A Partnership for National Unity blames the People’s Progressive Party/Civic for the current wave of criminal violence, social unrest and an impending constitutional crisis. The violence and unrest have occurred largely because of the PPP/C’s chronic mismanagement of public security. Social unrest has been triggered by failures in public works, public health and public schools. The constitutional crisis is arising out of the Executive attitude to the decisions of the Legislature.
Public security and human safety are deteriorating, as recent Guyana Police Force statistics confirm. The PPP/C must bear responsibility for the 10 per cent increase in the number of armed robberies involving the use of firearms and the six per cent increase in serious crimes at the end of August.
The rise in crime is the direct result of the PPP/C’s failure to implement the UK £4.9M Security Sector Reform Action Plan, the National Drug Strategy Master Plan and the recommendations of the Disciplined Forces Commission. The PPP/C has failed to recruit, retrain, re-equip and reform the Police Force and provide it with adequate aviation and maritime assets.
The public education system is plagued by problems. Many children were unable to start classes on the first day of the new school term. Public protests at La Parfaite Harmonie, Moblissa, Port Kaituma, St Agnes and elsewhere have called attention to the poor preparations made for the new academic year.
Sporadic protests by citizens continue to erupt to condemn chronic abuses and grievances. Irate residents blocked access to the 58 km-long Ituni-Kwakwani road to protest its deplorable condition. Minibus drivers in Bartica expressed their anger after a key road became almost impassable.
The failure of the public health system has resulted in the death of a child from diarrhoea at Masakenari, a Wai Wai village in the Rupununi Region. That death is a reminder of the still un-investigated deaths of ten other children from gastro enteritis earlier this year in the Barima-Waini Region.
The PPP/C Executive, in light of its attitude over the past 20 months, seems bent on precipitating a collision with the Legislature. The President, as early as June 2012, uttered prejudicial remarks with regard to his preparedness to assent to bills and act on resolutions of the National Assembly. The Leader of the Opposition has now written to the Clerk on this matter. The Speaker has also written to the President in an attempt to avert a grave constitutional crisis.
The PPP/C administration continues to delude itself into thinking that it can impose an obsolete, over-centralised model of governance and direct management of local communities. This is exemplified by the central government’s arrogant attitude towards the National Assembly and its atrocious treatment of municipalities, regional democratic councils and neighbourhood democratic councils.
The PPP/C, evidently, has underestimated the consequences of its policies over the past 20 years. It seems not to understand that an unprecedented number of people in this country are now living in slums, squatter settlements, shantytowns and depressed villages. The poorest people – particularly the unemployed youth – and the poorest parts of the country are generally badly served by poor security and poor public services. It is a result of its misguided policies and misplaced priorities that the administration has created an unacceptably unstable, unsafe and unhappy situation in the country today.