The balance of power will be with the party that comes third
Permit me space in your column to add to a previous blogger who suggests the voters in Guyana put the PPP out of power for one term and then vote them back in after they clean up their acts and to the response of Mr. M Maxwell on this topic.
The AFC was originally formed by Mr. Ramjattan and Mr. Trotman. The seats that were won during the last election cycle came almost entirely from disgruntled PNC supporters who turned to Mr. Trotman.
Election records showed Mr. Ramjattan raised very few votes. The understanding they had was that they will alternate Presidential positions after one term in office. Unfortunately, the AFC did not win the last elections and Mr. Trotman did not become the President of Guyana.
Now what is the present composition of the AFC? You have disgruntled supporters of both the PPP and the PNC who jumped ships, castaways with shady characters, and some who jumped onboard just for an opportunity should it present itself. Can you see the scenario that is building up? If the AFC were to win the upcoming elections you will definitely have an internal tug-o-war within the party but mainly with the Ramjattan faction pulling the Indo-Guyanese and the Trotman faction pulling the Afro- Guyanese. Eventually you will have the rebirth of a brand new PPP-like party and a brand new PNC-like party. Back to square one!!!!! Of course, the PNC would be a dead party by then as most of its members would have scampered across to the Trotman faction.
APNU, no doubt, is another name for PNC. It was formed with the hope that the AFC will join forces with them to force the PPP out of office. This merger did not materialize as was anticipated and so they were forced to contend with the several smaller ‘parties’ which are total liabilities.
These smaller ‘parties’ are just one-man-one-vote parties. All they are interested in is a seat in parliament or to be government minister. Moreover, the PNC’s main aim was to change the name of the party to shed the stigma attached to it. All parliamentary seats gained by APNU from the upcoming elections will be usurped by the PNC and these other ‘parties’ will be shoved aside since they would not have brought in votes of any calculable proportion to warrant any position.
Gauging from the present campaigns throughout the country, it is anticipated that the PPP will get most of the votes as a single party but not enough to form a government. If voting continues to be race-based as was done in past elections, then APNU (PNC) will emerge second. However, if AFC grabs enough votes that originally belonged to PPP and PNC, it will beat APNU for the second place position.
Herein lays the problem.
Should the PPP not win the majority of the votes to form a government in this elections, there will be repercussions which can be very disastrous for the country. With the way this election campaign is heating up with all the mud-slinging and verbal personal attacks, it is difficult to imagine which two parties will coalesce to form a government. The balance of power will be in the hands of the party that comes third. If APNU comes third and AFC second there is a possibility of the two forming the government just to get rid of the PPP. This, however, may be political suicide for the AFC. There might be a repeat of the 1964 elections with the UF.
Added to this problem is the fact that while Trotman will be ‘comfortable’ to join forces with APNU) – remember he is ‘comfortable’ with the endorsement by Benschop,— Ramjattan’s distrusts for them is no hidden secret (from his PPP experiences) and will abjectly reject them, period. Can Ramjattan, Moses and the boys say let bygones be bygones and link up with the PPP? Can Ramjattan and Moses succeed in cajoling Trotman and his supporters to side with them? If this happens that will be the end of the PNC as they fade into oblivion. This will also see the emergence of a one-party rule in Guyana in the foreseeable future comprising of both Afro and Indo Guyanese.
But let no one be fooled. The PNC is a very experienced party and very much aware of this possibility. Its members will without any doubt make any concessions just to join forces with the PPP to form a new government and keep the AFC out. If the AFC comes in second it will send the PNC flying for cover into the PPP camp. The PPP will be most willing to accept that offer just to form a government. Both factions in government will do the utmost for their supporters. The result – continuance of race-base voting and a gradual drift from AFC support.
Hence, unless the AFC garners the support of enough voters to win this election outright, it will have no chance at any elections in the future.
I wish all three parties the best and hope that whichever one emerges the victor that it will strive to make its number one priority the well-being of its citizens and of the people who come to visit bringing in much needed financial resources.