By Svetlana Marshall – guyana chronicle October 31, 2019

  

Former Region 10 Regional Chairman, Sharma Solomon

…sees APNU+AFC as only viable government to take Guyana into next era of economic development

Maintaining his mantra of ‘service to the people,’ Sharma Solomon, the former chairman of Region 10, said he intends to play his part in the growth and development of Guyana as he recommitted to the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) and, by extension, the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Government.
Appearing on Guyana Chronicle’s online programme – Vantage Point – his first on-camera interview in more than four years, the Social Activist said he has redefined himself. “I have had the opportunity to redefine who Sharma Solomon is. Not to take away from the substance of who Sharma Solomon was,” he said in response to a question as to what he has been up to.

“There were issues, so I am not going to sit here and behave as though we hadn’t issues at the level of the RDC and the party, and even at the party level in the region,” he said while explaining that he took a decision to remove himself from the limelight to allow for diplomacy to take its course. “I think that was important for me because in that period it allowed for the type of political maturing that was necessary. I think any young politician should appreciate that sometime in life it is important for you to do some political maturing, whether it is education or to engage in further discussion with people so that you can understand, if what you are doing, is what should be done or it should be done differently,” Solomon explained.

The husband and father of one, who demitted his regional office in 2015, is now a final year International Relations (IR) student at the University of Guyana as he aims to perfect his skill in the political arena. “[The IR programme] would have given me an opportunity to advance my knowledge on some of the things that I have practically been involved in. Four years would have also given me an opportunity to develop a more professional approach towards my work experience,” he said.

POLITICAL MATURING
Known for vehemently resisting attempts by the former People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration to impose steep electricity tariffs on the people of Linden, Region 10, Solomon, in the run up to the 18th Biennial Congress of the PNCR in 2014, had also threw his hat in the ring for the leadership of the PNCR. He was also nominated for the positions of Chairman, Vice Chairman (VC) and Committee Member. Admitting that his relationship with the PNCR has seen rough days, Solomon said he has nonetheless remained steadfast in his support for the PNCR – one of the largest political parties in the country.

“There were issues, so I am not going to sit here and behave as though we hadn’t issues at the level of the RDC and the party, and even at the party level in the region,” he said while explaining that he took a decision to remove himself from the limelight to allow for diplomacy to take its course. “I think that was important for me because in that period it allowed for the type of political maturing that was necessary. I think any young politician should appreciate that sometime in life it is important for you to do some political maturing, whether it is education or to engage in further discussion with people so that you can understand, if what you are doing, is what should be done or it should be done differently,” Solomon explained.

REMAINS TRUE TO PNCR
Despite those disagreements in past, the former Regional Chairman said the PNCR will always remain dear to him. “I must express gratitude for the opportunities given to me by the party and I think that is one of the most fundamental things about the PNCR; it is a party that provides that opportunity and even the opportunity for young people to feel the need that they could rise up in the ranks of leadership and even to the point of challenging for the ranks of leadership. No party does that, no party does that. Think about that for a minute,” he told this newspaper.

“It is also fundamental to the PNCR to see the coming together of this country,” the Social Activist said while applauding the move by the PNCR to partner with four other political parties in the country to form the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), and for later coalescing with the Alliance for Change (AFC) to form the APNU+AFC coalition – the now Government.

“I think that in itself is testimony to the party’s intent to ensure that we see that one people, one nation, one destiny approach to Guyana’s development,” he further said while again applauding the PNCR for recognising the need for a collective representation of the people of Guyana, and for advancing growth and development within the country.
Coalition better choice

It is his belief that though ‘mistakes’ were made, it is the APNU+AFC Government that has the capacity to take Guyana into its next era of economic and social development, noting that the coalition has signalled its wiliness to correct the deficiencies within the system.

“The government may see challenges, we see issues that even members of the government have accepted that should be different and change, and are considered mistakes, and we hear even recently the President expressing some dissatisfaction with some of the prosecution of issues that should have been prosecuted. Now that we hear those, I think fundamental to that which is an acceptance is what we intend to do about that, what the government, what the state intends to do about that, and I think that, for me, is where many of the issues would be cleared up,” he said while noting that there is no better alternative to the APNU+AFC Government.

READY FOR THE CHALLENGE
But will Solomon return to the campaign trail as was done in 2011 and 2015 when he was named APNU Campaign Manager for Region 10 – that decision is pending but what is certain, however, is that he is prepared for an even greater challenge. With focus on the young generation, Solomon said he will continue to advocate for persons to be a part of the political process while making representation on behalf of the people.

“As one of the persons who would have been given the opportunity at a very youthful age to be part of the decision making process of Guyana, and to also be over the years an ardent advocate for so much change across the Guyana, I see myself as playing a pivotal role in continuing to advocate for those changes…I personally don’t agree growth equates to development all the time but I believe the growth that we are expecting can bring the sort of development that we need and I intend to play a part, to ensure that not only do we see that growth but that we see that Guyana and Guyanese significantly benefit and we are able to lift the masses,” Solomon assured.