The AFC held its constitutionally due National Executive Committee (NEC) Conference yesterday under the umbrella of high expectations, with every delegate believing fully that they all have right on their side. In the last few weeks all kinds of allegations and drama had been thrown into the mix, some say to force a postponement of the national congress, but they were disappointed.
Leader of the Women for Change group, Beverley Alert said: “I can tell you, the party’s management did receive information about personal threats, and about some people’s intentions to derail the congress, but those matters were properly handled. The AFC is a democratic party and these democratic principles are what guide us”.
Yes, indeed challenges are good. They build the confidence of our members, and they prove that every single AFC member is free to choose, to challenge, to express opinions, to vote openly with their hearts, and support the people they believe will work for their future. This is what the party was founded on in 2005, so no amount of ‘peppering’ will shift us from our course; no amount of fear-mongering among our supporters in the rural areas by supporters of another party will work.
AFC’s men and women are made of sturdy stuff, and we believe that our people in Government are doing their best to ensure that the 23 years of destruction of this beloved country that we lived through in the first 15 years of this Century, are truly at an end.
The AFC is NOT at a crossroads as the opposition would have you believe. Our purpose, our mandates were very clear from that first day in 2005. We were aware then, and continue to hear from the Guyanese electorate that you do not want to return to the duplicity, the evil and maliciousness that crawled through the corridors of powerful politics before 2015. The electorate first demanded a third option and we were able to provide it. On Valentine’s Day 2015 you rejoiced when we hitched our wagon to APNU and together we signed a covenant to lift Guyana out of the morass that the PPP put the country in!
Our party has come a long way in 14 years. Strong leadership has taken us through one of the worst eras in Guyana’s history. The AFC together with our coalition partners have been struggling to end racial intolerance and political victimization. We’re still fighting the bite of corruption but we continue to provide solid leadership. We have to put an end to domestic violence in order to give our sisters the assurance they need and the space to spread their wings. We also take our responsibility to make pathways for our youths very seriously because we all know that they are indeed our near future.
The AFC is aware as well that since you elected us into Parliament in 2011, we have hesitated sometimes, fumbled at other times and were not always bold enough, but experience is the greatest teacher.
In the last four years, being a part of the Government of Guyana, we have joined hands with our partners, APNU, to begin the repair of a broken people and damaged society. Sometimes we were discouraged and a few times we questioned our ability to deliver your expectations.
The mess we found in government was monumental indeed, and the damage to the psyche of our people was daunting. The Coalition saw right away that we had to find ways of easing racial suspiciousness, which was sometimes described as ‘innate to the DNA of Guyanese people’. But no, we did not believe that it was undefeatable.
It has been a tough battle that is nowhere near over, but the better judgment of our people is prevailing. They can now breathe freely, pass along their opinions, and have their suggestions put into national programmes and budgets. Such is the nature of our society today.
But … the nation still sits on a precipice, and our newfound freedoms could be scattered if we allow others to think for us; if we allow those who are still trying to instill fear in you only because they want the nation’s oil wealth in their hands. They are banking on the people who believe them, and they hope that their supporters will ignore the good prospects for a better life (that they see right in front of them) and vote the PPP back into office to destroy their lives again.
The AFC has defied the odds which rarely see “third parties” in Westminster-type democracies surviving. We and APNU have proven to the world that Coalitions Can and Do work. Together we represent a new brand of politics where ‘people’s interests’ supersede ‘party paramountcy’, where solid, open-handed governance is transparent and accountable to the people.
True, we have to continue to work hard to erode some of the bureaucracy that has always accompanied public service. This is one of the reasons for implementing a number of initiatives to bring government closer to the people, into your communities, your children’s schools, churches and playgrounds.
You have given us several mandates to safeguard your and your children’s future, and we know that we dare not drop the ball.
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