Those who read this column section of the Kaieteur News would know that as early as 2015 after the Coalition won the general elections, I pointed to early warning signs. The one that I carped on incessantly was what happened outside Parliament at the first sitting on the House in July of that year.
I was interviewed by Capitol News and I expressed alarm at the extension of the cordons around Parliament even though in 2012, APNU and AFC had voted to remove them.
I told Capitol News, it may appear as a small, unnoticed action but it had large implications. I believe those implications caused the Coalition to lose power on December 21, 2018.
The APNU+AFC leaders up to the time of the no-confidence vote had not even a modicum of understanding of how people felt before 2015 and why they voted to change the PPP. It doesn’t need a PH.D in philosophy to tell you Guyanese did not vote for an exchange. T
hey didn’t want a PNC Finance Minister in preference to a PPP one. They didn’t want an AFC Home Affairs Minister, replacing a PPP one.
They wanted a different pathway, a new thinking, a changed narrative, a reformed political culture, a humane government. They didn’t get these from APNU+AFC because these new leaders didn’t have the capacity to think radically and deeply.
If you follow politics in this country, you should not be surprised at what happened around 9 PM on the fateful Friday night of December 21, 2018.
It was there all the time but it was dormant. It was there all the time lurking but never showing its subterranean head.
There had to be persons on the AFC and PNC parliamentary ship who felt the vessel was losing direction. Some of us knew there were such persons.
But this is Guyana where people like Charrandass Persaud are scarce. In another column, I will reveal what Charrandass told me about the AFC. Events have evolved to the point where I can now divulge some information.
From the intelligence that I gathered, the PNC felt one of their MPs and the AFC suspected that two of their MPs would vote for the motion. Panic had literally stepped in. On December 16, APNU and AFC called an emergency meeting of all their MPs. The confabulation was chaired by Moses Nagamootoo.
Amna Ally at that meeting expressed her feelings about two unnamed persons that would vote for the no-confidence motion.
Let us rewind the tape to the revelation of Khemraj Ramjattan in 2014 when the AFC had put a no-confidence paper on the parliamentary table. Ramjattan shattered the political glass door when he announced that three APNU parliamentarians have been compromised and will vote against the no-confidence motion thereby allowing the PPP government to continue. Most journalists know who the three were and which one was severely threatened.
Even if three APNU+AFC legislators wanted to vote against the ruling coalition, fear was the key. In the end, Charrandass showed immense courage. His reasons are understandable. They had two dimensions and both are plausible. One is that APNU leadership in government was not democratic.
The second was that his own party, the AFC has failed the Guyanese people. Here are his words to that effect; “The AFC team has disappointed me and I did not work so hard to put them in power so they can live the good life and mess with people.”
You can argue that those two dimensions should not have necessitated the end of the government but one can hardly deny the plausibility of Persaud’s accusations.
Here is where the failure of the APNU and AFC to comprehend why they were elected becomes trenchantly relevant. The nation wanted the administrators of Guyana to be the opposite of what the PPP were. This did not happen.
Berbicians like Dr. Ramaya and Persaud campaigned against the PPP because they were disgusted with what the PPP leaders had become. Lo and behold, their party came to power and couldn’t find a job for a toiling soldier like Dr. Ramaya. Then came the volcano.
The agricultural sector in Berbice did not know the agriculture minister and the minister in turn did not gel with Berbicians.
Incessant complaints were made to the leadership of the AFC to have a junior minister in the Ministry of Agriculture but this was turned down.
Charrandass told me everywhere he went in Berbice, people expressed hatred for the AFC that they voted for in 2011 and 2015. Charrandass knew the AFC had lost its way and he bravely voted for the no confidence motion.
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