After 1 year in office
After a year in Government, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government seems not to be very clear about its vision and plans for the wellbeing of the country.
Political commentator, Dr David Hinds told Guyana Times that while it was not expected that the new Government would do “very big things” during its first year in office, one would expect that there should have been some indication of “intent”.
Hinds was speaking to this publication on Wednesday, where he added his voice to the many critiques already made of the Administration’s performance during its first year in office.
“I think in many regards, they might have fallen short in terms of signalling to the society, what they intend to do,” Hinds told this newspaper.
He said the problem may have arisen because of the fact that the Government is a coalition, and it might have been a little difficult to get all the factions together, “but at the end of one year, one would expect that after a year, there would have been a larger vision.”
“That for me is important. If I am making an indictment, or criticism, it is the fact there is no sense of the overall vision of where they want to take the country. That is something that needs to be challenged very soon.”
According to Hinds, it is a known fact that the first 12 months of any new Government would be difficult.
“This Government is coming into office after 23 years of rule by the other Government. So you’re talking about finding your feet and getting accustomed to Government. They are also coming to government with a lot of expectations and rightfully so, in 1992, after 28 years of the [People’s National Congress] PNC rule, they were coming to Government with the expectation of what the PPP would do. So after 23 years, there are also massive expectations of what this Government should do,” Hinds said.
According to the political commentator, some credit must be given to Government for completing some basic projects; however, more could have been done.
“We’re talking that they have cleaned up the country, cleaned up the city. They have delivered services and have staved off the challenge of Venezuela and generally there is some sort of political stability that has returned to Guyana… I think there has been a toning down of the political temperature”.
Wages and salaries
He said however, that Government has not been forthcoming with its plans for various projects and promises made. One such is the promise of increases in wages and salaries for public servants. He said it is very worrying that after one year, there is no clarity about workers’ salaries and what raises they will get. He said this is something that should have been known within the first year of Government.
Addressing the issue of crime, Hinds said, while the Guyana Police Force has made some recent headway in solving some cold cases, Guyanese generally are still fearful of the situation.
He said while crime was inherited from the previous Administration, after a year, one cannot blame the other side for responsibility. He noted that while he applauds the tremendous initiatives taken to address the issue, the “fear of the criminal still stalks the land, because, while there are those who can defend themselves, there are still those who cannot. Consideration must be given to them,” he said.