January 23, 2018

A political problem…

…demands a political solution
It’s great when you’re the Government, isn’t it? Look at the high-priced Bajan lawyers – Queen’s Counsels to boot! — that Basil Williams just had sworn in to help him out in the “Case of the Foisted GECOM Chair”. And yes, dear reader, you read that right – the lawyers never practised before the Guyanese Bar, and had to be “sworn in” a couple days before! These fellas don’t come cheap; they’re Bajans!
Now, Lord knows the AG needs all the help he can get. Lawyers, like boxers, are rated by their wins against losses, and Williams has been 0 to 15 as of now!! Why should Guyanese taxpayers pay for Williams’s ineptitude? He’s AG only because he’s the PNC Chairman, and not so incidentally – as the Mafia would say; he knows where the bodies are buried. Right, Bannuhs?
Your Eyewitness won’t comment substantively on the case, since Justice George-Wiltshire asked that it not be tried in the public arena. Your Eyewitness has the greatest respect for this jurist – even though the Government obviously does not. How could the Government ask her to apply for a position she’s already accepted? The President’s unilaterally advertising for applicants was insulting in effectively rescinding her appointment. Justice George’s professionalism, learning and commitment to the law speak for themselves — since the days when she was a public prosecutor. But maybe that’s the point, isn’t it? How dare she rule against the President’s unilateral decisions to rescind leases to those Region 5 farmers which the PPP had granted?
But returning to the GECOM Chairman’s appointment: this really isn’t a legal matter, is it? The Carter-Price formula was devised to address a POLITICAL problem back in 1992. After the PNC had rigged elections in 1968, 1973, 1980 and 1985, with the connivance of the GECOM chairs — who were all judges — the criteria was broadened to include “other fit and proper” persons. And more to the point, the lack of trust engendered in the Opposition parties after being cuckolded so many times, the appointees had to come from a list the Opposition Leader would provide.
This was designed to enforce political compromise, since the Opposition Leader’s list had to include persons whom the President couldn’t object to, and obviously, the former would pick persons not unobjectionable to himself. Of the three lists of six submitted by Jagdeo, it shocked the sensibilities of even PNC supporters that past GECOM Chair and ex-Army General, Joe Singh, was unacceptable to Granger!!
That the matter has reached the courts means the political arrangement has broken down.
The Justices cannot raise this POLITICAL Lazarus from the dead. Rigging is constructively back!!
…not an economic one
Your Eyewitness isn’t surprised no one in Guyana cares about the tragedy unfolding in Berbice after 4000 sugar workers were fired by GuSyuCo – which is owned by the Government. Actually, it should be “no one in Georgetown cares”…but since to those who matter, for all intents and purposes Georgetown is Guyana, it’s all the same, isn’t it? It’s not just Berbice…Wales’ 1700 were fired last year, and that also didn’t create a ripple!
The President of the Central Corentyne Chamber of Commerce, Mohamad Raffik, however, exclaimed in disgust: “You just cannot send home 4,000 people and you have no alternative.” But Raffik’s premise is all flawed: to the Government, sugar workers were fired and not given alternatives not because they were “people,” but because they were “voters”. The wrong kind of voters: voters who never voted for them, but generally for the PPP.
When Jagan was negotiating a coalition with Burnham in the seventies, one of his criticisms was the PNC’s “racial discrimination”.
Burnham replied, “Comrade, it’s not racial, just political!”
…gets an economic solution
The one “political” problem that can be solved economically is when a POLITICAL investment wasn’t repaid to a media owner — who then exposes the dirt.
The Muckraker’s owner was just awarded a radio licence!