The Rule Of Forbes Burnham And The People’s National Congress Party

926 words - 4 pages

To some , Burnham was viewed to be less radical then Jagan. Burnham strongly believed in making Guyana a socialist country. In the 1964 elections, the PNC received about 41% of the votes along with the new political party, The United Force which received about 12% of the votes with that percentage the United Force party gave in and supported the PNC making Burnham prime minister. The United Force who represented the conservatives of Guyanese
society such as business elites and the Catholic Church. Under Burnham’s leadership the Guyanese government was turned into an advertisement for the PNC. The PNC followed a strong socialist doctrine and 80% of the economy was nationalized. The Guyana economy stalled and crime became a way of life. Guyana was not capable of exporting sufficient goods to earn enough for the import of vital goods.
Even though at the start of his presidency, when he had everyone hooked on his oratorical brainwashing skills, he was adopting moderate policies but he began to grab full dictatorial
power during the 1968 elections. He established strong relations with the Soviet Union , Cuba, North Korea and socialist countries which allowed him to implement a socialist form of government. During the 1970s, Burnham’s policies which were 1) “ National Security Act” which gave the police the power to search, seize and arrest anyone Burnham wanted arrested, 2) banned all forms of imports into Guyana such as rice and flour without developing a program to produce these essential items domestically, 3) bankrupted the local economy by nationalizing foreign owned companies this stupid idea eventually led Guyana into a default of international debts by the International Monetary Fund which reduce the private sector share of the economy by 10%. During his time, electoral fraud was extremely prevalent , the PNC victories included overseas voters, who always and overwhelmingly voted for the ruling party. The army, also known as the Guyana Defense Force tampered with ballot boxes and harassed Indian Guyanese. During the 1970s, Burham government authoritarianism began to increase when he decided to make the judiciary, legislative, and executive ( organs of the state) agencies of the PNC that were subjected to the control of Burnham and the PNC. This led to the state and the PNC becoming interchangeable , PNC polices and objectives were now becoming a public policy.
As the presidency of Burnham and the downfall of Guyana continued opposition groups began to emerge. The Working People’s Alliance was founded in 1973 it served as a multiethnic coalition of politicians and intellectuals that advocated for racial harmony, uncorrupted free elections, and democratic socialism. Cheddi Jagan and the PPP continued to decline , while on their last limb of political relevance in Guyana they decided that they were going to stop...

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