by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 12 March 2006)
I have been a leader in various forms over the years, as have most adults. For this reason alone, I cannot fully comprehend the actions of Guyana’s so-called leaders this past week.
When things are going badly for a group, the leader of that group is expected to find ways to turn the bad situation around. A leader is expected to surround him/herself with wise counsellors that offer solid advice on how to change a negatively charged environment into a workable situation.
On the contrary, how does Guyana’s President respond to a highly negative situation? He pulled out one of the vilest tricks in the book, racial politics. He knew full well what this could do to the country. He knew it could lead to the deaths of many, riots, the loss of the World Cup, further economic decline and increased crime, but he did it anyway.
We all knew it would happen. We have all seen it coming. But that didn’t make it any less incredulous when it finally happened. What makes this even more unbelievable is that the President’s party has been shown to be friendly with criminals too. If this isn’t a case of the pot calling the kettle black, I don’t know what is.
Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo actually said, "I want you to know that the same people who have to steal the guns now would be given the guns if the government changes. The people who have to steal the guns today would be given the guns because they are in close bed with some of the elements in the opposition. I have said this many times, they used to visit the bandits in Buxton.”
The President also accused the PNC of using fear to keep the people away from the voting booths. He did not offer any proof for his statement about the guns; it was just thrown out there for the world to chew on (and the President turns around and sues someone else for libel in the same week?). At least the U.S. report provided proof of the PPP’s dealings with a known drug lord with a piece of land given to the criminal.
While I am adamantly opposed to the idea of boycotting an election since it is akin to boycotting democracy in my eyes, I cannot help but wonder if the President realises how very scary it is that his party knows the name and location of at least one drug lord and does absolutely nothing about it. That, Mr. President, produces great fear in the people.
The PNC is now calling for the PPP to relinquish their power. It won’t happen – and it shouldn’t happen. Who would run the country until the elections? The PNC? They were not elected to do so by the people. It does seem like the PNC is pulling out all stops to get back into power, but the only way they can constitutionally do it - and have the support of the people - is to win the majority in the next elections.
The PNC is pulling out all sorts of tricks to get back in power and the PPP is playing the race card to stay in power. It is all absolutely disgusting to me. Clinton was technically impeached for having an intern pleasure him sexually, but the escapades of the politicians in Guyana for the last couple of weeks make Clinton look like a choirboy. There is a small movement in the U.S. to impeach Bush because of his wire tapping transgressions, but I don’t see him running around suing newspapers for libel.
Over the last couple of weeks, the decisions made by the President, the leader of Guyana, have been detrimental to the country. Instead of pushing for unity after a terrifying ordeal, he deliberately used that event to split the country. In the same week, he sues a media outlet. Quite frankly, I would not allow a leader like this to lead me anywhere.
If you ask me, Guyana would be better off finding some obscure farmer from the hinterland to vote into office than some of these so-called leaders it has now. Guyana does not need to boycott the next elections, it needs to use the upcoming elections to get rid of these pathetic leaders once and for all and replace them with some leaders who will do something good for Guyana for a change.