Was the Alliance For Change consulted during the selection of the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission? Was the AFC involved in the recent talks between the Leader of the Opposition and the President?
If the answer to both of these questions is “No”, then what is there to renegotiate. The AFC can no longer be taken seriously if it had no input into the two issues. It is a rubber stamp within the government and therefore has condemned itself to political impotence.
The AFC has been treated like a doormat within the Coalition Government. The immigration portfolio has always fallen within the Ministry of Home Affairs, now renamed Ministry of Public Security. The immigration portfolio was cut away from the public security portfolio and a separate Ministry created. The AFC has sat there and accepted that.
It has sat there and seen its former leader Raphael Trotman stripped of responsibilities for the oil and gas sector which is now under the Ministry of the Presidency even though Trotman holds the portfolio of the Ministry of Natural Resources. The AFC has accepted this invasion of its territory.
The Ministry of the Presidency has also set up its own media outfit cutting-in into the information portfolio. The AFC has not protested this establishment, which does work which ought to have been handled by the Department of Public Information.
The old General Manager of the Guyana Chronicle as supposed to be reinstated. But a new Board has not yet been appointed to do so. And the AFC seems not to be making any noise to have this done.
The Ministry of Agriculture, headed by an AFC Minister, now has another Minister with responsibility for Rural Agriculture. Therefore, we are supposing that the portfolio for urban agriculture rests with someone else. The AFC has not protested the appointment of a portfolio that makes little sense.
The AFC has come to represent a betrayal of its supporters. It was supposed to keep the PNCR’s feet to the fire, to act as a counterbalance to the PNCR’s domination of government. The AFC was expected to be a counterfoil to the PNCR’s policies and to ensure that the ethnic security fears were not exacerbated by the PNCR’s reversion to its old policies.
The AFC has failed in its commitment to act as a balance of power within the government. It became smitten with the trappings of political office and overwhelmed by its responsibilities. It is out of its depth when it comes to managing the country.
The government kicked the AFC to the kerb in the run-up to local government elections. Some of its councillors in areas such as Bartica have had to suffer the humiliation of being kicked out of their former positions after the AFC failed to reach an agreement with the APNU. The AFC was left to hang out to dry? Is this how partners behave?
Why then does the AFC feel that it will have any say in the renegotiation of the Cummingsburg Accord, which has long expired regardless of what the AFC says? Does the AFC really believe that it will be able to command 405 of parliamentary and Cabinet seats from a power-hungry and its new prostrated sidekick the Working People’s Alliance.
The WPA will take whatever its gets, even if it is half a seat. It has no choice because it has no substantial support within the electorate. The party of Walter Rodney is only keeping meetings in certain areas but not in others.
Its proposal for cash grants from the oil revenues for citizens has been rejected outright by the government. Yet the WPA continues to prostrate itself in front of the government, reneging on the conditions it had set for its support in the elections. The AFC has been, at best ambivalent about this proposal. It can hardly influence the APNU to seriously consider the issue.
The AFC says that its demand for the position of Prime Minister within any future coalition is non-negotiable. We will see? Granger is going to be 80 years at the end of any second term? Why does the AFC believe that the PNCR will roll over and allow for an AFC person to become Prime Minister when the PNCR has to groom a successor?
The PNCR distrusts the AFC. The coalition is a marriage of convenience but there is love in that relationship. The PNCR is furious that it was an AFC person, who voted with the Opposition and caused the government to fall. The AFC will suffer a fallout as a result.
It had better downgrade its demands to three Ministers in any new government, and accept the post of Speaker of the National Assembly because as sure as night follows day, the AFC will not be able to negotiate any 40/60 split of parliamentary and Cabinet seats.
In addition, when it comes to the post of Prime Minister, the AFC is dreaming if it feels it will be given this position.
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