If you read these columns, you will easily know who my close friends at the Kaieteur News are, which places I go to have a lime, which political groups I associate with. I never thought of hiding these facts about me because I don’t see any reason to do so. I see absolutely nothing wrong with stating how I voted in the just concluded LGE. In the constituency contest, I opted for Byran Macintosh. At the Georgetown PR level, I voted for Youth For Local Government
Countless times I have mentioned my close relationship with important AFC personnel. I have a close intimacy with many second-tier leaders of the AFC, some of whom I have known long before they dreamt of entering politics and some of whom I taught at UG. Since the May 2015 election, many of these second-tier leaders have complained to me in tones that were angst-ridden and pregnant with fulminations on how disappointed they have been with the changing nature of the AFC since the 2015 victory and the manner in which the APNU leadership administers state affairs.
Sunday night I was at a celebration hosted by Alfred Mentore of APNU who won his constituency seat in the LGE. I met AFC cadres who, on first seeing me, brought up the recurring themes of the distance between the AFC hierarchy and its second and third tier planks. For the hour that I spent at Alfred’s party, the LGE imbroglio was the featured topic among AFC people who interacted with me.
On Tuesday night, Denis Chabrol of Demerara Waves, solicited a comment from me on the LGE discord between the AFC and APNU.
I gave a long presentation ninety percent of which wasn’t carried but I understood the space constraint. Demerara Waves now has my analysis in its archives on the rising tide of uneasiness in the Coalition leadership. In columns to come I will adumbrate my polemics on where I think both AFC and APNU went wrong and also look at the increasing invisibility of the WPA in the APNU formation.
For now, I want to look at the concatenation of mistakes by the Coalition Government which is undermining the growth of optimism in the Guyanese people. I believe that the stifled growth was seen in the results of the recent LGE
The APNU-AFC Coalition is making too many mistakes and in too short space of time. It began with discomfort among AFC supporters on the post May (2015) sharing of power. Certainly, you would be naïve to think that the Stabroek News is not an influential voice in Guyana. That paper published a trenchant accusation that the Cummingsburg Accord was departed from and that the Prime Minister’s power was diluted. The paper’s editorial on the subject contained large manifestations of chagrin.
Next there was the misdirection that was so shocking that ten months after the coalition’s victory I am still angry. They voted against a circle of steel barriers around Parliament when they were in the opposition. In what can only be described as barefaced wickedness, they not only maintained the abomination that they had voted against but expanded it to take in more streets. In what was a large indication of what was to come, the entire population of this tragic land ignored that act of hypocrisy by the Coalition.
Today, the Coalition continues to make the outer perimeters of Parliament look like a prison fortress. Not one, not even one person from the Coalition leadership ever uttered half a sentence either in the press or at a public gathering as to why the need to maintain and expand the fortress.
Next, we had the salary increase scandal. And it became a scandal for two reasons. One is that Raphael Trotman said it was on the back-burner. Secondly, it came off the back burner surreptiously. It was “secretly” gazetted. Then the scandal took on worrying dimensions when the Government backed itself against the wall by openly claiming that the Ministers had to be paid for their talent.
It was a most unstrategic thing to say because the question was asked and since then, is being asked; where is the talent?
Next, the Coalition leadership has cocooned itself in an old, nasty culture – run from the press when you cannot be frank and forthcoming. This culture needs to be confronted by new transformational leaders. Unfortunately we are not seeing such leadership. In all honesty, Khemraj Ramjattan does not run from the press at all. His Cabinet colleagues need to emulate him.
Next there is the Brian Tiwari mess. The Government has a Business Minister and he didn’t know that he, as Minister, had a business advisor.
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