The PNC is no longer an opposition of any consequence
Stabroek News
January 3, 2002

Dear Editor,

No one will doubt that as a President Desmond Hoyte has made a contribution to the development of Guyana. Similarly no one will doubt that as Leader of the Opposition he has failed our people miserably. To use his pet words, he should do the decent thing and resign.

Unfortunately Mr Hoyte is not pursuing the interest of our people, he is involved in a game of his own personal political survival. This game has resulted in the weakening of the PNC/R and its support base while strengthening the PPP/C.

We in the PNC must face the stark reality that we no longer constitute an opposition of any consequence to the PPP. The PPP does what it likes when it likes and however crudely it likes while Mr Hoyte wallows in his false sense of statesmanship.

As the dialogue (deadlog) sails along at a turtle's pace, the PPP is allocating the resources of the state in the same old discriminatory way. In the Public Service they fire and hire at their pleasure. Our supporters cannot get land but they allocate it to their supporters. In the streets of Guyana the contractors still stop me to ask what can be done so that they can get contracts they are allocated little or no contracts. The 'Black Clothes' kill our youth because they know they will be protected by the government. As the PPP sets up this system of political domination, economic marginalisation and social servitude, Mr Hoyte is dialoguing with the deaf. We the people are being made powerless.

PNC members and supporters must face the reality that every day that Mr Hoyte is leader of the PNC he is giving the PPP the next election since there is no meaningful political work among our supporters and he does not have the energy to do it himself.

The foregoing is compounded by the fact that no leadership is given to the PNC membership. The party is left without leadership or a strategy. Please do not tell me that nonsense that was said on channel nine, that the strategy is to leave the government to collapse. Such a position is a cover for the absence of a well-thought out strategy and a vision for the future and the fact that the party machinery has been weakened.

We need a strategy that will ensure our people are sharing power in this country, we need a strategy that will bring political and economic benefit to our people. We need a strategy to end PPP domination. More importantly we need a strategy that is of the people for the people.

In this year we must work with the people and discuss with them our vision of the future. We must be informed by their views and give guidance as we move forward. We must do away with that anachronistic approach in which 'The Leader' alone decides. The time is nigh when the party should be governed rationally and collectively with the central executive performing the role that it has been assigned by the party's constitution.

Happy New Year to all Guyanese as we work to build a society in which there is equality and justice, and democracy is a reality and not a tool to be used by politicians conveniently. Let us build democratic parties so that when they are in power democracy would have already been part of our culture and we can operate at a higher level than what now passes for democratic government.

Yours faithfully,

Aubrey C Norton