…a dead donkey
With elections less than three weeks away, your Eyewitness thought folks would be focused on the PNC and PPP’s manifestos – since one of them is sure to win the said elections. That way, they’ll be in a better position to monitor the new Government to ensure they keep their promises – which has become their contract with us! So we won’t have governments like the PNC in 2015: promising “substantial” raises to public servants, but instead giving themselves a whopping 50% top-up!! The reason offered – to save the Ministers from temptation – certainly wasn’t in their manifesto!!
But what we have instead is this old, retired Professor Harold Lutchman proposing that only “power-sharing” can save us from perdition. Now, this fella was the representative of the list for the APNU/AFC coalition when they won that election. Meaning that he was trusted by both sides to “do the right thing”, as Spike Lee would say!! Did he bother to remind the PNC at any point in the following five years that they weren’t keeping their manifesto promise to have “Shared Executive Governance” as their first step to a wider “power-sharing”??
More specifically, that Granger would specifically give up some presidential powers to his PM Nagamootoo?? What about that promise to “Commence a national discussion for constitutional reform and propose amendments for the rationalisation of the Executive presidency”?? In fact, wasn’t Lutchman appointed to that Steering Committee for Constitutional Change? Whatever happened to their recommendations that were delivered to Granger and company??
The point your Eyewitness wants to make is that armchair commentators like Lutchman, when given the opportunity to put their money (reputation) where their mouths are (on constitutional reform), refused to point out that the PNC scuppered their promise to move in this direction!! Even when it was in the manifesto that helped persuade people to vote them into office!! The bottom line is that since the 1960s when Jagan offered a power-sharing deal to Burnham and the PNC, the latter party has consistently refused to go down this route. Jagan tried again in 1977 (Government of National Unity) and in 1985 (aborted by Hoyte after Burnham croaked) with the same failure.
And now Lutchman – who, with James, wrote the definitive critique of the Burnham Dictatorial 1980 Constitution – is again flogging “power-sharing”?? So how does he propose to even get the horse (PNC) to the water, much less to have him drink of constitutional change to facilitate power-sharing??
Unless folks like Lutchman develop the courage to call a spade a spade and call out the PNC in this regard, the people will continue to see politics as a zero-sum game.
With the concomitant extreme behaviour!!
…no hasty retreat from Trotty
So the Government has come out and backed Trotman’s handling of the oil contract he signed in 2016, which left us holding “wood”!! Surprise, surprise!! The PNC’s brain trust obviously believes that this late in the campaign, they’d better hunker down and ride out the storm. But the problem is, this isn’t a “storm”, but a tsunami that’s so powerful, it’ll wash them away even after they’re defeated on March 2.
International anti-corruption NGO, Global Witness ain’t no pushover: they’re backed by such powerful philanthropic institutions like the MacArthur Foundation – which gives out those US million-dollar “genius grants”!! Because of their solid investigations and advocacy for the downtrodden, they were even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. If they’ve determined that Trotman didn’t bargain in good faith for the Government of Guyana on behalf of its people, then Trotman will remain in their crosshairs till justice is done.
He should check out the fate of former Nigerian Oil Minister Dan Etete.
…a man who’s down
Your Eyewitness hopes justice will be done for Jude Bently. But Gary Best has caused a tragedy that so many other Guyanese could be guilty of – because we insist on drinking and driving.
Let this be a wake-up call for all of us!!