Home Letters President impresses in interview on GlobeSpan TV
President Mohamed Irfaan Ali’ s interview on Monday night, February 1, on the GlobeSpan internet TV programme was well received. He impressed viewers, according to those with whom I held discussion. It was one of the finest exchanges (responses) of a President with a media outlet.
GlobeSpan is watched not only among the Guyanese diaspora, but internationally as well, among non-Guyanese. There is a very large viewership. GlobeSpan has an interview format featuring guests of international repute or acclaim. Vice President Jagdeo, Attorney General Anil Nandlall, Speaker Ralph Ramkarran, LJP leader Lenox Shuman, ANUG Chair Timothy Jonas, former Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge, among others, were guests.
The President should have more of these exchanges. He already grounds with the public in several outreaches.
The President was grilled on various issues, including the economy, livable wage, corruption, Police Force, and electoral and constitutional reforms. He demonstrated knowledge on all the issues, and was very passionate in his responses to the direct questions. He spoke candidly and frankly. He did not give stiff, rehearsed answers to questions, as is the case with many politicians.
President Ali spoke with confidence and competence. He was very clear and fluent. His words were well-spoken and intelligent, qualities often missing from political responses. He was himself. He did not speak as if he were trying to please others. He came across as someone who was in charge of his administration and knows what he is about, sincere in what he wishes to achieve. He was his own person. He laid out his points orderly and nicely. He was focused. His body language was good. He spoke effortlessly, and was not struggling for words. He was comfortable and confident of himself. It was the best media interview response I had seen of the President.
The structure of his response to questions posed by hosts Charles Sugrim and Dr. Asquith Rose offered a brief background to the issue raised with the Government’s position or proposed solution. He gave very good answers, some were political – can’t’ interfere with work of GECOM, but Government will provide support for electoral reforms – he wasn’t arrogant.
He connected with his audience. His remarks were attention-grabbing. Watching his responses to questions gave one the urge to watch till the end of the interview.
Expectations of the Government are very high, and the Government has responded well to them, although there have been many challenges, like creating jobs for the tens of thousands who became unemployed during the APNU+AFC regime.
Almost to the end, what he would like as his legacy, he gave a most telling answer: “I don’t govern to create a legacy”.
He also urged Dr. Rose to address the myth from APNU about the outcome of the election.
Viewers I interviewed outrightly loved the President’s responses and remarks on the GlobeSpan network. Irfaan was also praised by viewers for taking time from his schedule and facing the media, an aspect of governance with which his predecessor seemed uncomfortable. Irfaan comes across as unafraid to face interviewers.
The President gave a commitment to supporting constitutional and electoral reforms. Power should be shifted away from the central Government ad towards local bodies. The nation is going through a lot of obstacles. It would be nice if the President returns and takes the public’s questions on the country’s socio-economic conditions.
Dr Vishnu Bisram