Indigenous party aims to restore integrity to high offices

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By Bibi Khatoon

Lenox Shuman, former Toshao of Pakuri, who has been in the frontline of a new political party expected to come on-stream this year, has chastised both the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and the current Coalition Government for failing the Indigenous peoples of Guyana.

“While we would have seen some commitments made, that’s all they are – commitments. We haven’t seen anything come to life,” he told News Room in an interview on Wednesday afternoon.

So far, the party is in the process of crafting its manifesto. Shuman is the only face of the new political movement so far.

He said further details would be revealed at the end of the annual meeting of Amerindian chiefs from across the country which is scheduled for this month.

He feels it is time an Indigenous person is given the opportunity to be the President.

“We’re going to look at a formula that works for Guyana.

“What we’re looking for is a party that has its base in the Indigenous community but it has to be a broad-based party,” he stated.

Shuman, the outgoing Vice-Chairman of the National Toshaos Council, said the party will begin facilitating discussions surrounding the integrity of the National Assembly.

He pointed to the conduct of both Government and Opposition Parliamentarians over the past three years, all of which has been live streamed by the Parliament Office and used to tarnish the legislature.

“What other democracy do you find such fantastic examples of what not to follow? These are the discussions that we hope to start facilitating. We need to at least…bring integrity back to the offices that deserve them,” he said.

He pointed to various issues also affecting all Guyanese, including what he says is an archaic education system and persistent poverty.

He believes that poverty drives crime and therefore there is a need to reduce poverty.

“Giving someone a few dollars isn’t going to solve the problem. The reduction of poverty is founded in education and if the crime rate is so high, it means the education system would have failed the country.”

He pointed to the recently concluded National Grade Six Assessment and noted that it is time officials look at the students who did not make to the top 100 and “take stock of where the education system is.”

Shuman noted that it is time the education policy be revised.

The party also plans to outline what should be done with the influx of revenues from the oil sector.

These include the development of infrastructure and renovation of schools and health facilities across the country.

Shuman announced that he and other supporters are forming a political party to contest the 2020 General and Regional Elections on June 18, 2018.

In a public Facebook post announcing the new Political Party, Shuman said, the indigenous peoples are simply tired of how they are treated.

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