AN URGENT RETURN TO THE NEGOTIATING TABLE IS NECESSARY


The Opposition Leader, Mr. David Granger, has said that the Opposition is interested in leverage. He also said that the cuts can be restored if the necessary reforms are undertaken. For his part President Ramotar has pledged his continuing commitment to dialogue even in the midst of denouncing the savage cuts to the Budget by the Opposition. It seems reasonable to conclude that an urgent return to the negotiating table is necessary to mend fences, reduce tension and proceed with the nation’s business.

The passage of the Budget does not resolve the political stand-off which has been brought about by the election results. It merely gives a temporary respite. However, all parties are looking to elections at some time down the road when they hope to increase their parliamentary strength. The PPP has the recovery of the PNC in 2012 to contemplate. In 2012 it recovered the six seats and seven percent of the votes it lost to the AFC in 2006. The PPP/C will be hoping to copy that experience and recover the seven percent of the votes and five seats  it lost to the AFC in these elections.

This can only occur if the PPP demonstrates, like the PNC, that it has rectified the problems which kept some of its supporters away from the polls and sent others to the AFC. It is a big mistake to believe that the results were an accident, or a result of lack of effort by organizers, or PPP supporters being misled, or some other superficial reason or reasons. The reasons are of a more fundamental nature and it will take time, effort and correct policies to restore the PPP to good health.

Policies cannot be adopted unless the Government negotiates with the Opposition and the latter’s concerns are taken into consideration.

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