One of the intriguing dimensions in the dialogue to renew the Cummingsburg Accord, is that both entities have declined to say if the most vexatious issue between the PNC and AFC has been solved – the Ramjattan PM slot. Let us trace the sequence of events from October 24 to this date.
On October 24, AFC called a single-issue press conference. The adumbration was done with trenchancy and non-diplomatic semantics. The AFC demanded that the PNC stop delaying the decision of Ramjattan for the PM slot, and that it will not continue with negotiations unless Ramjattan is accepted.
As a reaction to this ultimatum, Ramjattan and David Patterson met with the President and Volda Lawrence on Thursday, October 31. That meeting flowed from the demand and ultimatum of the AFC of October 24.
Strangely enough, both the PNC and AFC refused to answer a simple question – has Ramjattan been chosen as the PM candidate. That was the reason for the meeting. How could they not tell the nation what they decided (see my column of Monday, November 4, 2019; “Are these the people that will negotiate for Guyana?”).
On Saturday, November 2, the AFC held its statutory meeting of its 35-member executive committee (more than 35 attended, including its official campaign advisor, Alston Stewart). Here is what is bizarre. Here is where the AFC may be the most depraved political party in the history of this country.
The AFC top leaders addressed the meeting and refused to reveal if the October 31 meeting between the President and Ramjattan had solved the Ramjattan issue. In fact, when it was his turn to speak, all that Ramjattan told his party executives was that Mr. Granger indicated to him that he wants to see an independent AFC (see my column of Wednesday, November 6, 2019, “ Is the PPP more democratic that its rival organizations?”
The very Saturday, the AFC celebrated its 15th year of existence with a swashbuckling party at its head office. People were dancing and shouting that the AFC won; that the PNC had to accept Ramjattan. In fact, everyone at the party was congratulating Ramjattan. But the AFC’s gang of six lied to the executive body, its members and the Guyanese people. Granger and the PNC at that October 31 conference with Ramjattan and Patterson did not agree on the PM slot for Ramjattan.
Here now is the proof that the AFC deceived the nation and should be rejected by every citizen of this country. The AFC held a press conference last Friday and Dominic Gaskin told the people of Guyana that there was only one outstanding issue left to be resolved – the percentage division for parliamentary seats and Cabinet. Then one of the reporters asked Gaskin if the PNC had accepted Ramjattan as the PM candidate. Gaskin declined to answer.
Something is eerie, bizarre and inscrutable here. If two countries threaten to go to war over three issues – one – no dumping of toxic waste in the ocean; two – no hunting of whales; three – no limit to carbon emissions. If the leaders of the two countries spoke to the world at the UN in New York and declared that the only vexation to be overcome is carbon emissions, then how can one of the leaders refuse to answer if there is agreement on issues one and two?
It is logical to assume there is agreement on issues one and two, since both leaders said the only divisive grievance left is carbon emissions.
What interpretation then should the analyst put on Gaskin’s silence?
Here is what I know. In that October 31 confabulation between Granger and Lawrence from the PNC and Ramjattan and Patterson from the AFC, the PNC agreed that the president’s running mate would come from the AFC. There was no specific name mentioned. The gang of six in the AFC knew, but did not tell the executive committee this. Yet the gang of six had AFC aficionados dancing at the 15-year anniversary party, shouting that Ramjattan won.
The AFC has been exposed. They have also been so badly bruised that the PNC knows that they are trying things to scare the PNC. But the PNC has made up its mind.
Here are my beliefs. Ramjattan will not be chosen to run alongside Granger as PM. I have written about six columns on that issue, bringing out confidential stuff from solid sources. The PNC will not agree to any formula that will see the AFC getting 35 percent of Cabinet positions and parliamentary seats. The PNC will not allow the AFC to scare it with talk of the AFC going on its own in 2020.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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