In late 2019, if you are Guyanese and you are looking for a place to sit down and look at how humans negotiate the important deals of life, then you need to talk to the security at Congress Place, the head office of the PNC.
Of course, the leadership of the PNC and AFC will have to sanction your entry into the war room. There you will see how humans negotiate, and the strengths, weaknesses, fragilities of human character will be on display. That is the time when the PNC and AFC will meet to decide the shape of the government after the 2020 election results. The parties will run as a coalition. But the colossal question is how they will divide the victory, assuming that the PPP does not romp back into power.
As they sit down to decide on ministries, PNC leaders will look at the 2018 election definitiveness. Here are some statistics from GECOM that will definitely blow your mind. If you are of the faint-hearted type, then do not read the next few lines of this column.
In the recently concluded LGE, there were 596 seats of proportional representation (PR) and 596 seats of the constituency system, giving a total of 1,192. The AFC won 17 seats with one tie. Do the calculations. This is 1.4 percent (one point four).
In Whim, the hometown of the Prime Minister, the AFC contested all the constituencies (seven). Each candidate has to get 20 signatures for both PR and constituency seats. Now a person can put his/her signature to both the PR and the constituency papers. But it is unlikely that in Whim, the PR candidates of the AFC got the identical 20 signatures that put their name in support of the AFC’s constituency candidates.
Let’s us arrive at a guesstimate. Since PR requires 20 endorsements and the same signatories can endorse the AFC’s constituency candidates, we will guess the number of 200 signatories for the AFC in Whim. Remember, if the PR endorsers were different from the constituency endorsers, the total would be 280. The votes that the AFC received in Whim were 136. It simply means one of two things: the people who signed the forms for the AFC candidates did not vote for them or did not vote at all.
Given these harrowing statistics, together with the graphic fact that out of 88 mini-governments (local authorities and municipalities), the AFC did not win even one, it is clear to even a school boy that in 2019, the Cummingsburg Accord will die a natural death. The PNC will not allow the AFC to get forty percent of Cabinet positions and 12 MPs. Even if among the PNC leaders, there is one solitary figure arguing for the same configurations in the Accord as occurred with the 2015 poll, that person has to be careful someone doesn’t throw him/her out of the window.
The LGE results for the AFC have been not a partial but a complete collapse. The Prime Minister was not partially but completely rejected by his birth villagers. It is doubtful that he will be the PM candidate in 2020. Will the PNC offer that slot to Khemraj Ramjattan? Again, there will be tumultuous arguments in the war room. Ramjattan has not won his home village of Number 78 since the AFC started contesting elections in 2006. In the just concluded LGE, Number 78 and all (not some, but all) the adjoining villages rejected AFC candidates.
What is the AFC going to ask for and what will the PNC give to them when they meet in late 2019 to decide the shape of things? There is every indication that the AFC’s share of power will be prodigiously reduced from its 2015 quantity. Since 2015, five (please note 5) important persons in the PNC have expressed disappointment to this columnist that the AFC did not bring the 10 percent of the votes that it was expected to in 2015.
All five of them have told me that the AFC has received too much from the PNC and it will not happen again. I have shared this information with David Hinds on several occasions without naming the high-ranking PNC officials. If you know who those names are, then you will know that the AFC will get a really hard time in the war room in 2019. However, they got a hard time a few months ago, when, for the 2018 LGE, the AFC asked for the same 40-60 arrangement. Angry PNC leaders were adamant in their rejection. Sadly, in 2020, the AFC will become an appendage to the PNC.
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