Threat to constitutional democracy?

Dear Editor,

Any Guyanese President’s most sacred duty is to safeguard the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic, but President David Granger’s actions and words have raised many questions about his commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law.

First off, he sat at the top of this PNC-led establishment and allowed several cases of violation of the rule of law. One just has to observe how his Minister, Mr. Bulkan, flouted the law with respect to the establishment of the Local Government Commission, and how he illegally hijacked the elections for the Mayor in Mabaruma by not following the rule of law.

Then there are the many cases of procurement racketeering on all sorts of deals, which steered contracts to preferred friends of this PNC-led regime without following due process. Need I talk about the G$605 million deal, or the Durban Park scam, or the Sussex Street Drug Bond scam? Collectively, these three deals looted over G$2 billion from the taxpayers.

And these are just three deals. There are over 16 such deals that were arranged under this Granger-led PNC regime in the last 2 years.

I am arriving at the conclusion that President Granger really believes he has a licence to do anything, because he is President. This conclusion begs the question: is President Granger a threat to Constitutional Democracy? Is this a situation of the President mimicking Louis XIV when he said, “L’etat, c’est moi”, which translates to “I am the state”?

Is this why he ignores the media and refuses to hold a second open press conference with the fourth estate? Rather than being beholden to the media, is he expecting that the media should, and must, be beholden to him?

But if you look carefully, all over the country, people are in a restive state, and many are even prepared to go to the courtrooms to challenge Mr Granger and his policies. This is where the Guyana Human Rights Association comes in. What is the state of its membership? Is it McCormack and McCormack alone? Why, in such an oppressive political and economic environment, is this organisation so dormant? What about the Guyana Consumers Association? Is it still alive? Since the late Eileen Cox passed, it appears that the Consumers Association also passed. Who is representing the people in this exploitive environment, where the Granger-led PNC regime is taxing the people to the hilt, leaving the majority of the shoppers with less money in their pockets?

It is clear that President Granger does not understand the letter and spirit of the Constitution, because if he had understood one of the key principles of the Constitution, which says, “We, the Guyanese people, forge a system of governance that promotes concerted effort and broad-based participation in national decision-making, in order to develop a viable economy and a harmonious community based on democratic values, social justice, fundamental human rights and the rule of law…”, he would have governed very differently.

Take, for instance, the case of there being under President Granger only one (1) permanent secretary out of the seventeen, (17) representing 50% of the population (East Indian and Amerindians). Under President Ramotar, I was advised, in 2014, seven of the then serving 17 permanent secretaries represented that 50%. Isn’t that a more broad-based participation in national decision-making?

A Government cannot favour or disfavour any group of people, but from all indications of its public and private action, it is clear as day this is exactly what the Granger-led PNC regime is doing.

In such a situation, I call on the young people to step forward and announce themselves to be on the local government list, either in their own list or try to get on to one of the establishment lists in 2018, and run or office in your local areas. When young people stand up and demand to be counted, Guyana will never elect Presidents like Donald Ramotar and David Granger; not ever!


Sase Singh