Tony Vieira's Comments
22 October 2017

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Third Force 2
(Aired 11 January 2005)

   There is some misunderstanding about what a third force or a political party holding the balance of power, would be in the Guyana context.

    Some of our viewers don't understand it at all, whilst others visualize it as a completely new political force, which will win an election in this country install a new President and Ministers, and magically the disastrous results of the 50 year old impasse between the PPP and the PNC will disappear and all will be well. I am Sorry to have to tell you this, but it will not happen that way.

   The leader of the opposition is now on record as saying that there is no place in Guyana for a third force, but he is wrong not only is there place for a third force, it's presence is essential, even crucial.

   Tonight I want to share with you my thoughts of what a third force will be, what its stated function must be, and how it will operate.

   The geographical requirement at this time is to have 65 seats in our Parliament, there is no reason to change this now i.e. to redefine the constituencies, the elections are too close in 2006 so we can't tamper with the seats even if we wanted to do so, the PNC should stop calling for this change. We have to go with what we have now but we MUST have a new list the current one is outdated, that exercise should be happening NOW! Mr. Ramoutar is stalling, the PNC is right, the database is riddled with irregularities! If we had a group with the constitutional power in parliament we would vote this way, no we do not need to redefine the geographical boundaries, but yes we do need a new database. That is what a third or center force would do, my friend Mr. Ravi Dev likes the idea of calling it a center or balancing force rather than a third force, whatever you call it that is what it will do, force dialog and compromise.

   Of the 65 seats in the parliament at present, the PPP have 34 seats the PNC and the other opposition parties have a combined 31 seats. I will not go into the matter of the UF crossing the floor but I imagine that Nadir's political career outside the PPP is over.

   This third force must have as its stated mandate, the obligation to bring the PPP and the PNC to the table to force meaningful discussion and meaningful participation in the decision making process by both sides i.e. everyone must have a say in what goes on and the third force will be there to make sure that it happens.

    This means that this third force must be fair and impartial and render decisions on every issue put to it fairly and impartially and be fearless enough to tell the PPP or the PNC to go to hell if either is making an unreasonable request or demand.

   Stated this way, this is probably not the best way to win friends in the PPP or the PNC but this third force must not care about the feelings of the PNC or the PPP, if this third force perceives that the PPP is doing something wrong then it must say so, if it perceives that the PNC [hoping to be supported by this third force] comes up with some outrageous proposal then the third force must vote with the PPP to strike it down. All of this assumes that without the third force no one political party controls a majority of the seats in the Parliament i.e. 33 seats and that the vote of the third force will be necessary to pass anything through the national assembly.

   But why do we have to come to this? the answer is really simple the PPP have brain washed the indo Guyanese into believing that this racial division thing is the only way that this country can function, and that the PNC will only destroy the country as they did in the past, interfere with their women, rob and beat them and so on.

   Look around you ladies and gentlemen and especially you my Indo Guyanese brothers, are you better off now than you were in 1992? Do you see a future in this country for yourselves or your children? If the answer is no and I am sure that it is, then it is time for a change, the PPP have done more damage to the economy of this country in the 13 years they have been in power than the PNC did in 28 years. But the accumulation of the two has been catastrophic. Except for the period 1989 to 1993-4 under Hoyte's Economic Recovery Programme.

    The failure was not only the PNC tampering with elections, the problem was that the ideology of socialism of both Forbes Burnham and Cheddie Jagan hurt us as a nation during the Burnham years and it has hurt us during these last 12 Jagan/PPP years. To this day there are still people of substantial position in the PPP, people at the very core of that political dinosaur who are Marxists but they are hypocrites, as all Marxists have been, they take care of themselves, driving brand new Prados whilst the rest of us are driving around in second hand cars from Japan. A new car of any significance can cost you 15 to 20 million dollars; that's what your ministers are driving, two, three vehicles each, while the rest of us their intellectual and functional superiors are driving second hand junk.

    There is no reason why the duties on cars should be what is, it only creates the inability of the normal Guyanese to drive a new trouble free car rather than that nonsense from Japan which carries no significant warranty and costs as much as 4 million dollars, no school teacher, no police officer, no army officer, no civil or public servant will ever be able to afford to buy a new car in this country unless they are thieving and I don't care what color you are, you will be driving cars that are unfit for Japanese roads if you can afford even that, or you will be sitting in a mini bus.

    This government is completely hopeless, I heard Ramon Gaskin telling the public the other evening that selling NBIC to Republic Bank has resulted in a reduction of the cooperate taxes of that entity by 50% and that to this day after exporting three [3] million ounces of our gold Omai has never made a profit nor have they paid cooperate taxes in Guyana, now we are making a deal with this same company to run our bauxite company at Linden! We want privatization yes but it must bring some benefit to our people or we don't want it.

   We have more expatriates here managing or owning our national entities water, sugar, telecoms, mining and rice than before independence, quite a few of these high salaried people do not pay taxes in Guyana and a lot of these companies which own the entities they are operating here are charging huge and unsubstantiated management fees to their overseas principals and these fees do not attract taxes, so significant amounts from our national budget goes to paying people who do not pay taxes in Guyana, this leaves the poor civil servants and public servants to carry the tax load in this country and have to drive second hand cars and buy substandard but expensive goods because of our onerous duties and consumption taxes placing quality goods out of reach of the pocket of Guyanese, the result is that we have achieved the distinction of forcing Guyanese of any talent and competence to leave the country. And I agree with them what is going on here is obscene and unacceptable.

    I don't know how, if at all, this can be fixed now, what I do know is that every time I think that we have gotten to the bottom of the barrel it just gets deeper.

   In 12 years the PNC has not learned to be a proper opposition and the PPP has not learned to be a proper government, that is the honest truth ladies and gentlemen, in the Parliament of over 130 questions and motions put to it over the past year or so, 100 questions and motions came from Ms. Sheila Holder of the WPA alone; 9 of which have not been answered for over 8 months; but only 30 [that is three zero] questions and motions came from the other 30 members of the opposition, now everyone knows that I am sympathetic to the afro Guyanese cause in this country, but what the hell are their leaders doing? 

   That is why we need a third force, this third force must be prepared to oppose any laws that are not equitable and therefore at least one arm of our government, the Legislature will not be under the control of the Executive i.e. the Ministers and the President will finally be accountable to the Parliament for the first time since independence and with the stated agenda of releasing the Judicial system from the control of the Executive since there are still Judges in this country who rule perversely on important matters before them in fear of incurring the wrath of the Executive.

   That is the key to stopping all of the lawlessness and inequity that exists in this country.