The reality of Guyana’s politics is that the support base of the major political groups, being the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is made up of predominantly Africans and East Indians respectively. As a result of this, there is an underlying concern that if either party is in office, they would use the oil wealth to benefit their support base while leaving other races ostracized.
With this in mind, British High Commissioner, Greg Quinn was recently asked during an online interview with Canning House to say if he believes that this concern is valid. The envoy was quick to note his firm belief that Guyana’s looming oil wealth is more than enough to ensure all Guyanese benefit provided that the money is spent properly of course.
Expounding further, Quinn reminded that Guyana’s population makes up just about 700,000. He said that this is a small number of people given the potential money that will come in. The High Commissioner said, “And if you look at the last census that was done, the two groups growing were indigenous and those who are mixed and so the traditional indo and afro groups are diminishing in size. It therefore means that you can’t just benefit your own group and expect to remain in power, you have to show out to that swing vote if you want to be reelected and with the size of the potential wealth, you can make everyone happy.”
The envoy said that this can be done by providing the social infrastructure like schools and hospitals that all Guyanese can benefit from.