Presidency was awash with discrimination, party paramountcy – Teixeira
‘Caretaker’ President David Granger is now touting the notion of “inclusionary governance” as a result of his imminent defeat in the 2020 elections, which is being unmasked through the National Recount exercise undertaken by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
This was the view articulated by Executive Member of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP/C) Gail Teixeira in a public statement on Thursday.
She was at the time weighing in on Granger’s recent appearance on a radio show, where he conceded that, unlike his prior position during the campaign season, he did not expect a landslide victory. The Presidential Candidate for the coalitio
n’s Candidates List has since adopted this position.
“We have to aim at a form of government that is inclusionary…let’s not bother with landslide; The parties are near equal,” Granger has said.
The APNU+AFC Presidential Candidate reminded that, “people who win 51 per cent of the vote must not behave as if they won 100 per cent of the vote, and people who only got 49 per cent of the vote must not be treated as if they got no per cent of the votes; and I live by that.”
He then declared: “I would like to see an inclusionary form of government…one where we can sit down in a mature environment and discuss the issues facing our country. That is the only way forward.”
Teixeira, PPP Executive Member and longtime party ‘whip’, has since dismissed Granger’s sentiments as “nothing but a bad joke or a farce.”
According to the PPP stalwart, “I would not be wrong, nor anyone else in Guyana, in assuming that Mr. Granger, as head of the APNU+AFC Coalition, is fully aware of the results of the SOPs (Statements of Poll) of the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections in his party’s possession, that showed that not only did it not win, even by a margin, but that it was resoundingly defeated by approximately 17,000 votes.”
The Opposition Chief Whip in the now dissolved National Assembly pointed out that, even as the leader of the APNU is making these admissions, he “continues this masquerade to fool his supporters.”
According to Teixeira, “Other than laughing uncontrollably at this farce being perpetuated on the Guyanese people, I am flabbergasted that Mr. Granger would expect the majority of Guyanese to conveniently forget what his administration stood for, and still continues to stand for since the May 11, 2015 elections.”
She reminded that the coalition’s 2015 victory was based on a win of less than one per cent of the electorate, representing 4,000-odd votes, and said: “With such a hair’s breadth difference, this eureka moment with regards to an inclusionary form of government clearly alluded him when he assumed office.”
The politician said the APNU+AFC administration instead took up “ahwe first” and “we time now” policies.
Qualifying her position, Teixeira highlighted that 1,872 Amerindian Community Service Officers had their services terminated, in addition to the “political witch-hunting” that saw thousands of public servants and others in state employment being fired and replaced by APNU+AFC activists.
Teixeira also drew reference to the closure of sugar estates, which left thousands on the breadline; along with the “neglect of communities that were aligned to the PPP/C”, as well as the “neglect of Amerindian communities generally, and especially those that are sympathetic to the PPP/C.”
Pointing to more recent occurrences, she accused the Granger Administration of violating “the Constitution on repeated occasions”.
She has since questioned, “Is it because defeat is now staring him in his face that he has chosen opportunistically to pander to an inclusionary form of government?”
According to the PPP Executive Member, there was a golden opportunity for the caretaker President to prove his commitment to an inclusionary government post-2015; however, he squandered it.
The Granger Administration, she said, has taken this country down a treacherous path of political division, economic collapse, undermining the rule of law and the Constitution “as (they) merrily went along, confident that their time would last forever.”
Teixeira posited that the “eureka” moment has come five years too late, and that such an arrangement would never be possible “under Granger’s tutelage.”
It was noted that the coalition used its one-seat majority to defeat every motion brought by the parliamentary Opposition, “even those which were non-partisan”, such as “suicide prevention, rice farmers, sugar industry, interior roads, crime.”
She was adamant that the Granger Administration “continues unrelentingly with the same polices of political and ethnic discrimination, exclusivity, highhandedness and party paramountcy started in May 2015; the very same policies that led to his defeat at the March 2, 2020 polls.”