All kinds of people tell me that the 2020 elections will be rigged. I am sure other social activists have been approached with that prediction. I don’t see anything at the moment that points in that direction.
In life, particularly in politics, do not discount any possibility but for now, I do not see a trend that would lead me to that suggestion.
What is bewildering in terms of governance is the poor politics of the APNU+AFC and I suspect this is what is driving the prediction of a rigged 2020 poll. Forget any discussion of fraudulent election and let’s concentrate on that poor politics.
Electorally it doesn’t make sense to alienate constituencies that are indispensible to an election victory. But this is what the APNU+AFC leadership is doing and I fear that as the incompetent performance continues, the cries of rigged elections in some quarters will begin to echo.
Is there another explanation? What about racial solidarity? That strategy worked for decades for the PPP. The PPP went out of power without putting a passport office in Berbice. PPP supporters migrate at a rate faster than the members of other parties yet then Home Affairs Minister, Rohee, insisted that when applying for a passport your birth certificate must not be older than six months.
This was a huge imposition on Berbicians for two reasons. One is that they had to come to Georgetown to do the transaction. Secondly, getting a birth certificate was a nightmare at the time Rohee made his edict.
Why did the PPP so neglect its hard core voters and neglected they were from the East Coast where Mahaica/Mahaicony never had street lights right into the heart of Berbice where the bridge toll became exorbitant straight into Black Bush Polder which put Guyana on the world map because of its suicide rate. Three years ago, per capita, Guyana had the highest suicide rate in the entire world.
There is no difficulty in understanding why the PPP behaved this way to its constituencies. The collective belief system of the PPP is that suspicion of Black control of the government inheres in Indian people who do not have a choice and would have to vote for the PPP. And indeed they did.
The 2015 election results were extremely close because the PPP’s explanation was deadly accurate. One thing is sure; after the performance of the APNU+AFC regime, should the PPP win in 2020, PPP leaders wouldn’t pay even scant attention to Indian needs because they know in 2025 Indians will have no alternative but to vote for racial reasons.
Is it possible that the PNC sees politics in the same way and that explains some terrible attitudes to African Guyanese? I will briefly dwell on four examples. First, urban vendors who are predominantly Africans have no friends in the PNC leadership. The future of vendors is not guaranteed under the rule of the PNC.
Secondly, the ban on used tyres and the edict that cars must not be older than eight years have impacted more adversely on African Guyanese than any other race group. The PNC has to be ignorant not to have done a statistical analysis of incomes to know who will be harder hit by those two bans.
Thirdly, the blatant removal of two African icons as columnists from the Chronicle must have been met with disappointment by countless PNC supporters.
Fourthly, the teachers. From time immemorial, teachers have been perceived by society as one of the priceless sectors of society. It is not the rejection of the forty percent increase the teachers want that is at the heart of the impasse. It is the flippant and insensitive attitudes on the part of the government to the entire agenda of Guyana’s teachers.
So we come now to the answer. Do we have a PPP situation here where an ethnic community is perceived by its political party as having no escape route and must vote for their party because the alternative is domination from the other side?
If the elections will not be rigged, then this is the obvious answer for the three years of terribly poor politics of the APNU+AFC. It means just as the way the PPP treats Indian entrapment, the PNC does the same with Africans.
Whoever is advising the PNC then the analysis is flawed. Demographically, it is not possible for the PNC to win in 2020 unless it gets the ballots of the Indigenous people and Blacks. This is not possible. The PPP and the new Amerindian party will get votes. Black votes will be split by a credible third party that is on the horizon.
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