Former President David Granger resurfaced this week to complain that the high cost of food is hurting Guyanese, and the entire situation is to be blamed on the PPP/C Government.
Editor, with all due respect, unless and until Mr. Granger accounts for the hardship measures he imposed on Guyanese from 2015 to 2020, as well as the five months of undue tension Guyanese suffered following the March 2020 elections, his criticisms will continue to ring hollow.
First, a comprehensive examination of his tenure from 2015 to 2020 reveals a stark contrast between rhetoric and action. To engage in meaningful discourse on the challenges facing Guyanese, Mr. Granger must account for the hardship measures imposed during his administration, and the five months of political tension that gripped the nation.
Without acknowledging these factors, his criticisms of the current Government’s handling of the economy remain incomplete and lack the necessary depth.
Second, during the APNU/AFC Coalition’s tenure, Guyanese citizens experienced a series of hardship measures – including the imposition of 200 taxes and fees on everything, from agricultural land rentals to VAT on water and electricity – all of which had profound effects on their daily lives.
From increased taxes to austerity measures, the economic policies implemented by the Granger Administration placed a significant burden on the population. Mr Granger needs to address how these measures impacted the socio-economic landscape, contributing to the challenges that many Guyanese face today, including the rising cost of essential goods like food.
Thirdly, the five months of political tension following the 2019 elections created a climate of uncertainty, and the protracted political impasse undoubtedly had repercussions on the economy, as investors and businesses hesitated to commit to a nation engulfed in uncertainty. By not addressing the role of his administration in this period of political turmoil, Mr. Granger’s critique of the PPP/C Government’s economic policies lacks a comprehensive perspective.
For a former head of state to critique the policies of the current government, accountability for one’s actions and policies is paramount. It is not sufficient to solely attribute current challenges to the PPP/C Government without acknowledging the role played by the previous administration. This accountability is not merely a matter of political responsibility, but also a moral obligation to the citizens who endured the consequences of past policies.
To foster a more informed and constructive dialogue on the rising cost of food, Mr. Granger must offer a more nuanced and holistic perspective. This includes recognizing the broader economic context shaped by his administration’s policies and actions. Without such acknowledgment, his criticisms risk being perceived as politically motivated, rather than rooted in a genuine concern for the wellbeing of Guyanese citizens.
Until Mr. Granger addresses these aspects, his criticisms may continue to lack the depth and authenticity needed for meaningful discourse on the nation’s economic trajectory.