Home Letters Entire AFC should have supported Charrandas
The Guyanese people have, for three and a half years, been badly smitten by a morose sense of hopelessness, which gets progressively worse with each passing year the Coalition has been in government. The people saw not even a glimmer of hope on the horizon, since they knew that, as each day progresses, this nation has been fed a bitter diet of party paramountcy as the old PNC dictatorship began to emerge.
In the weeks preceding the no-confidence motion, the Coalition spent a fortune on advertisements and TV programmes in an effort to brainwash the Guyanese public. However, the endless stream of wastage and extravagance; the countless acts of mismanagement, corruption and barefaced thievery; the cronyism and the innumerable ‘gifts’ to party hacks in the form of Commissions of Inquiry and forensic audits; the debilitating burden of increased taxation and worsening standard of living; the massive and vindictive dismissals of workers; the catapulting of numerous communities into poverty; the completely visionless annual budgets; the destruction of all the productive sectors; the increasingly huge deficits of the public enterprises; the voracious appetite for borrowing — ignoring the old, the young and the vulnerable groups, but shamelessly affording themselves the good life — have all contributed to the success of the ‘NO- CONFIDENCE’ motion.
Why call Charrandas a ‘traitor’ and a ‘Judas’? He gave an interview wherein he gave valid reasons for supporting the motion!
This member of Parliament took an oath to office in which he swore to ‘bear true faith and allegiance to the people of Guyana’ and that he would ‘faithfully execute the Office of Member of Parliament without fear or favour, affection or ill-will’, and that in the functions of that office, “I will honour, uphold and preserve the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana”.
Anyone who listened to his interview in aftermath of the passage of the no-confidence motion would conclude that he gave effect to that oath, and allowed the facts outlined above to ignite his conscience, resulting in his support of the motion.
What is a ‘conscience vote’? A conscience vote, or free vote, can be defined as ‘a type of vote in a legislative body where legislators are allowed to vote according to their personal conscience rather than according to an official line set down by their political party’. On one hand, the Coalition had instructed its members that the no-confidence motion is a ‘vote of conscience’ and should be voted along party lines. However, the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Jagdeo, is cognisant that, given the numbers, the motion would need the support of at least one member of the Coalition side of the House, therefore he exhorted those members that, “There are many of them that express displeasure about the state of affairs within that camp and about the policies they are pursuing…[We hope] that some of them will grow a conscience and translate what they say privately into a vote, and we hope that that will happen because it wouldn’t mean an act of betrayal, it would be an act of patriotism.” This exhortation of the Opposition Leader bore fruit. A patriot answered this call!
It must also be borne in mind that this change of conscience did not happen overnight. Since this Coalition took office in 2015, there has been a continuous awakening of the consciousness of its supporters, who became greatly disillusioned by its performance in office and the fact that the ‘good life’ as promised has dissipated into thin air. I have written extensively about the AFC reneging on its founding principles and its ‘subservience’ to the APNU, and Charrandas echoed this in his interview.
The move by Charrandas was in the making all the time, and should have been supported by the entire AFC members of the House. At least that would have erased the shameless position to which they have been relegated, while renewing their commitment to the AFC’s founding principles; but, instead, they have opted to expel the one person who has stood as a beacon of sacrifice to this nation. The AFC have again squandered an ideal opportunity to make amends.
Charrandas had offered that final opportunity to the AFC, but has gifted great hope to the Guyanese people at this year’s Christmas!
RDC Councillor –