Our President is off to a great start
Written by HARRY GILL
Thursday, 29 December 2011 01:00
FOR those who were led to believe that Donald Ramotar could not win the presidency, they were wrong. For those who believed that he would govern in the shadow of former President Bharrat Jagdeo, they are equally wrong. And for those politicians, political pundits and hatemongers who tried to destroy the impeccable character of Donald Ramotar by insinuating he’s a racist all through the campaign, they ought to be ashamed and openly apologise. But this will never happen.
These people have no scruples and no back bone, and would never admit how wrong they are.
Throughout the campaign, Donald Ramotar maintained a Facebook page that he used very effectively to communicate with Guyanese at home, and throughout the diaspora.
He would explain what the government is doing in certain areas or what he proposes doing if elected, and seek our opinion of how this can be improved. This dialogue with President Ramotar on Facebook continues today with a brief of his day’s activities, photographs of events he attended, and an opportunity for ordinary Guyanese to interact with the leader of our nation.
It is unprecedented among world leaders, and it surely personifies Donald Ramotar as a man of the people, a President with the common touch.
Immediately after his victory and despite the Christmas holidays, President Ramotar met with members of the opposition, and agreed to consult with them on the budget while it’s being drafted.
He set up a bipartisan team of professionals that included Cyril Solomon, Clifford Reis and Ronald Alli to review the tax system and policies; and he showed real courage and leadership in the way he handled Police Commissioner Henry Greene’s rape allegation, by sending him on leave and calling for an independent, outside source to help in the investigation.
The President maintained a busy schedule, meeting with diplomats; members of the private sector; and the board of GUYSUCO with whom he discussed ways to increase production and value-added diversification.
He also met with PPP/C critic Christopher Ram and discussed the economic environment in Guyana. He had fruitful discussions with senior management of BOSAI and they presented plans for expansion of bauxite production and the establishment of an additional kiln.
The President also met with the senior management of the Bank of Baroda, and they discussed the modernisation of their banking system and increased investment in Guyana.
And of course, he had meetings with his ministers and permanent secretaries, during which he discussed administrative issues and made it clear what he expects of them.
Most interestingly, President Ramotar will soon be issuing a Code of Conduct to all his ministers, as a subtle reminder that he is the one in charge.
The President was not the only one that was very active during the holidays. First Lady Deolatchmee and their daughter were seen everywhere distributing gifts to needy children, and those hospitalised at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
Together, they delivered lots of cheer and goodwill to the less fortunate and destitute during the Christmas season, and it is a refreshing sight to have a First Family so actively involved with the Guyanese community.
However, despite the President’s willingness to work with the opposition, David Granger’s APNU seems determined to continue the chaos, vowing to intensify protest action next year and to give government “a number of deadlines to make key decisions.”
According to PNC/APNU spokeswoman Lurlene Nestor, she wants Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee to resign by the end of March, 2012; she wants Guyana to have a government of national unity, and the Election Commission and Chief Elections Officer to be replaced in six months.
Well I’m sure Lurlene Nestor would also wish to see David Granger as Guyana’s President, but that ain’t gonna happen. May I remind her who won the national elections? These people just don’t get it. Neither the Youth Coalition for Transformation -YCT or whatever they call themselves, nor the APNU are in any position to issue ultimatums.
The PNC/APNU contested the election and lost. We have a new president, and his name is not David Granger. It would be a mistake for the opposition to take President Ramotar’s olive branch as a sign of weakness.
For as the Kaieteur News editorial of December 23 so eloquently stated: “We hope that the opposition does not demand a mile now that they have been given a fathom. Consultation does not mean capitulation.”
Like it or not, the leaders of PNC/APNU will have to tolerate a PPP/C administration for another five years or more, unless they can demonstrate to the Guyanese electorate that they are responsible, mature adults with a vision and a realistic plan to further develop this country.
But judging by the destructive and obstructionist path they have chosen, most Guyanese are now convinced that the old PNC is firmly back in control.
I take this opportunity to wish my readers and the hard-working management and staff of the Guyana Chronicle a prosperous, productive and healthy New Year.