by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 31 August 2006)
Now that it seems the people have expressed a vote of confidence in Jagdeo's ability to govern and turn Guyana around, the question now turns to what the President will do with this opportunity. Will he finally step out from the shadows of Freedom House and Janet Jagan and make decisions that are clearly beneficial for Guyana?
For example, although the people of Guyana have spoken and given Jagdeo another chance at governing their nation, just as they said they would according to a recent poll by NACTA, the people also said in that poll that they would like for the President to fire his cabinet. Will Jagdeo do right by the people who elected him and cater to what they want and need?
In the past, party faithful were appointed to ministerial positions regardless of whether they had the qualifications for that position. Many of these individuals have gone from rags to riches during their short term in office while the country at large continues to wallow in abject poverty. However, if the President cleans up his cabinet, this would go a long way in helping the people to begin to trust their leaders.
Does the President even care if the people trust their leaders? Will he look across the span of the country and find the most qualified individuals to be his partners in leading Guyana to prosperity? Will he demand that the ministers of his cabinet be above reproach and insist they declare their net worth to the people of Guyana prior to taking office so there can be finally be accountability in Guyana's government?
Will he immediately and without delay, pull the PPP out of hypocrisy and privatise the Chronicle, as well as the television and radio stations owned and controlled by the State? (The very practice the PPP fought against while the PNC was in power)
Will the President create a Ministry of Spin and Propaganda and appoint Robert Persaud, MBA to head the ministry so he can be groomed to be Mrs. Jagan's next presidential candidate of choice? Or will Jagdeo see the wisdom of appointing Moses Nagamootoo to a prime position to help steer the party for the next five years?
Mrs. Jagan's communism has proven to be a very bad deal for Guyana and it is time someone stepped up and made that declaration. In a gist, I just want to know if the President will finally have the guts to cut the apron strings and be the strong and just leader that Guyana so desperately needs right now.
Will he put issues that matter at the forefront of his agenda, such as building a strong economy, containing the crime situation, bolstering the nation's infrastructure, revamping the educational system and addressing the many women's issues that still permeate the social framework of the national culture?
Will his next administration give Guyana more than a bag full of hot air on these important topics? In real life, spin and propaganda are nothing more than empty words to a single mother who is trying to find food for her children or a family that has just been beaten and robbed by vile thieves.
Mr. President, the people - not Freedom House or Janet Jagan - elected you. Therefore, your loyalty should be to the people and no one else. Some in Freedom House might say they helped you get elected again, but you were the only thing the PPP had going for them this election term. You helped the PPP get re-elected – not the other way around.
Even though you have not done right by the people in the past (in so many ways), they still trust you enough to place their country under your leadership for one more term. What would it hurt for you to find out what the people want from you and act accordingly?