The APNU-AFC Government has announced its intention to pursue essential power-sharing with the PPP. I believe it is a journey that must be embarked upon but my difference in approach hinges only in timing.
I would suggest an engagement by APNU-AFC if they win the 2020 election. I would not advise executive power-sharing with the PPP before the coalition attempts structural transformation of Guyana.
The PPP has to endure extensive changes in its ontology, political culture and personnel before it can be trusted to be brought into power-sharing governance. I omitted ideology because it is unscholarly to suggest that the PPP has a Marxist ideology. There is no evidence that any major PPP leader embraces a Marxist ideology.
My understanding of the evolution of political parties in Guyana is that all of them effected structural changes to their essential being over periods of time. Not the PPP.
The WPA heads the list. Given its rich intellectual tradition, the WPA has inherent features that would lead it into deep democratic formations. Space doesn’t allow for any elucidation but given the way it evolved, the WPA is always available for discourses that would eventually lead to a united Guyana.
Next is the PNC. The academic analysis of post-Burnham/Hoyte would reveal a party that has become less authoritarian than it originally was and has gone in formidable, democratic directions.
The PNC passed through four democratic phases. One was the Hoyte period of glasnost which had a ricochet effect in the PNC. The other was Corbin’s acceptance of the sinking of the PNC’s identity and the PNC’s functionalism into the new construct called APNU. The third was the phenomenal open contest for leadership. The final period was the merger with the AFC. It should be no surprise to political observers if power-sharing comes about under a government headed by the PNC.
The Alliance For Change is a weak version of the WPA. It cannot be equated with the WPA because the two organizations emerged under circumstances and eras that have no resemblance to each other. The WPA was a product of a younger global generation of the sixties and early seventies yearning for an idyllic world.
The Alliance For Change was a request from the people of Guyana for something different from the PNC and PPP. As it grew and it incorporated other elements of the caliber of Nagamootoo, Nigel Hughes and others, it took its place as a mainstream party but one that was born out of a desire to change Guyana into something very different and democratic.
It is impossible to see the AFC holding back its support for power-sharing and a racially united Guyana.
A democratic united Guyana will not come about easily if it depends on PPP generosity. The analysis is simple. It begins with Cheddi Jagan. Whatever Jagan and his wife did to the PPP since the split with Burnham, they molded the PPP into a tight, neat, incestuous, Stalinist entity that sees open expression, dissent and democracy as things that have no meaning in politics.
Long after the two Jagans died, the PPP remains like that. Dr. Vindya Persaud is only being tolerated because of her vast Hindu constituency. In the seventies, when the Patriotic Coalition for Democracy (PCD) proclaimed its acceptance of a national government including the Burnham Government, Jagan stitched in exasperating conditions, one of which was the new government must be a socialist one.
Other constituents of the PCD rejected that outright. When in government after 1992, Cheddi Jagan himself fell victim to ethnically-based policies.
There have been three frightening moments in the life of the PPP that have implications for ANPU-AFC’s power-sharing blueprint. One was its view on leadership after Cheddi Jagan died. Facing declining health, President Janet Jagan and all the senior leaders couldn’t decide who to hand over power to.
They settled for a virtual non-starter that no one would ever have imagined could be considered for the presidency. They all, including President Janet Jagan herself, knew that under Bharrat Jagdeo they each would become de facto Presidents.
They controlled and instructed Jagdeo even after he won elections in 2001. It was the violent Buxton conspiracy that allowed President Jagdeo the space to break away from the de facto Presidents.
Secondly, the Jagdeo presidency offered immense opportunities to bring Guyana into the future. Jagdeo had no baggage and was brand new but his PPP culture prevented that. Finally, the 2011 minority government again presented enormous space for a racially and politically divided Guyana. Again the PPP’s ontology prevented such a phenomenon. The PPP will not accept power-sharing. It is not in the nature of the party to.
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