One expectation of election campaigns is for contesting parties to tell the electorate of their plans for the development of the country and its people. This is an important aspect since voters want to hear what the parties plan to do. This allows them choices when casting a ballot.
By not being made aware of plans during the campaign, voters are left deprived of the opportunity to be informed on what could be in store for them if that party were to win. In other words, the absence of plans means that the electorate would more than likely be voting blindly.
In the current campaign for the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government is yet to provide to the electorate its plans were it to win. More importantly, having served almost five years, it has failed to offer any information on whatever it may have achieved during that time. The absence of those two sets of information is glaring and most unusual for a government seeking re-election.
Obvious questions would be: is there a record of achievement? Are there plans if re-elected? Those questions seem fair and given that the information has been absent thus far, one may conclude that there is no record of achievement or plans. That conclusion is within the context that if the two sets of information in question were available, then it would have been boasted of since the inception of the campaign.
As it is, the APNU/AFC’s campaign is replete with disparaging rhetoric directed at the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), with most of it being directed at its General Secretary. The PPP/C has pointed this out over time in its campaign and has blasted the Government for failing to achieve anything of substance during its tenure since 2015 and for its inability to formulate meaningful plans to develop the country.
In reality, there has been no major achievement by the APNU/AFC Government since in office. All of the projects undertaken: the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and the East and West Coast road projects, just to name a few, originated or began under the tenure of the PPP/C Government. It’s the same for other projects for which funding was agreed to under the PPP/C.
APNU/AFC boasts of the D’Urban Park Project, which is shrouded in controversy with regard to its financing. In addition, what else that was noticeably done, seems for its own purpose and for the propagation of the colour associated with APNU – green. A massive green fence was erected around the Ministry of the Presidency despite the fact an effective one was already in place. State House and some offices, schools and bridges were repainted green.
That, funded by taxpayers’ money, does not benefit the populace in any way. It appears as a deliberate ploy to elevate APNU’s colour to a level superior to all others. The indoctrination of that colour, especially on impressionable minds, was addressed in the past.
When all is taken into consideration, it becomes extremely difficult to find any semblance of a track record of development that can be associated with the APNU/AFC Government since 2015. In contrast, the PPP/C’s can easily be found.
The Berbice Bridge; the National Stadium; the Arthur Chung Conference Centre; the Marriott Hotel; coastal and hinterland roads; numerous new schools; hospitals and health centres; the University of Guyana Tain Campus; the two new ferries; the extension of the life of the Demerara Harbour Bridge; new electricity generating plants; advancement in Information Communications Technology (ICT) and numerous housing schemes, are just a few in addition to the CJIA project and others mentioned.
All of those projects, individually and collectively, impacted directly and positively on the lives of Guyanese. Over time, they were the catalysts that drove the unprecedented and sustained economic growth and development that led to the vast improvement in the lives of Guyanese. Those projects still stand as some of the evidence of what the PPP/C achieved under its 23-year tenure. That’s a track record worth boasting of.
In addition, the PPP/C had pursued the construction of the Amaila Falls Hydroelectricity Project and the Specialty Hospital designed for cheap, reliable and renewable electricity and advanced healthcare respectively. Such projects speak to visionary thinking catering for the future. Both were scuttled by APNU/AFC while in Opposition.
That said, in the wake of the PPP/C’s indisputable track record and the lack of a similar one by the APNU/AFC, it becomes clearer why the Government’s campaign is focused on accusations and disparagement. On all counts, that is unfair to the electorate since they themselves can attest to the benefits of the many projects implemented and completed under the tenure of the PPP/C.
That lack of achievement by the APNU/AFC can also explain its noticeable desperation as evident by the destruction of electoral material associated with the PPP/C. Some of its supporters have gone much further and have intimidated and abused PPP/C’s activists. Had there been a track record, it’s very possible that the APNU/AFC’s desperation and its resulting actions could have been replaced by rhetoric based on issues rather than on personality. Unfortunately, time would not allow.