It was Hegel who wrote that all great historical facts repeat themselves. Marx, who studied Hegel, critically added to that outlook of Hegel by saying “history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.” If there is any quote from a great philosophical mind that is applicable to Guyanese politics, it is this one from Marx, and it describes neatly, the rotting carcass of the AFC.
At the time of writing Khemraj Ramjattan and Raphael Trotman are in a furious confrontation over the replacement of Dominic Gaskin in Parliament. One of Ramjattan’s supporters was chosen on Sunday afternoon, but by nighttime, he was replaced with a Trotman supporter, Donna Mathoo, of NCN in Berbice.
Let’s apply Marx to the AFC. In 2010, the AFC imploded. Raphael Trotman reneged on the agreement that the presidential slot would rotate from Trotman in 2006 to Khemraj Ramjattan in 2011. How the AFC survived that crash remains inexplicable. But the damage that was done became the AFC’s permanent Albatross.
The AFC in 2010 became racially split. The rich diaspora Indians who left Ravi Dev’s outfit named ROAR, joined the AFC and conspired to defeat Trotman’s attempts to become the presidential candidate. The AFC became a microcosm of Guyana – Indians supporting Ramjattan, Africans endorsing Trotman.
I had access to the AFC’s email string and saw how the ex-ROAR people waded into Trotman using unvarnished language, replete with overt racist descriptions. It was too much for Trotman. He self-exiled from the AFC. The AFC became under the financial control of the ex-ROAR people. They funded the AFC’s 2011 campaign, going to the idiotic and vulgar level of using one of their own diaspora members to head the campaign.
He was paid US$4000 monthly and was put up at the Pegasus for the entire campaign. It was sickening, because this gentleman had no political experience or political knowledge of Guyana whatsoever. How did I know this? I was involved in the 2011 campaign, and knew the gentleman when he worked at Fogarty’s before migrating.
During the 2011 battle, Sheila Holder, the AFC’s prime ministerial candidate died. Trotman accepted to fill that gap. But it was never the same between Ramjattan and Trotman, and the racial split that began in 2010 had cemented itself.
After the 2015 election, Trotman was not given a cabinet portfolio in the initial naming of AFC ministers. At a press conference in February 2017, Trotman told the media his cabinet position was awarded to him by the President himself. This newspaper contacted the AFC and Minister Harmon for a comment, but both parties denied presidential involvement.
At the 2017 Vreed-en-Hoop congress, Trotman challenged Ramjattan for leader of the party and won by two votes. Again the voting was split racially, with the Ramjattan faction claiming that there was delegate suppression. Gobin Harbhajan of Region 6 AFC told this columnist his name was mysteriously omitted from the Region 6 AFC list as a delegate.
We come now to history repeating itself in a farcical way. Unless the PNC changes its mind, the covenant between APNU and the AFC is for the PM slot to come from the AFC, and because of Guyana’s racial reality, it has to be an Indian. There was only one choice, Ramjattan. Nagamootoo agreed to that. In February last year, Nagamootoo went to the US for three months for cardiac rehabilitation and came home also with mental rehabilitation. He decided he wanted to run as PM again.
This gave the Trotman syndicate another opportunity to oppose Ramjattan. It has set in motion a huge fight between the Ramjattan faction and the Trotman school. It is taking on sordid dimensions. One must recall at the last AFC executive meeting, Trotman told the press the AFC will run again with Nagamootoo. It was met with wild anger from the followers of Ramjattan
The AFC has RMCs – regional management committees – for each of the 10 Regions in Guyana. To secure their own delegates for the upcoming congress in a few weeks’ time, the two factions are going around Guyana selecting RMCs and calling the process an election. Whichever faction is in power in a particular RMC, the other side cancels it and selects their own people. The object is to stack the congress with delegates that will decide who will get the PM slot.
Two weeks ago, the Trotman faction selected their RMC for Region 7. The Ramjattan faction cancelled it and appointed their own RMC. The Trotman faction is about to dissolve it. In Region 6, the Ramjattan group in February installed their own RMC headed by a Ramjattan supporter, Sudesh Orelall. Two weeks ago, the Trotman faction removed Orelall and appointed their own people, headed by Lindon Jones. Last week, the Ramjattan group dissolved the Region 6 RMC and a big physical altercation ensued between the Ramjattan boys and the Trotman brigade. The story ended up in the police station. Remember what Karl Marx said.
PNC demanding answers for smuggled chicken early Sunday morning after church!
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