Power sharing entrenches racial voting
Stabroek News
March 11, 2002

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Dear Editor,

There have been many editorials and letters in SN on power sharing. Dr. Hinds and the WPA have advocated power sharing for quite some time. We had power sharing in 1964. Guyana had been through a lot from 1962 to 1964 with racial appeals to kith and kin for violence that made Guyana ungovernable. Then in 1964 Guyana had power sharing with the PNC and UF sharing the power of government, and suddenly, the violence stopped, Guyana became governable in 1964 and achieved independence in 1966.

We are seeing the same violence of 1962 to 1964 at every elections since 1992, and again advocates of power sharing. Some political parties that lost elections threatened to make Guyana ungovernable, and it seemed that to appease them we have their supporters advocating power sharing. What would happen if these political parties become a part of the government? They, surely, will find a way to grab the whole government. This has already happened in other places.

In Guyana, the political parties blame racial voting and advocate power sharing. This just encourages political parties to go along racial lines to get votes and then get into government with power sharing. Who wants a government that is based on race? We want good governance.

By refusing power sharing with race based political parties, we are discouraging racism and encouraging the political parties to serve all races more to the liking of the Guyanese majority. If we give in to power sharing with our race based political parties, we are entrenching racism, allowing politicians to use racism to get into government. I have never believed that my race will look out for me. If you look in the newspapers at the most heinous crimes of murder, you will notice the victims are of the same race as the perpetrators.

Please look to the ballot box to implement changes - support our young democracy and have the political parties change themselves to match the aspirations of the majority. Guyana lacks mature political institutions for democracy that exist in other countries that have successfully implemented power sharing.

Yours faithfully,

Rudolph Somwaru