OPINION: Why the PPP is the only national political party in Guyana – Part III

Last Updated on Friday, 10 May 2024, 14:39 by Writer

By Dr Randy Persaud, Professor Emeritus

This is the final of my three-part series on why the PPP is the only national political party in Guyana.

Always Keep your Promises
The PPP is a promise-keeping machine. The following promises were made in 2020 and to date all have been kept or on track to be fulfilled by 2025:

  • Reversal of 200 taxes and fees. This has benefited farmers, miners, building contractors, investors, and the public.
  • $40,000 monthly old age pension. This will be fulfilled in the next budget cycle.
  • Restoration of subsidies for electricity and water for pensioners. Accomplished.
  • Creation of 60,000 new jobs. The economy is generating thousands upon thousands of jobs. The job creation drive is successful not only in terms of numbers, but also in the quality of jobs now coming on stream.
  • Free education. This promise will be fulfilled by the end of 2025.
  • Reversal of VAT on electricity, water, and medical supplies.
  • 50,000 house lots nearly accomplished.

In addition to the promises kept the PPP administration of President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali introduced legislation to ameliorate the externalities of the APNU-AFC contract with Exxon Mobile & Partners. The Local Content Act 2021 (Act No. 18 of 2021) is a comprehensive legislation that offers legal protection of Guyanese businesses and citizens through which they can reap the maximum rewards from the oil & gas sector.

Keeping election promises is a baseline indicator of a truly national party to govern with authority and legitimacy. Sectional parties that are built around narrower geographical and political constituencies, such as the APNU and AFC tend to do two things, both of which are morally objectionable. Firstly, they make gigantic promises that can never be fulfilled. The promise to give everyone US$1,000,000 is clearly not possible. Secondly, even modest promises made are delivered only to targeted beneficiaries. Worse yet, sectional parties such as the APNU and AFC not only break promises, but they do so with measurable aggression and vindictiveness.

National Unity as a Core Principle
The People’s Progressive Party was founded on the singular idea of the unity of our people. Seventy-four years later that most sacrosanct idea is still paramount. By contrast, the only thing paramount to the PNC and its off shoot the APNU, has been the paramountcy of the party, an institutional mechanism devised by them to rig elections, victimize innocent citizens, and on a grander scale, enable a protection racket system. The APNU-AFC attempt at election theft in 2020, can never, must never be forgotten. No credible national political party should ever engage in that kind of blatant transgression of the basic protocols of the rule of law.

President Ali made this perspicuously clear on our nation’s 54th Republic Anniversary. The president put it thus: “Guyana’s harrowing experience with dictatorship stands as a stark reminder of the perils of rigged elections. That era is a closed chapter in our history. We have liberated ourselves from its grasp and fashioned a republic that is democratic, and which continues to work to unite our people and defend our territorial integrity.”

Territorial Integrity and National Sovereignty
It takes a political party with national reach and legitimacy to sustainably defend our territorial integrity and national sovereignty. While sectional parties, such as APNU+AFC may have competence in the area, they lack legitimacy on account of a history of internationally confirmed fraudulent elections. In the days of the Cold War, many democratic states tolerated election irregularities, but no more. This was obviously lost on the hapless APNU+AFC, who for five months in 2020, repeatedly ignored the voice of the international community to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with democratic norms and principles.

For the nine reasons discussed in my three-part series (see Part I and Part II), the PPP is clearly the only credible political party with a national reach, and with national capacity, credibility, and legitimacy. By contrast the PNC-led APNU, AFC, and WPA are either directly or tangentially in support of, or associated with sectionalism, racial mobilization, electoral banditry, politically motivated violence, aggravated intimidation, lies, half-truths, bullyism, irresponsible rhetorical bombardment, and discursive mischief.

Dr Randy Persaud is Advisor, Office of the President.