September 22 is a truly auspicious day. It was on this remarkable day in 1862 in Washington, USA, a Proclamation was made by undoubtedly one of the greatest men to ever walk this earth. In a speech lasting less than 7 minutes( 719 words to be exact) with the concluding words…and upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God. It was the Emancipation Proclamation delivered by President Abraham Lincoln whichtook effect 3 months later on January 1, 1863. The assurance to free the slaves and end slavery had shifted from a promise to legal status to become enshrined in the Constitution in what is now known as The Thirteenth Amendment.
Fast forward to the proclamations and sweet platitudes that incessantly emanate from Guyana’s political leaders. These utterances will continue to mesmerize voters to cast votes for such persons for the simple reason that voters do not want those on ‘the other side’ to rule. The most salient of statements embraces the underlying theme: our Party is truly multiracial and will not discriminate against anyone regardless of race.
Since free and clear elections returned in 1992 Guyana has been devoured by the tyranny of the majority, where the present –and the previous – regime in power rules with the autocratic iron fist by the slimmest of mandate: a 1 seat majority!
Herein lies the legal absurdity to appoint any misfit to any exalted position, to award jobs and contracts to any friend and Party supporter and pour tax payers’ money into any systemwhere the benefits are few and long coming; a scenario that few see as adequate while many with deep understanding of this phenomenon can only evaluate and comment. The Laws permit you to speak, but not to be taken seriously nor assess your analysis, however accurate. This begs the question: why have there been no Parliamentary discussions regarding Guyana’s greatest venture? The Gas to Energy Project? Based on previous such ventures like the Skeldon Sugar Factory, Amalia Falls, Specialty Hospital, and Enmore Packaging Plant One can conclude that the country awaits an even greater waste on another technological white elephant.
High level appointments like Ministers must be debated and evaluated and so the public can be made aware of any deficiencies in the nominee proposed and must be approved by Parliament. For too long many poorly educated and unqualified and dysfunctional persons have been placed in crucial administrative positions in the country. The Roman Emperor Caligula (12-41 AD) in a grand show of power made his horseIncitatus, a member of the Roman senate. It seems Guyana has embraced such madness. Finally, progress can never be achieved if half the country is excluded, and this has been a recurring phenomenon since Independence.
Leyland Chitlall Roopnaraine