The government of the day seems hell-bent on creating occasions for political tensions and confrontation in the society on an everyday basis. It is not without reason, therefore, that to most Guyanese the government is regarded as confused, dis-organized and without any clear direction.
Further, there is an inherent lack of sincerity and decency in dealing with government business. It is as if the rulers believe that the country is their property and they can do what they like and the masses will have to take it or leave it.
Recent and past practices have confirmed this though the APNU/AFC coalition has been in government for almost two years.
A few weeks ago the government invited the political opposition and trade unions to discuss the future of the industry. Such a meeting was demanded by all stake-holders in the industry ever since the government revealed its intentions reduce the scale of the operations of the Guyana Sugar Corporation or get rid of it altogether.
At the time, the government kept it a secret that it was negotiating with local and overseas businesses to take over parts or all of the industry. The Opposition, the Unions, the workers and the Guyanese people were not aware that this was a policy of the government.
How is it possible to have meaningful consultation on such an important matter when the government is not sincere in its dealings with the opposition or with the society at large? And this is in the context that both the Opposition and the sugar unions have expressed objections to the closure of the industry and have put forward what they consider to be workable solutions to revitalize the industry.
This is tantamount to a willful sabotage of the consultation since the actions of the government show that the government is already set on a course to destroy the industry. This is a sure basis for protracted confrontation.
The feeling of skepticism about government’s intentions is similarly evident in the handling of the selections of a chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission.
The President has rejected the list from the Opposition Leader and has asked for another list. He has not, despite many requests, publicly stated his reasons for rejecting the list. He has refused to accept a request from the Opposition Leader to sit face to face and discuss the matter and arrive at an acceptable position in the interest of the nation. He has since delegated the task to his Attorney General to talk with the opposition. Yet, the President has made it public that he will be selecting a judge or someone qualified to be a judge to the next chairman of the Elections Commission.
This is definitely a recipe for disaster since the President must know that the opposition and most other segments of the population have a different view from that of the government. The Opposition Leader cannot send another list until many issues are clarified and in any case the President is actually forcing him to craft a list in keeping the President’s own understanding of the constitution.
All of this point to bad faith by the government in doing business with the rest of the population. The government is set to rule by command and is insensitive to the norms of a democratic culture.