Feb 18, 2017 kaieteur
it seems to be a modified version of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP). Specifically making this assertion was Cabinet Secretary and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
In Government’s defence, the politician said that the administration represents a coalition of six parties while the PPP does not.
“The PPP/C was a monolithic party. There is no PPP/ ‘C’ it is just PPP. We are a coalition of six parties and so it demands that you have to consult with your partners when you have to move things forward.”
The Minister of State said that for one to say that the Government appears in any way to be a modified version of the PPP is simply not fair.
“And we are definitely not like the PPP in the way we have allocated resources; the manner in which we take our responsibility for transparency. That is unheard of under the PPP,” the Cabinet Secretary emphasised.
The Minister said that there are several things which distinguish the APNU+AFC Government from the PPP. While he did not go into detail in this regard, he cited the frequency of Government’s interaction with the media as one significant difference.
“Every week I stand before you and I answer your questions. I don’t give you long words where you have to go to the dictionary to try to understand. I am very clear and precise on these things,” Harmon stated.
After analyzing the performance of the APNU+AFC since it assumed office, Executive Member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr. David Hinds had said that Guyana seems to have an administration that is a modified PPP in office.
The political activist told Kaieteur News that his biggest issue with the present government is its inability to recognize its historical significance.
In this regard, he said that the government is not close enough to the people, so it does not understand what its rise to office means for the hopes and aspirations of the people, particularly the poor and powerless and those who voted for it.
The WPA Executive Member said that the coalition party has the opportunity to lift Guyana out of the mode of bad governance that has plagued the nation’s entire independence experience, but it still seems unable to meet that challenge.
Dr. Hinds commented that no government since the early independence administration has enjoyed the goodwill and opportunity to do something transformational for Guyana as the present one.
But he said that with each passing day, the Government demonstrates a glaring incapacity and perhaps unwillingness to rise to the occasion. Dr. Hinds said that the government has even been unable to translate the energies of 2011-2015 into social transformation.
“What big positive changes have occurred since May 2015? Sometimes it seems as if all we have is a modified PPP in office. There has been no alternative vision. The government has generally followed the same economic path of the PPP. There is not even an attempt to look for alternative approaches to the neo-liberal structural adjustment medicine.”
Dr. Hinds commented that indeed, there are some training programmes and other initiatives aimed at helping the poor. He noted, however, that there is no overall economic vision for the country.
The columnist said that the government is not thinking big. In a country like Guyana, Dr. Hinds said, one has to be aggressive at eradicating poverty through investment in education and job creation. He stressed that it is the only way out.
On the matter of the plight of the poor, the Executive Member of the WPA said that Guyana continues to witness the same worrying story. In this regard, he commented that the government has not done a particularly good job.
He believes that the Government is not sensitive enough to the issue of unemployment, underemployment and low wages of the employed.
“Where are the initiatives to put our people to work? In post-plantation societies like Guyana, the government is all we have as far as creating jobs especially for poor people. With a limited private sector which generally does not manufacture things and with limited scope for expansion, the government remains the only way out.”
The columnist argued that the government has to invest in its people both at the level of education and training and the creation of decent paying jobs. He said that the Government has to put its young people to work very quickly or the country will explode socially and politically.
On the issue of governance, the Executive Member of the WPA said that the Government’s performance has been mixed.
He said that the nation has not seen the massive over-reach and authoritarianism of the previous government. He said that protestors are not beaten and killed in the streets and Opposition affiliates are not being thrown in jail for their politics.
He even noted that there is a level of efficiency at some ministries.
“But generally, nothing has changed as far as transforming the state and society is concerned. The anti-corruption drive has been crawling. The problem is that if you don’t go after entrenched corruption, you eventually become infected by it. I would not be surprised to learn of corrupt practices in some high places,” expressed Dr. Hinds.
The political activist said that official corruption is two-way. He said that even if it is not initiated by the government official, he or she could be lured into it by the entreaties of the “big-money” people.
Furthermore, when it comes to the accessibility of Ministers, Dr. Hinds is of the firm belief that the coalition government has the worst record.
He said, “They do not make themselves available to the people, except in politically- controlled environments. This has led to some reckless decisions that have served to alienate even supporters.”