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Letter: Granger is an authoritarian

Please allow me to respond to Rashleigh E. Jackson’s letter captioned “An appeal to both sides of the National Assembly” (SN, November 13) to explain that it is unreasonable of Mr Jackson to encourage Guyanese to respect President Granger given that he is a strongman politician who abuses his power.

Mr Jackson must know that the heartbreaking situation in this country warrants that he adopts a patriotic stance to enlighten Guyanese that President Granger is destructive and that his behaviours directly compromise his ability to lead.

It is a fact that the latest bout of political tension was sparked directly by President Granger when he abused his power to unfairly appoint his PNC surrogate as the GECOM Chairman.

Such unethical and unfair transaction by President Granger will certainly enable his PNC/APNU political party to rig the elections and it indicates that President Granger lacks a moral compass which renders him unreliable, untrustworthy and unfit to lead.

President Granger should never be tolerated. Given this picture, it is absolutely insane to encourage Guyanese to respect a man who tramples the rights of his people and destroys this country.

Authoritarian and dishonest behaviours permeate the Granger government and are some of the major reasons why Government take advantage of the ordinary man and collaborate in cover-up attempts. For example, President Granger trampled the social cohesion process through his unethical appointment of the GECOM Chairman. In spite of this, his Social Cohesion Department refused to denounce his immorality.

But, in an unfair move to suppress the voice of Guyanese, his Social Cohesion Department lashed out at those who stood up against his abuse of power in a protest in parliament. Both President Granger and his Social Cohesion Department need to be cognizant of the fact that unity, particularly in a diverse society like ours can only be realized in a culture where consistency, fairness, respect, and trust are valued.

But sadly the Granger Government tramples such a culture. President Granger’s immorality strengthens the widespread belief that his stance on social cohesion is a sham and that his Social Cohesion Department is a smokescreen to shield wrongdoings within his government.

Dysfunction within Government is reminiscent of the shameful situation at City Hall and I do not see how Mr Jackson in good conscience can ask Guyanese to respect politicians who are unethical. Any respect for President Granger under these circumstances will send the wrong message, particularly to our youths that unethical behaviours are acceptable.

Mr Granger’s appalling record has caused his supporters to dwindle to roughly 35% of the total population which is bad news. It means that he does not command the support to win a free and fair election. In spite of this, he is fixated on holding onto power. But how is he going to do this? Well, he has to rig the elections like his idol, Forbes Burnham who was chronically implicated in election rigging. Editor, the election process needs to be closely monitored because the motivation is there to rig it. Moreover, a dissection of President Granger’s behaviours reveals that he has embarked on building a foundation which will allow him to tamper with the election process.
To this end, he brazenly handpicked the GECOM Chairman who will undoubtedly enable his PNC/APNU political party to tamper with the election process. He has strategically placed military officials who are also his loyal backers in key positions across the country to take control and silence the Guyanese people.

He has even divided the Guyanese people and selectively united his PNC/APNU backers by enticing them with jobs, scholarships and infinite opportunities. Obviously, Guyana will further deteriorate under the authoritarian leadership of President Granger.

President Granger has to be voted out to allow Guyanese a better life which they so deserve. And Mr Jackson must know that any respect for President Granger is an endorsement of his unethical behaviours.

Additional evidence on numerous fronts further strengthens the argument that President Granger leads by authoritarian and dishonest values. Editor, we must examine the evidence: Like a strong man and through his deception, he largely marginalised his non-supporters out of the workforce.

Like a strongman and through his deception, he heartlessly looted the treasury out of a giant salary increase of 50% while he granted the working poor peanuts. Like a strongman and through his deception, he forcefully burdens the working poor with unbearable taxes on infinite goods and services including private education to support his government’s lavish lifestyle.

Like a strongman and through his deception, his government forcefully and illegally attempted to purge the occupants of the Red House. Like a strongman and through his deception, he ignores that his government is implicated in over 40 cases of serious corruption.

Like a strongman and through his deception, he repeatedly ignores the rule of law on numerous occasions including the unconstitutional interference with the work of the Police Service Commission. Like a strongman and through his deception, he refuses to reveal the details of the ExxonMobil contract and he refuses to set the record straight on an alleged US$20M bonus payment from ExxonMobil. President Granger’s actions undoubtedly hurt Guyanese and exacerbate the suicide crisis. As it stands, Guyanese lack basic life-sustaining resources including medical supplies, food, and clean water supply. President Granger’s behaviours need to be rejected. He is undeserving of respect. Respect is earned.

As an activist, I teamed up with the PNC/APNU supporters on the PNC/APNU social media sites when President Granger was in the opposition to vigorously fight for democracy. My participation was encouraged. Now that President Granger is in power, he tramples democracy, he tramples free speech, he tramples human rights and my participation is no longer allowed.

His political supporters even refuse to condemn his unethical behaviours and they even label those who speak up against his abuse of power as racists. Unfortunately, gains made by civil rights leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela fail to resonate with President Granger and those who trample democracy. For the sake of humanity and for the betterment of our country, President Granger needs to bow out as the Head of State and apologise to the Guyanese people.

Then again, he is a strongman who will never execute such upright behaviours. This means that the people of this country need to swing power away from him to keep democracy alive. And Mr Jackson authoritarian and dysfunctional leaders like President Granger deserve not an ounce of respect.
Annie Baliram

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