The decision of the Alliance For Change, (AFC) to contest the Local Government polls alone due to failure to reach an agreement with its coalition partner APNU on certain matters, is an indication of what is likely to happen at the next regional and general elections slated for 2020.
Former National Assembly and Political commentator, Ralph Ramkarran made this point during a recent post on his blog site Conversation Tree.
Last week, the AFC Leader, Raphael Trotman announced that his party is of the view that contesting the Local Government Elections (LGE) is a necessary move to prove that it is not “dead” and will even refresh and strengthen the ties it shares with its partner, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).
The politician said the decision was made after the APNU failed to meet and engage the AFC on issues regarding entering LGE 2018 as a Coalition.
However, political commentators like Ralph Ramkarran view this move by the AFC as having implications on the coalition at the future elections.
The apportionment was retained for the last local government elections but it is clear that APNU has now likely proposed a smaller proportion for the AFC, which the latter has clearly refused to accept.
According to Ramkarran, failure to agree now, hints at a likely similar failure in 2020, as APNU exercises dominance.
“Whether the coalition survives beyond 2020 or not, Minister Khemraj Ramjattan’s prediction that the AFC would be “dead meat” if it coalesces with APNU may still be realised.
The Former Speaker noted that while both parties tried to put a brave face on the disagreement, the AFC’s statement said soothingly that the “…decision does not, in any way, change the AFC’s position on coalition politics at the national level.”
“Mr. Trotman, displaying relief, said, “the AFC was not rejected by APNU.” Reflecting these sentiments, President Granger said that both the AFC and APNU remain committed to coalition politics. But APNU has made a serious mistake in seeking to marginalise the AFC. It was the AFC that helped the coalition to clinch victory in 2015. If it demonstrates continuing resilience, it will be needed in 2020.
Ramkarran opines nonetheless that the travails of the AFC do not mean that third-party politics in Guyana is dead.
“Guyana needs a third party that will not join either of the major parties in a coalition, unless it wins a majority or plurality, because the inevitable result is that it will be entrapped into ethnic politics. The main parties reflect the interests of our main ethnic groups. If either alters this reflective characteristic, it will lose the support of its ethnic base, and this neither party can afford.
A third party, however, if it gains sufficient support, can broker a coalition between the two main parties, or support the party which obtains a plurality in return for promoting the alteration of the constitution engenders the necessity for multi-ethnic politics and multi-party, collaborative, governance.”
Following, the AFC’s announcement last week, Executive Member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr. David Hinds noted that the decision of the AFC to contest the Local Government Elections (LGE) alone leaves it in an exposed position.
Dr. Hinds said that the AFC’s coalition partner, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), got what it wanted—it forced the AFC to go out and prove its electoral worth in circumstances that are not favourable to the latter.
The columnist said that the not-so-veiled message to the AFC was clear—”Contest on your own or contest with us on APNU terms.”
“I think it all came down to leverage—the AFC did not have any bargaining power. Unlike in 2015, when it was able to use its performance at the 2011 election to strike a hard bargain in the Cummingsburg Accord, this time around, it did not have that asset. The votes at the 2015 election were combined, so it couldn’t accurately pinpoint its share,” Hinds commented.
Sep 23, 2018By Sean Devers Three-time Champions GCC beat Police by 15 runs in yesterday’s the NBS 40-overs second division semi-final at Bourda to advance to the final against the winner of two-time champions...
During the CPL semi-final, my wife and I were switching channels after each over to escape the onerous banality of seeing... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]