Alliance will rescue nation from flawed governance – Greenidge

Alliance will rescue nation from flawed governance – Greenidge

February 20, 2015 | By |
APNU’s Carl Greenidge

APNU’s Carl Greenidge

Since the Alliance for Change (AFC) and the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) joined forces on APNU’s Carl Greenidge Valentine’s Day, there has been positive feedback as well as several concerns regarding the true intentions of the pre-election prodemocracy coalition.

Some letter writers and political activists, hold the view that the partnership seems to be more concerned about who gets what and not necessarily how certain critical issues will be tackled and the details of its action plan.

However, in an interview with Kaieteur News, Carl Greenidge, who served as the APNU’s chief negotiator during deliberations for a pre-election union with the AFC, said that though he understands such concerns, one has to try and discern what lies behind it. He disclosed that the negotiations began with a vision of the future – dealing primarily with the desirability of a new dispensation in the exercise of executive power, the rule of law and the value of people’s lives in the community.

Greenidge said that the alliance has specifically set a framework to “rescue the nation from a vicious cycle of problematic elections, partisan Government and flawed governance which fuels the lack of a national consensus on governance”.

“The agreement captures the mood of the people and can mark a fruitful fork in the road for the electorate.
“If the results of 2011 were to be repeated in 2015, the combined opposition would win the Presidency. Since 2011, the PPP has lost ground due to the daily revelations about corruption and abuse of power. In the last week alone the Chief Justice has confirmed that the Government illegally spent billions of taxpayers’ dollars. This is also compounded by the litany of strikes and financial improprieties in the system.”

Greenidge emphasised that the alliance’s negotiating teams placed a high priority on inclusiveness, all-encompassing governance and the utility of the involvement of civil society representatives at the various tiers of decision-making.

He said that neither side focused above all else, on the question of who would get what posts, as that would have been counter-productive.

The APNU executive agreed nonetheless that a coalition is a tool for putting together political parties to win an election; to deliver a programme and the arrangements for the team to carry out that plan.

He said that the negotiating teams did just that, but as it is still in early stages, the entire agreement has not been disseminated and “that will come in good time.”

Greenidge also expressed that the “Cummingsburg Accord”, which was signed by both parties, covers the policies to be pursued after May 11. These, he said, included the arrangements for decision-making in a variety of key areas such as reducing crime and the question of lands and land titles, as a consequence of controversial PPP policies in areas occupied by Indigenous people.
He said that the same focus of the alliance applies to the primacy of employment generation, income policies, and youth and training.

Greenidge posited that among the approaches to these issues would be the inclusion of Civil Society representatives in the planning and formulation of solutions as well as the implementation of the proposals. He noted as well that as APNU did in 2011, the parties in the alliance have set out the main policies to be pursued in the first 100 days after assuming office.

The former finance minister was also asked to address the concern that the APNU-AFC union is perhaps the biggest political gamble for the opposition in going to the polls.

He emphasized that this is not the case. He referred to the newly-formed alliance as the most important political development to have taken place in Guyana since 1980, because it shows a degree of maturity among some of the main political actors.

The politician was asked to explain what influenced the decision to reintroduce the position of Vice President, of which there are three such designations. He said that it was brought back in order to help balance the allocation of Constitutional positions between the Parties.

He reminded that the Constitution permits four and both agreed to utilize three. The fourth, he said, is in reserve.

“The concerns about them being unnecessary arise largely because observers believe that they will be used as before, to oversee other Ministers, but we did not discuss that, for they are simply senior ministers; a matter of rank rather than of functions.”

Further, the recently formed alliance had said that the Speaker of the National Assembly would be picked from civil society. Greenidge was then asked what such a decision would mean for the possibilities of House Speaker, Raphael Trotman, serving in the Eleventh Parliament, provided that the alliance assumes office.

The opposition member responded that he would not be able to say anything about the prospects for a single individual, for up to this point, personalities were not discussed. He opined that the choice of Speaker is a matter for the Parties, the President and the Prime Minister.
“Mr. Trotman’s future would also depend on his ambitions,” he added.

Greenidge also sought to address comments made earlier this week, by General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Clement Rohee who proclaimed that the AFC had signed its political death warrant in going into a coalition with APNU.

Greenidge said that anyone can have a view on such political matters and Rohee is entitled to his opinion, but the question is whether that opinion is informed in any way by historical experience or analysis. He said that a view can be taken seriously if the owner takes the trouble to explain the basis of the view. On that premise, he said that it is for Rohee to say how he arrived at his position.

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Comments

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 02/21/2015 at 2:15 am

    “He referred to the newly-formed alliance as the most important political development to have taken place in Guyana since 1980, because it shows a degree of maturity among some of the main political actors.”
    ~ I share Mr. Greenidge’s view. Mind you, not all the players involved have reached that degree of maturity; only “some.” But it gives me hope. Guyana’s leadership is ready for real change. The people desperately needs a new direction forward.

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