– coalition supporters tell Granger ex-presidents confab is for PPP propaganda
– say Ali is playing games
Former President and Leader of the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), David Granger should reject President Irfaan Ali’s invitation to meet with him along with the other past presidents, Political Scientist, Dr. David Hinds said as he questioned the motive of the meeting.
“In my humble opinion, the president is playing games. You either want to meet with the opposition or you don’t,” Dr. Hinds said.
On Friday, President Ali disclosed that he invited the country’s former presidents – David Granger, Bharrat Jagdeo, Donald Ramotar and Samuel Hinds – to a high-level meeting on December 15, 2020 to discuss Guyana’s development.
“It will be an open floor meeting where we will bring together all the former Presidents. I think it is an opportunity for us to continue to share ideas, generate ideas, talk about how we see Guyana’s development and to work out a model and a framework on how we engage on the future and how we have continuous contribution,” the President explained.
But Dr. Hinds, in his weekly Sunday column in this publication, questioned the real purpose of the meeting. “And what is the objective of this meeting, may I ask? Mr. Ali sees three of those ex-presidents at PPP meetings as they all belong to the same party. He sees Mr. Jagdeo more often as the latter works in his office and belongs to the Cabinet. So, what does he want to say to them that requires the presence of Mr. Granger? Is he inviting Mr. Granger to a PPP executive meeting?” he questioned.
The Political Scientist said while on the surface, the meeting with all the past presidents sounds like a noble undertaking, Guyanese ought not to forget that it was President Ali, who indicated that he will not recognise the Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon until the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is recognised as a legitimate government.
“The president is looking for a photo-opportunity—pure and simple. He wants to use this confab to signal to the diplomatic community that he is an inclusive leader. It is the kind of window-dressing that has been part of the PPP’s approach to governance since the 1950s,” Dr. Hinds said.
He added: “Since coming to power four months ago it has governed with a political sledgehammer which it has mercilessly used on members and supporters of Mr. Granger’s party. Now, he wants to meet Mr. Granger with three of his comrades at the table—to discuss what? The PPP is playing smart without being clever.”
Dr. Hinds said Granger should not attend that meeting. He said any meeting between the president and the opposition must be direct.
President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID), Rickford Burke a strong supporter of the coalition also in a letter to Granger on Saturday, urged the former president not to accept President Ali’s invitation in light of Government’s stance not to recognise the Opposition Leader.
“First, the constitution mandates the President to consult with, and in some instances seek the approval of, the Opposition Leader, before certain decisions and apportionments are effected.
Consequently, Mr. Ali’s expressed position is repugnant to the constitution. Your acceptance of
Mr. Ali’s invitation will in great measure grant legitimacy to Mr. Ali’s unlawful and patently egregious conduct. It will also confer validity on his nefarious attempt to hijack the coalition’s agenda and direct its posture on the legality of the fraudulent PPP government,” Burke said.
Further the CGID President accused the Ali Administration of launching a “war” on Afro Guyanese and supporters of the country, even as it embarks on ethnocracy in the management of the country.
“They have fired 990 Afro-Guyanese, falsely arrested and wrongfully charged Afro-Guyanese officials from GECOM, the PNCR and the Afro- Guyanese head of NICIL, without just cause. The lands and property of Afro-Guyanese citizens are being unlawfully seized; as the PPP regime attempt to reverse decisions by your government on some whimsical, arbitrary, albeit unlawful, crack-pot determination that the APNU+AFC coalition government was unlawful,” Burke pointed out.
Like Dr. Hinds, the CGID President, expressed the view that Al’s government is not interested in genuine consultation. “They are inciting ethnic and political confrontation while extending an olive branch to you in isolation. The open contempt they have deliberately demonstrated towards you, your party, as well as the coalition’s leadership, and the opposition leader, belies Mr. Ali’s intent to create a political gimmick with such a meeting. This must be summarily rejected,” he told the former president.
He said Guyanese and supporters of the coalition, must have unfettered access to lease or purchase state lands and property; government contracts; credit and financing for small, medium and large scale businesses; investments in the oil and gas sector and transformational development projects, as well as equitable, secured and hassle free employment in the public sector. Further, he said that the charges against the GECOM, NICIL and APNU+AFC officials must be terminated.