Sunday, October 16, 2011

It’s Sam Hinds

Written by
Rickey Singh

- for the fifth time

SAMUEL ARCHIBALD HINDS, the chemical engineer and former civil society crusader for electoral democracy in Guyana, who has been serving as Guyana’s Prime Minister for almost 19 years, is to be presented today as a prime ministerial candidate for a fifth consecutive time. The official announcement will come from the first-time presidential candidate of the incumbent People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Donald Ramotar, in the bauxite town of Linden, some 65 miles away from Georgetown, and the residential base of Hinds, who will be 68 years this coming December.
Linden has been a traditional stronghold of the main opposition People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), located in Region 10 (Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice) for electoral purposes. But, the electorate in the mining town and the wider Region 10 constituency, have been increasingly diversifying their votes at elections, with the PPP/C being a significant beneficiary that contributed to securing one of the two allotted parliamentary seats in the 65-member National Assembly at the 2006 elections.
As running-mate to presidential hopeful, Ramotar, currently General Secretary of the governing PPP, should the incumbent be returned to power for a fifth unbroken term -- as being forecast -- Hinds will again emerge as the Prime Minister. He had previously so served three previous Executive Presidents -- Dr Cheddi Jagan; his widow, Janet Jagan; and the now outgoing Bharrat Jagdeo.
In a telephone interview with Prime Minister Hinds yesterday, I asked him how it feels to have been invited to serve in the Number Two spot on the PPP/C list with Ramotar as the presidential candidate. He chuckled and said:
“Let’s wait for the official announcement… I would be willing to have the opportunity to again serve as Prime Minister for continuity in advancing the social, cultural and economic developments of our Dear Land of Guyana, and at a time when Guyanese across the political divide are clearly showing greater interest in what unites us, and not the old divisions that have been so counterproductive and injurious to families and communities…”
The former long-serving Director for Production Quality, Research and Development in the mining operations, of what used to be Canadian-owned before nationalization, Hinds feels that the PNCR “is hurting itself in seeking to play the old divisive politics in Linden, now under a coalition of convenience called APNU (A Partnership for National Unity)…”
Hinds was invited by the late Dr. Jagan to join the PPP/Civic team for the internationally supervised 1992 general election that resulted in an end to 24 years of uninterrupted State power by the PNC, first under Forbes Burnham and, following his death, Desmond Hoyte.
At the time of his exit from the civil society crusaders for electoral democracy, Hinds was chairman of a coalition of forces under what was called GUARD (Guyanese United for Action, Reform and Democracy). With the PPP/C’s victory in October 1992, he emerged as Prime Minister, and is now looking forward to again serve as the Number Two for the fifth time, in a new government.
That verdict, of course, rests squarely with the decision of the electorate when votes are cast on November 29, 2011.

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