Well, there you have it…the PPP Cabinet that’ll be assisting President Irfaan Ali to rebuild this country – still reeling from the mismanagement of the PNC – has been named. The first thing that hit your Eyewitness is how YOUNG most of them are!! But this shouldn’t be too surprising, since Ali had signalled this earlier this week. While it’s doesn’t exactly signal “no country for old men”, the age cohort is quite the opposite of the PNC’s last Cabinet, which was dominated by too many old fogies.
And this is a good thing, since this mess will take a whole lotta energy to clean up. At this time, there’s no need to look at the specific individuals entrusted with the various portfolios, since they are mostly unknown in general. What’s important is that we all know what they’re supposed to be achieving over the next five years: it’s all there in the PPP manifesto!! After the experience with the PNC and their abandonment of their promises that had been supposed to be accomplished within “the first 100 days”, the Guyanese people will be pleasantly surprised.
The PPP is an old-line party that places tremendous emphasis on the foundational nature of its Manifesto. It’s not a campaign brochure designed to attract voters!! Unlike the PNC and other parties, its manifesto is its 5-year plan for the country, and each of the Ministers will be responsible to make sure they do what it takes to get the job done. And it’s for this reason that the individuals named yesterday aren’t that important per se. Now, obviously, there has to be some correlation in training and skill set with the matched portfolio…that’s expected. But a PPP Cabinet will be a team working together to fulfill that five-year plan.
As with all teams, the Captain is crucial, and while President Ali is young, as your Eyewitness has been emphasising, Guyana got a “two for” with his vast ministerial experience in previous PPP governments. But the cog in the entire Cabinet wheel will have to be VP Bharrat Jagdeo. All Guyana knows that after he was picked at the age of 35 to become the youngest President in our history, he went on to almost singlehandedly rebuild Guyana after the Burnhamite destruction. He had been the Minister of Finance before his appointment to the Presidency. That sort of institutional memory will make him the anchor in the Cabinet for President Ali.
The PPP Cabinet is also significantly smaller than the PNC’s: nineteen, compared with the latter’s astronomical thirty-one and counting!
So, we have the problem, we have the plan to fix it, and we have the team to execute it.
Let’s go Guyana!!
…of the PNC
Even as the PPP takes over the Government, the PNC’s reeling from being torn asunder, after Granger’s abrupt caving in following their five-month war of attrition to hang on to power by rigging the elections of March 2. One faction – reminiscent of that led by Hamilton Green against Desmond Hoyte in 1992 – is cussing out Granger for accepting GECOM Chair Claudette Singh’s declaration using the recount numbers.
They’re claiming that this shows “weakness” and he should’ve refused to leave office. Some are saying that even if the resort to the Courts had been exhausted, he should have called PNC supporters into the streets. Never mind that this might’ve led to a civil war. He’s also being criticised for being “aloof”, not only during his Presidency, but even after his defeat, since he’s refused to even address his supporters – after leading them down the garden path for five months while claiming that the elections were rigged by the PPP!
Your Eyewitness expects an internecine war to break out imminently!
…of social cohesion
It’s quite ironic that, for an administration which introduced an entire ministry to increase “social cohesion” in the country, they’ve left the country even more divided that in the 1960s, when we went through a virtual civil war.