How long does it take to draft a no-confidence motion? This is the question that was uppermost on the minds of rabid supporters of the parliamentary parties when they learnt on Tuesday that A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) would support such a motion if it is introduced in the National Assembly.
Upon receipt of this information, many of the supporters of APNU and the AFC went on social media networks gleefully celebrating and demanding that the motion be prepared immediately. Some of them want the PPP/C out either by hook or by crook, and they were urging that the opposition parties prepare the motion immediately in the few days left before the National Assembly goes into its August recess.
How long does it take to prepare a few paragraphs in a motion expressing lack of confidence in the government? How long would that take? The reasons do not have to be justifiable. Any reason can be used to call for the resignation of the government. The opposition has the votes to pass the motion and therefore there is no fear that the motion would not be passed.
Many of those keen to see the backs of the PPP/C want the motion to be drafted immediately before the National Assembly goes into recess. This would result in elections by mid-November, just like we had in 2011. So there were many who were egging APNU and the AFC to get the motion in before the National Assembly goes into recess this week.
But even that, the opposition cannot get right. And so the explanation is now being offered that the motion will be ready by October. If it is, it will pass by October which means that there will be elections in January. This in turn means that the bust and hectic season will be the period when election campaigning will take place. Now which Guyanese will sacrifice his or her Christmas to be attending political rallies during the month of Christmas?
The proposed timing is therefore bad. As bad as the supporters of the opposition parties want to see the backs of the PPP/C, they will not want to see any election campaign eat into their Christmas preparations.
But there is another issue that many of them know but do not wish to admit. Can the PPP/C be defeated?
The PPP has never been defeated in a free and fair election in Guyana. Indeed, there is a claim which all the media houses in Guyana have ignored. That claim is that the PPP/C did win a majority at the last elections, but votes for seventeen polling stations in Region Three were not tabulated and this allowed for the opposition parties to gain their slender one-seat majority. The PPP won the elections because by the rules of our electoral system, the party with the most votes wins the Presidency and the PPP got 49% of those votes.
The question is can APNU, which is the only serious contender for the Presidency; close an almost ten percentage points gap that exists between the PPP/C and that grouping. That is almost a statistical impossibility. In fact in 1992, the then PNC got close to 44% of the votes. This was about 4% more than APNU got in 2011. So APNU in 2011 did not outperform the PNC in 1992.
There are many who are hoping that the AFC will join ranks with APNU and form a joint slate to contest the elections. The AFC has always said that it would never form an electoral alliance with either the PNC/R or the PPP/C. And there are egos within the AFC that are too big to contemplate being part of such an alliance, that would see the leadership of the AFC having to play second fiddle to APNU. In any event, there is a particular dynamic involved. By staying outside of an alliance with APNU, the AFC believes it has a better chance of eroding the support of the PPP/C.
It will take a big effort for any party to defeat the PPP/C. The PPP stumbled in 2011. It failed to do the things that it ought to have been doing. It was over confident. It did not carry out checks on the voters’ list. It lost contact with its supporters on the ground and many of its supporters stayed away because they presumed that the party would win easily.
The PPP/C is not going to make the same mistakes twice. It has already begun to woo back its disenchanted flock. It has always been good at winning elections. It will win again!
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