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Granger, Rohee differ on impact of Wales closure on LGE showing

President David Granger

President David Granger

President David Granger and General Secretary of the opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) differ on whether the planned closure of the Wales Sugar Estate would impact on the number of votes their parties would receive at the upcoming Local Government Elections.

Granger is confident that the decision by the APNU+AFC administration to cease operations at the Wales Sugar Estate will not adversely affect the coalition at local government polls slated for March 18, 2016.

The President, during an appearance on “Public Interest” television programme, was adamant that the polls were localized and would not have any major effect. “I don’t think it will have any damaging impact…when the coalition got into government it was given a huge bill,”  he stated, adding “I do not think that the closure of the factory will have a severe impact.”

He later indicated that maybe in the Wales constituency there will be an impact. “Maybe in that particular constituency there will be an impact.”

The now nine-month old coalition administration found itself forking out a GYD$12 billion dollar bailout to avoid the Guyana Sugar Corporation from collapsing.

But the General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Clement Rohee believes that the closure will work in favour of the Party.

PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee

PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee

The PPP lost the General and Regional Elections in 2015 by a slim margin of 5000 votes to the APNU+AFC, ending its 23 year tenure in office.

Rohee told reporters that Sugar workers who comprise some a large percentage of Region Three have learned their lesson after voting for the APNU+AFC.

“The PPP in or out of office has a long history of association with the sugar workers and the sugar workers know quite well who is the best representative on their part…they made have made some misjudgment on their part when it comes to voting at the last elections and the previous elections

“Like the prodigal children they have now come to recognize this situation in which they are living now is more to their disadvantage and when they look to see who is standing up to them I believe they will cast their votes and their conscience will be their guide,” said Rohee.

The Guyana government on January 19, 2016 announced that the Wales Estate and Factory would be closed this year-end because it is unprofitable, although the Commission of Inquiry into the sugar industry has not recommended the closure of any of the estates.

The Guyana Elections Commission says 523, 831 persons are eligible to vote in the local polls, the first since 1994, in the 71 Local Authority areas including nine towns. Those towns include three new ones- Bartica, Lethem and Mabaruma.

  • Emile_Mervin

    Of course, the pending closure of Wales Estate will have an impact on LGE to the benefit of the PPP, and it is not going to be any different from the manner in which sugar workers repeatedly voted for the PPP, which ensured they were always paid wages and bonuses, even as the industry was not bringing in foreign exchange to match the regular subventions to keep sugar workers happy.

    The problem for Granger, as has been his case since becoming President, is that he lacks political tact. He is a good guy, but a lazy leader. This Wales issue should never have evolved into a political football, if he had only invited GAWU for talks on the state of Wales and used the 2008 report that showed it was bleeding money since back then.

    Once the talks started, the focus should have been on alternatives for Wales estate or severance packages for redundant sugar workers to cushion the socioeconomic impact of the closure.

    One of the alternatives could have been turning Wales into a cooperative-run entity, with redundant sugar workers converting their severance packages into investments into a new Wales. They would become the new owners, and even if they wanted to open the entity to outside investors, that could have been a consideration.

    The Chinese have a proverb: TURN YOUR CRISIS INTO OPPORTUNITIES. This is actually what saved China in the 80s as it faced economic collapse and opted for opening up to outsourced Western businesses. Maybe Wales can emerge as a food production, processing, packaging, storage and shipping entity?

    Just make sure Jagdeo is not involved!

    • SYL

      I agree with you, the President got a good platform to commence his business for his tenure , but he either lacks strategic posture, or has some power hungry players around him, and he play along to get along , to avoid friction. However, that approach shall catch up with anyone , sooner rather than later.There must be an alternative to the problem , then he should have asked his advisers to find a economic solution, before engaging the opposition, who is desperate to find a real matter to stick on the govt.Of course the govt. has a way to fire back, siting the lack of the LGE for two decades and shift the focus on achieving this LGE for the people to empower them again. He must be realistic , but tactical in his approach.It appears that some of his inner circle are hinged on revenge, and he needs to control such. Please set up a special prosecutor to deal with the fat cats and shut them up.

  • Emile_Mervin


    Granger says he has a vision of a unity government featuring all parties (a dictatorship?), but the last 8 months have revealed a government dominated by APNU and a bundle of fumbles and bumbles.

    Besides the PPP-ordained ExxonMobil plan, Granger has no known major 5 or 10 year economic vision. He relies on PPP-era economic projects or investors and waxes philosophical about ideals, whereas the ground game calls for pragmatic leadership with positive results. I see no new major economic investors lining up to create jobs so youths can stop turning to guns and crimes to survive.

    I also seriously question some of those around him, including a ranking one whom I strongly suspect is a PPP sympathizer because he is reluctant to go after the thieves and retake what was stolen. Maybe this is why Moses Nagamootoo is being denied the Cummingsburg Accord right to run the daily operations of government, because he would go after the thieves. Sometimes I wonder if the coalition is either compromised by corruption or unwilling to frontally address corruption, which still exists.

    Unfortunately, the AFC does not appear to have an effective voice in this coalition, while the other parties are just paper parties.

    Bro, only because Jagdeo is determined to make a political comeback as President and the coalition is doing things to make this an easy process that I have not altogether washed my hands of it.

    But these guys have to snap out of this cognitive paralysis and learn to read and comprehend the political leaves or it will be five years of the political version of El Nino!