by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 20 August 2006)
Has anyone else noticed how efficiently the ruling party is attempting to run the country in the last couple of weeks? If they had put this much effort into their entire term, I would have very little to write about and all of the hilarious propaganda from Information Liaison to the President, Robert Persaud, MBA, could actually be taken seriously.
It has not escaped my attention that after months of brutal murders of innocent citizens, the PPP has finally decided that perhaps they should ask for some outside help since they are obviously in over their heads when it comes to the security of the nation.
Although asking Caricom for help was a good move, asking Bernard Kerik for help was like asking a pirate to watch your treasure chest full of gold coins and rare jewels while your run to the store to buy a lock for it.
Likewise, it cannot go unnoticed that criminals are finally being arrested (or killed). This is indeed very interesting since these slippery thieves and vile murderers have gone for an extended period of time without much resistance.
Oh, sure, the government has always made all the right noises so it would seem like they cared. They would condemn criminal acts and call on the GPF to step up their efforts to reign in the crime situation, but when it came down to actually giving the nation some real hope for help by rolling up their sleeves and getting to work, they chose to sip red wine while writing incredulous propaganda instead.
However, things have really started to happen in the last couple weeks. Criminals are being brought down left and right in a flurry of arrests and shootouts. It is as if someone gave law enforcement officials the green light to finally clean up the streets of Guyana.
I expected this to happen months ago and was a bit perturbed that the self-assured PPP hadn't taken the necessary measures to at least appear to be competent as the elections neared. It was almost as if they were so confident about winning the elections that they felt they would test the citizens to see just how inept their party could be and still be elected for another term.
If the PPP had actually taken the crime situation more seriously months ago, perhaps our colleagues here at Kaieteur News would still be alive today. If they had called in Caricom last summer when crime sprees were suspiciously overt, then perhaps those killed in Agricola would still be alive and with their families too.
Had Guyana's cocky government not received a wake up call by way of a NACTA poll showing them with less support than needed for a majority, it is highly possible that all of those putrid villains who have been apprehended in the last week would still be roaming the streets.
It seems the PPP is sweating now and begging for votes as they attempt to portray the image of a competent government that is hard on crime in a country that is overwhelmed with fear.
Reporting on a PPP rally from last weekend, Stabroek News wrote this, "Jagdeo asked those gathered to try and convince supporters of the other parties or others who may want to move away from supporting the PPP/C, to come into the PPP/C fold. 'We have to work on the PNC supporters... go to their homes, tell them we have a space for them. When you go back home carry on the message. Our message is one of progress'."
As if this statement was not desperate enough, Stabroek News then quotes the Prime Minister who makes an even more frantic plea, "I want to emphasise. We must emphasise. We want to win a majority. We want to. We need to go more than 50%. Indeed I hope we win 60%. And therefore everyone of you must vote and see every member of your family goes out and vote for the PPP/C,' Hinds said."
"And you need to work. You need to work with those who may not have been here, who may still be fearful of coming and identifying with us, those who may still be suspicious of us. You need to `sweet talk' them, cajole them. Encourage them to vote for us once more.' There is no doubt, Hinds said, 'that things go better when the PPP/C is in government'."
Do they really believe people will buy this nonsense? Does Mr. MBA and his Public Relations team really think the people have such a short memory? The one very poignant point is that this party is not running its campaign on its governing record. It is begging for votes and making empty promises because party leaders know its record is as villainous as the criminals who have been rounded up recently.
I do not support any party and try to stay as neutral as possible. However, I adamantly oppose giving the PPP another opportunity to drag Guyana through the mud for another five years.
I voted for George Bush in his first term and when I saw what he was doing to the U.S., I refused to even consider him for another term. However, he used fear tactics to garner enough support to get back in office and look what he has done to America. I hope Guyanese are smarter than the Americans were in the last major elections.