompetence and heavy-handedness, it is outlandish that the coalition did not care a whit to establish a commission/committee to address the self-styled pantheon of political minds within its rank and file. Most leaders in the coalition had rarely sat at the same table before, had remotely taken each other’s ideas and put them to use, and had certainly never been involved in shared leadership. Yet, there they were, leading a nation, rubbing shoulders with each other like roosting geese.

Moreover, it is not that the coalition had found commissions/committees of inquiry unattractive to address what it perceived as pressing issues. The coalition had displayed a penchant for establishing a cauldron of committees for everything else but itself. Arguably, a committee, saddled with the responsibility of building trust, and lubricating communication at varying levels, would have been forward-looking insofar as forestalling unverified, leaked information and promoting magnanimity of the coalition. These routine engagements combined with the missing habit of introspection were simply alien practices in the coalition, which paradoxically, are required criteria in any administration commonly known as checks and balances in government.

Even if there was a committee to address internal schisms and anomalies, the coalition would have had to come to grips with the following concrete concerns. How does one transform a political culture where productivity is not rooted in its consciousness? What do you say to politicians who put themselves first and the citizens second in line as to who gets what, how, and when? What do you say to politicians when it is incumbent upon them to be there but are missing in action? How can you convince politicians that they are not above the law? Any attempt to answer these questions would be an agog endeavor, revealing that some Guyanese politicians have been amorphous and clueless. Their knowledge of how public policies should be developed and administered to benefit the nation needs routine nursing and nurturing. They are generally not avid readers, and that deficiency is exposed when they speak. To their credit, they are adept at flaunting party loyalty and being popular among voters. I call this behavior patronymic politics. We have hit a dead-end with these politicians.

So, what we have had is the above in the coalition coupled with the preposterous interference of institutions that ensured its passage to power. I am still flummoxed why former President David Granger would want to besmirch an established procedure and prefer a unilateral approach of choosing a GECOM chairperson. Did he know something that the citizenry was unaware of? Was he not confident anymore of the people seated in GECOM to repeat what occurred in the aftermath of the 2015 general elections, a victory to his party? With each passing day, I hearken back to the thought that the results of the 2015 general elections might have been tampered with to gift the APNU+AFC coalition a slim victory. This is a blind spot in the narrative of Guyana’s general elections that, if explored, the findings might cupboard the 2015 general elections as another rigged election in Guyana.

What is of interest here also is that we saw the first engagement with the courts on matters relating to government, a move that was first voiced by Forbes Burnham when asked about electoral rigging. He reportedly said to take such matters to court. And boy, did we see court matters? Here again, there are questions. Did Granger and his gang know more about the judicial system than the citizenry suspect but could not confirm? The plethora of court cases by the coalition was procedural to find solutions, but in the same vein, the goal was to invade and assault the courts because they appeared corrupt and compromised as the final arbiter. In the contestation of power, the courts are the final stop on dispute resolutions.

It is a sad commentary to suspect, much less see, politicians who have been involved in the dispensation of justice by using the judicial system to vault their interests and judges who clandestinely collaborated with them. This is a shameful and despicable act, grave enough to disrobe them from administering justice. (lomarsh.roopnarine@jsums.edu).

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