I doubt whether you will get the final election results by the time you pick up this edition of KN in the morning. You would know from reading my columns that I believe that either APNU or AFC will get the plurality of votes thus winning the presidency but failing to achieve a parliamentary majority.
I would have got it wrong if the PPP wins a plurality. But for me the PPP’s performance these past 19 years is made of the kind of stuff that should bring about electoral devastation. If there is no longer ethnic voting, then in normal circumstances, the PPP should be massively defeated based on the nature of its rule the past nineteen years.
I can’t see any party getting a parliamentary majority therefore the permutations should intrigue us. If the PPP has a minority government one has to be more than foolish to think APNU and AFC would let it rule without relentless confrontation. This would simply cripple the country. Given the mood APNU and the AFC are in, the only way I see the PPP placating Parliament is by conceding some inflexible demands by the opposition parties.
We can name dozens of these stipulations but the three that APNU and AFC will not budge on are; a judicial inquiry into the Jagdeo regime with a forensic audit into sale of State properties and award of contracts.
Secondly, a commission of inquiry into the syndrome of violence that began in 2002 with the Mash Day Camp Street jailbreak. This will include the deaths that came about as a result of the phantom squads’ operations and the role of Roger Khan. Thirdly, a profound reduction in the pension benefits of Mr. Jagdeo.
It is virtually impossible for the PPP President to secure Parliament’s approval of the nation budget without the President accepting these three requisitions. A Donald Ramotar presidency will not offer these concessions because all involve Mr. Jagdeo and Mr. Jagdeo will exert maximum pressure on Mr. Ramotar to reject them.
The first permutation will see a very unstable Guyana with a PPP president who lacks parliamentary support.
An APNU minority government will see a sincere reaching out to the AFC but it is doubtful that the PPP will be ready to join. The complication here is that the AFC will only participate if there is an all-encompassing administration. In this scenario, the AFC could end up looking bad if APNU desires its presence in Cabinet but the AFC repudiates the offer based on the fact that the PPP is not involved.
This will be a challenge for the AFC that will inevitably result in extreme discomfort. First, the population can interpret the AFC’s stance as being sympathetic to the PPP.
People will ask the obvious questions – Why bother with the PPP? The AFC should take its rightful place in Government.
Secondly, citizens would think the AFC is unreasonable because what can APNU do if the PPP doesn’t want to come on board? An APNU minority government is likely to get support from the AFC but the AFC will demand that some of its own policies be implemented.
An AFC administration will ask APNU to join. There will be a genuine embrace of the AFC to other stakeholders, including the PPP. APNU will be hard pressed to reject the offer. The factors will be the same as if AFC had refused inclusion in an ANPU governorship. African Guyanese that support APNU will show anger if APNU doesn’t enter the Cabinet because they will want APNU to use its presence in the Cabinet to eradicate African marginalization.
The expectation of APNU constituencies is that APNU personnel have been out of the government for so long that despite it will be junior to the AFC, they should accept the AFC’s offer.
It is difficult to see a chasm developing between APNU and the AFC if one or the other secures the presidency but not Parliament. Their policies are not radically different. One common desire will unite them – the need to investigate the Jagdeo regime, the desire to reexamine the Jagdeo deals and the exigency of putting the economy on a sound footing so that the poorer classes can start to benefit.
An APNU administration will pursue a path that includes these three areas. The exact thing an AFC government will do. There can be no question that if by the late hours of this evening, a pattern is emerging that there will be no majority government, then Guyana stands of the threshold of an historic moment when there will no longer be ethnic government and ethnic domination.
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