Exactly a week after AFC official, Marlon Williams told me two things, Mark Benschop in almost identical fashion made a repetition. Marlon said that it is regrettable that I am not campaigning for the APNU+AFC team in this election. He went on to remind me that the PPP sent killers to me. APNU+AFC sent emissaries.
Mark wrote from New York to ask me to give my vote to APNU+AFC and reminded me of the terrible things the PPP did to me and my family. Marlon and Mark adumbrated a case of the APNU+AFC regime being far better in governance than when the PPP ruled.
It is outright dishonesty for any Guyanese to paint a canvas of the PPP government being a better, more democratic, more responsible entity than the five-year-old administration of APNU+AFC. I will not entertain a polemical exchange on the subject. I find it personally insulting to engage an argument of the PPP being of better quality. In fact, I will not use up space in this analysis on the issue.
My characterization of the PPP from 2001 to 2014 is two-fold. The Jagdeo/Ramotar was evil and semi-fascist. When I read Jagdeo, Ramotar, Teixeira and their colleagues writing in the newspapers about human rights, accountability, the rule of law and other sacred values my skin grows.
I will move on with my analysis as to why I cannot accept Marlon’s advice and Mark’s request by ending this section on the PPP with this exclamation – “I don’t want that party to rule Guyana again! The PPP needs to be in hibernation for a few more years to understand human feelings.
Now for my analysis of APNU+AFC. I cannot and will not vote for APNU+AFC for a reason that is extremely simple. I do not see that formation bringing about open, honest, caring, democratic governance. This is what I want for the country I will spend the rest of my life in. I have seen enough deliberate conspiracies by leaders in both the PNC (APNU is a fictional construct; I will not recognize it in my academic analyses) and AFC that tell me that a return to power by these PNC and AFC leaders will see a continuation of the rotten, decayed political culture that has sunk Guyana since the 1957 general election.
From Cheddi Jagan in 1957 to Burnham through to Hoyte to Jagan again, then Jagdeo, Ramotar, and Granger, governance in Guyana has been characterized by ethnic patronage, ethnic incestuousness, racial discrimination, autocratic exercise of power, one-man hegemony, reckless and irresponsible use of state funds and arrogant and brazen class preferences (except in the Burnham era) in which poverty has grown rather than dwindled, and economic exploitation of the lower classes has reached frightening heights under Jagdeo, Ramotar and Granger.
To Marlon and Mark, I say to you that while I cannot and will not dispute your contentions of the extreme atrocities of the Jagdeo/Ramotar reign that are missing in the use of power since 2015, I do not see hopeful signs of improved governance in the return to power in 2020 by APNU+AFC.
It will take a book length manuscript to enumerate the dangerous signs since APNU+AFC came to power. But these warning signals have been so deeply worrying that I interpret them to mean that the future does not look good and will not be good if APNU+AFC acquires parliamentary majority in March.
I continue to argue in these columns that while a comparison between the terrible use of power by the PPP and the misrule of APNU+AFC cannot stand, a citizen is moving dangerously close to the precipice of self-destruction by entrusting their faith and hopes in APNU+AFC amidst the dangerous signs I have pointed to in the above paragraphs.
I will not support APNU+AFC or vote for them because I am looking for space; the space to create a huge crater in front of the gate of either the PNC or the PPP after the election results. That crater will block the doorway of one-party domination and one-race domination, which are the only two games that this country has played since 1957 when the PPP won the election that year.
The PPP will not share power with the PNC and the PNC will not share power with the PPP if either wins. The answer to this country’s intractable problems is for them to share power. Since they are not going to do it, then we have to create space for a minority government to be hauled before the table of negotiations by a balancer. That balancer I am voting for in March. In order words a third party.
(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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