1980 Burnham Constitution was forced upon the people of Guyana

The current 1980 Burnham Constitution was forced upon the people of Guyana through a rigged referendum. Back in those days, everything the PNC did was through some rigged system. The PPP begged the international community to intervene and after 28 arduous years, Guyana got the change she was badly seeking.

Then rather than change the vicious Burnham Constitution, the PPP wrapped themselves in it and bullied their way into the Guyanese psyche for another 23 years. Jagdeo, in particular, used the vagaries and autocratic allowance in the constitution to be as ungodly and vile as he can be. The suffering that Guyana has found its self in until today, can be traced directly to the intent of Burnham, as drafted into the constitution.

Now almost 40 years later, the PNC has struck again. This time with a bill that will turn into the Sword of Zoro, in the hands of Jagdeo. The saying goes: He who forgets the past is destined to repeat it. And the PNC seems to forget their past. The SARU bill should have been sent to a small committee so that the Opposition could have had their input. Not that the government had to acquiesce to them but it would have given the process and the bill transparency.

The PNC-Coalition was given the mandate to investigate, arrest, and jail all those found guilty of stealing the People’s money. It was one of the APNU/AFC’s campaign promises. However, half of the country believes Jadgeo’s lies that the PPP Ministers all became wealthy – like him – by honest means. Even some of the Indian supporters who were reduced to paupers and beggars, while the Freedom House cronies bought, stole, build and expanded, still believe that Jagdeo’s behavior is as pure as the wind driven snow.

So anything the government does will first be opposed by this large segment of the population. It is incumbent on the administration, therefore, to make every move against the PPP crooks as above board as possible. And it was indeed possible to send that SARU bill to a sub-committee. The reluctance of the government to have the bill discussed and scrutinized by a small committee, or to allow for the full debate on the bill is very telling.

It seems that the granger administration is running against the clock. After two years they have not proven to the Guyanese people that the PPP did anything worthy of criminal charges. Now they have just about another year left before the election cycle gets into full swing. So they are desperate to make good on their promise to arrest and jail some of the PPP’s top brass.

However, this bill that they forced through, might well backfire on them. Already Jagdeo is noising abroad that Granger’s men are crooks, too. He has made several calls for them to declare their assets and they have refused. Their campaign promise of a Code of Ethics – which was a part of their 100-days pledge – has not been fulfilled; even after two years. Joe Harmon, Dr. George Norton, Volda Lawerence, Raphel Trotman, David Patterson and a few others are some of the Ministers that Jagdeo has in this crosshairs.

If Granger’s administration loses the next election, Jagdeo will put this SARU bill to full use. The PNC-Coalition members would have no rest under the PPP with the passage of this bill. One only has to reflect how Jagdeo used Mr. Satar and GRA to harass and intimidate his opponents. The personal records of citizens who opposed the PPP, were leaked to the media, duty-free concessions and remigrant waivers were threatened. This bill will be used against all Guyanese. This monstrosity of a bill gives the SARU director unfettered leverage, one can only imagine what a character like Jagdeo would do with it.

That is why the United Republican Party (URP), would like to go on record in stating that it was a huge mistake and gross shortsightedness for the PNC-Coalition to ram this bill through the Parliament. Any undue consequences the citizens of this country face because of this autocratic and politically motivated act, will be laid squarely at the feet of those who were selfish and narrow-minded enough to not see the detriment of this bill.

Mr. Granger had better hope that the bill does what their shorted-sighted vision intends for it to do, or it will be hell to pay should the prevailing winds blow in 2020. As Anil Nandall (former AG) said in his comment about the bill, “Therein, lies who will have the last laugh.”