Even with a small population like ours, the chance of one becoming a Member of Parliament is slim to none. But if you’re fortunate in your lifetime to have this great honour bestowed upon you, nothing matters more than putting the interest of Guyana and her people above all… above self.
Do the right thing and you will be forever respected as a patriot, a person of integrity, of high moral values, and a champion of the poor and downtrodden. But if you don’t, you become a Moses Nagamootoo or a Khemraj Ramjattan, despised by many for betraying everything they once stood for to cling to position and power.
With a few exceptions, the ruckus behaviour of Government MPs that completely drowned out the entire speech made in the National Assembly by the Leader of the Opposition on the No-confidence Motion (NCM), clearly defines their characters and expose the lowness of those who serve in the highest decision-making forum of Government.
As a Member of Parliament, I am often embarrassed and appalled at the lack of decorum and unparliamentary language and behaviour displayed by some in the National Assembly. Some Government Ministers have no ethics and etiquette. Yet these are the people who represent us at international forums with world leaders and their representatives, and who are given the powers to implement laws that affect the lives of every citizen here.
Then there are others like Nagamootoo and Ramjattan who now willingly betray the principles upon which the AFC was formed and shamelessly defend the transgressions committed by this Government to protect the grandeur and perks they now enjoy as members of Cabinet.
Thankfully, not everyone fits this description. Some, I know, are genuinely concerned that Guyana is headed in the wrong direction, and would do a Charrandas if they weren’t so afraid for their own safety and the wellbeing of their families.
Just yesterday, it was reported in the State newspaper that Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge, who is often above the fray, wrote in a letter to the Canadian High Commissioner that he was “unaware of any threat” to Charrandas Persaud that would have even required consular protection.
Even this career politician who has now distinguished himself as an elder statesman after once presiding over the worst economic period that helped bankrupt the nation during his tenure as the PNC Government Minister of Finance and Planning, seems afraid to condemn his PNC colleague Jennifer Wade, the Region 5 Government MP, whose voice can be clearly identified saying, “Charrandas, you gon dead tonight.”
Surely the Hon Carl Greenidge must have heard this distinct threat himself from the thousands of video clips played over and over again in news reports and in the public domain on social media. But as decent as Greenidge is, he too must be afraid and is too old to go up against the dangerous PNC to ruin his chances of becoming APNU’s Presidential Candidate to contest the upcoming elections. For despite the earlier pronouncements by Volda Lawrence and Joseph Harmon, I really don’t believe President Granger will ever run again.
It is an undisputed fact that on that fateful evening of December 21, 2018, the Opposition motion was successfully carried, and the Government fell.
Now, like a drowning man, they are desperately grasping at straws to cling to power. Since then, Government has been stubbornly and shamelessly defiant of the Constitution, pursuing a series of frivolous actions to stop the inevitable – The resignation of the Cabinet including the President and new elections within three months according to Article 106 (6) of the Constitution. One cannot simply change the rules in his favour after the game has been played and lost.
The Charrandas vote in favor of the NCM has been totally ventilated. It is now time to move on. Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you’re on, the next few days will determine just how far one is prepared to go without compromising one’s integrity and political career. The intent of Government Ministers will be scrutinised and characters questioned.
I am sure that if asked, every Guyanese would say that they’re a patriot. But how many, like myself, would willingly risk their lives for this country? And to a lesser extent, how many would sacrifice their jobs, insecure though it may be at this time, to prevent Guyana from turning into a pariah state?
For selfish reasons, I wager not many would do it. But I’m equally confident there are still good patriotic men and women whose loyalty to Guyana and her people is above reproach.
Both Nagamootoo and Ramjattan are too far gone, post-mortem don’t ever bring back the dead. But there are others in the AFC that should be concerned about their own political careers and the need to make amends for the betrayal inflicted upon their own supporters who once believed the AFC to have noble intentions. It is not too late.
It is to those and other Government Ministers that I make this appeal to put Guyana first. Save our nation from a constitutional crisis that will result in lawlessness, chaos, and the embarrassment of being the laughing stock of the Caribbean and the rest of the world.
As an individual with a conscience, you can resign now to protect what’s left of your integrity, credibility and your political and professional career. In a few short months, this Government will be forced to debit office and Guyana will be under new management. But you don’t have to go down like rats on a sinking ship to avoid being called a “traitor” and other derogatory names, you have a duty to put Guyana first. And with a clear conscience, justify your resignation from Government as your patriotic duty to the pledge you took as a Member of Parliament.
PPP/C Member of