The Civil Society group Article 13 is not impressed with the performance of the Government over the past two years and believes that the country is once again seeing the rise of corruption under the PPP.
In a statement to mark the Government’s 2nd year in office, the civil society group said before assuming office in 2020, the PPP was accepting help from all quarters to oust the Coalition government, and once it got into government it went on a spree to repay those who assisted.
“Unsurprisingly, on assuming power, it found it necessary to reward in different ways, those who helped it. Such reward took the form of plum appointments, steering contracts in a particular direction and the allocation of State resources, often at below market price. In this regard, the PPP/C was operating true to form, as it had done in the twenty-three years it was in power from 1992 to 2015. Corruption is now back with allegations against the Vice President who controls the entire state apparatus,” Article 13 said in its statement.
The group said it welcomed the public statements by both President Ali and Vice President Jagdeo in supporting a formal investigation into bribery allegations against the Vice President. The group noted that there has been no move to launch a probe of the allegations.
The government also came under attack from Article 13 as it was accused of not practicing inclusionary democracy.
“The PPP/C has done little to advance democracy, good governance, the rule of law and the country’s interest. A number of constitutional bodies to secure good and efficient governance are yet to be appointed; the Government is practising exclusionary rather than inclusionary democracy; President Ali continues to ignore calls to confirm the acting Chancellor and Chief Justice; the Access to Information Act is virtually non-operational; there are no new legislation to regulate the petroleum sector; the local content policy for the sector has been bungled and is in disarray; GECOM remains an enigma, with total silence from the Minister of Local Government or GECOM on any arrangements for holding Local Government elections due this year,” the group explained.
According to Article 13, both the Government and the Opposition along with civil society need to be mindful of the direction in which the country is heading and to recognise the need for a reset.
“Constitutional reform by all means, but this means nothing when Governments can ignore the existing constitutional provisions with impunity. The PNC-R and its derivatives must commit to respecting the wishes of the electorate and be prepared to sit down and honestly discuss the business of the country. The PPP/C must show by its actions and good faith that it places service and the interest of all the people above power and partisan politics,” the group noted.
Article 13 also said the Opposition’s performance over the two years has been “lackluster” and the Opposition needs to be more responsible in its role.