A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has no confidence in the 22 year old People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration. The PPP/C is solely responsible for the series of constitutional crises currently affecting the country. The PPP/C’s policies of preventing the reconvening of the National Assembly, preventing the holding of local government elections and preventing the enactment of vital legislation are damaging democracy.
The recent scandal involving the Minister of Legal Affairs has further eroded public respect for the PPP/C regime. Public confidence has drained away in several areas:
- Parliamentary democracy: The people have no confidence in the PPP/C’s respect for parliamentary democracy. The PPP/C, since the start of the 10th Parliament in January 2012, has attempted to diminish the authority of the National Assembly. President Donald Ramotar took a backward step when he announced publicly, on 13th June 2012, that he had no intention of supporting any Bill piloted by the Opposition. The President has failed to assent to Opposition Bills and attacked the Opposition through the state media. The PPP/C has resorted to the courts of law in a vicious campaign of litigation since March 2012.
- Public finance: The people have no confidence in the PPP/C’s management of public finance. Minister of Finance, Dr Ashni Singh had to be referred to the Committee of Privileges twice this year. He was referred, in the first instance, because he refused to comply with Resolution 15 that was passed by the Assembly on the 27th June 2012 which required him to lay a report in the National Assembly on all Extra-Budgetary agencies including the Guyana Development (Lotto) Fund and GGMC and directed him to pay all monies being held by these agencies into the Consolidated Fund. APNU also complained that Singh spent money that was outside of the sum approved by the Act of Parliament No. 10 of 1, 2014.
- Public health: The people have no confidence in the PPP/C’s management of public health. The country is still frightened by recurrent reports of outbreaks of Chikungunya disease. The persistence of other vector-borne diseases – such as dengue, filaria and malaria – is a threat to public health. Guyanese are largely uninformed of the dangers that these diseases pose to the population both in the hinterland and the coastland. The people are still angry over the Administration’s mismanagement of the fatal outbreak of gastro-enteritis in the Barima-Waini Region last year.
- Public security: The people have no confidence in the PPP/C’s ability to maintain public security. Armed robberies, banditry in the hinterland, maritime piracy along the coastland, fuel-smuggling, gun-running, contraband smuggling and suicides still prevail. The PPP/C Administration currently has no effective counter-narcotics strategy. The last plan – National Drug Strategy Master Plan, 2005-2009 – was never fully implemented and expired five years ago.
- Public services. The people have no confidence in the PPP/C’s ability to deliver public services. Public protests have become the most effective expressions of resistance against the PPP’s disregard for human rights and its mismanagement of public health, public security, public transportation, public works, the public education system, waste management and the social protection of vulnerable groups. This country has become more unsafe, unsanitary and more unstable than ever before, owing to the high rate of crime and the low quality of life.
- Administration of Justice. The people have no confidence in the administration of justice and the guarantee of the rule of law in Guyana. The mounting backlog of cases in the courts speaks volumes. The PPP/C has failed to bring into operation the Administration of Justice Act passed since 2011 that would allow citizens relief against the Government.
The entire nation is suffering from a lack of confidence in the Government. The effects are evident in the declining population, the high rate of emigration, the spate of suicides among adolescents, the large number of school dropouts, the unavailability of new job opportunities, the huge prison population (of which youth are said to comprise 75 per cent) and the rate of interpersonal violence. These, together with combined cost of corruption, cronyism, graft and the narco-driven crime wave, have taken a toll on the people’s quality of life. These are signs of a dangerous and deteriorating social situation.
APNU iterates its expression of “no confidence” in the PPP/C Administration.