News Americas, PHOENIX, Arizona, April 29, 2015: The APNU/AFC coalition is campaigning on a promise of a Government of National Unity (GNU).
The APNU campaigned on it in 2011. Everywhere the message was enthusiastically embraced by Guyanese people of all races and classes. Above all it was embraced by the young people. This simple but powerful message of national unity and reconciliation provides Guyanese with the opportunity to once and for all break out of the political prisons in which we have been trapped since 1955. In voting for a GNU, Guyanese are voting directly for a solution to our problems of political and racial division.
The PPP, the WPA and the PNC at different times in the past have embraced the idea of a GNU. Now the AFC has embraced it. The political crisis brought on by 23 years of PPP misrule can be corrected by a government that includes all of the representatives of the people.
What is a Government of National Unity (GNU)?
A GNU is a government that includes the representatives of all the parties which gained significant representation at the election.
It is a broad-based multi-party government in which all are included and none is excluded.
This means that the Cabinet Ministries are proportionately divided among the parties.
What a Government of National Unity will do
First, the GNU will ensure that all voters feel their votes count for something. It will be the fairest government Guyana has ever had. No bloc of votes will have more power than other blocs. In a GNU 48% will mean and act like 48%; 40% will mean 40%; and 10% will mean and act like 10%. This will be a drastic change from what we now have whereby the PPP has 48% of the votes but controls 100% of the ministries.
Second, the GNU puts an end to One-Party rule. No single party will have a monopoly on power. The representatives of all parties will be at the table. David Granger will be at the table. Nagamootoo will be at the table. Ramotar will be at the table. It would mean that all the major decisions about the allocation of resources will be jointly taken and not by a single party. No community or individual Guyanese will be left behind.
Third, the GNU will make governance easier. The parties will be forced to compromise and work together in the national interest. It will test the patriotism of the parties—whether they are in the Government for their narrow interests or the interests of the Guyanese people.
Fourth, a GNU is the most powerful symbol of Racial Unity. It will be a symbol of cooperation by all and not domination by any one group. It will be a government in which all races will see their representatives. It will put an end to charges of discrimination and marginalization by minority groups. The GNU will truly reflect our motto of One People, One Nation, One Destiny.
Fifth, the GNU will be better able to carry out the broad policies set by the parliament. Things such as raising old-age pension, abolishing or reducing VAT and reforming the constitution will not be left to one party. NCN will not be answering to the PPP alone, but to all the parties.
Sixth, people will no longer fear the government. People will no longer be afraid that if they do not toe the line of ruling party they will be fired or discriminated against. All parties will be ruling parties.
Seventh, under a GNU, the APNU and AFC will not have to beg the PPP to do the right thing; they will be in the government helping it to do the right thing.
Eighth, under a GNU corruption will be eliminated. Instead of one set of eyes in the Government there will be several sets.
Finally, freed of the past ills of rancor and divisiveness, a GNU will be able to unleash the full potential of the Guyanese people. Local and foreign investment are more likely to boom as a result of the greater social cohesion and political stability.
Dr. David Hinds, a political activist and commentator, is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Caribbean and African Diaspora Studies at Arizona State University. More of his writings and commentaries and other news and views on Guyana and Caribbean politics can be found on his YouTube Channel Hinds’ Sight: Dr. David Hinds’ Guyana-Caribbean Politics and on his website www.guyanacaribbeanpolitics.com