I will suggest to persons reading about Guyana’s future and the current election depravities to digest the AFC column in yesterday’s issue of Kaieteur News. It is titled, “The days of comfortable House Majority appear to be clearly over.”
Here is the first quote; “For those who might not have been paying attention, the days of any government governing with a comfortable House majority appear to be definitely and clearly over. No longer can one, led by the People’s National Congress (PNC) or by the PPP govern the nation with the ease of five clear parliamentary seats. The results from the past three elections seem to bear this out. The Coalition will not dominate the PPP and the PPP will not be able to do likewise either.”
Now pay attention to the second quote, because it is from this extract one can theorize that the era has dawned in Guyana that neither the Indian PPP nor the African PNC can win consecutive terms. I will elaborate after the quote; “The unofficial or preliminary indications are that the Coalition will enjoy a second term, with maybe no more than two parliamentary seats separating it from the opposition People’s Progressive Party.”
There is no need to waste space on the AFC’s contention of a narrow victory. What is important is that the AFC is arguing that small parliamentary shape will be the future pattern – not exceeding two seats.
In theorizing on the AFC’s prediction, one can
or two seats, then why can’t the loser pick up steam over the five-year period in the opposition and win by one or two sets the next time around.
There is a huge naivety present in the polemics of those who argue that the PNC had to tamper with the elections in 2020 because it just does not have the ethnic numbers the PPP has to win, and it only won in 2015 because of a tiny number the AFC brought. This was reality of the ‘60s and ‘70s that Burnham faced. But 60 years after, that demography died a natural expiration.
The percentage difference is nine between Indians and Africans (39 versus 30). Therefore each party can win or lose, depending on the nature of governance. The PPP can pull in 11 percent non-Indian votes and the PNC can harness 21 percent to take them over the 51 percent. The PPP lost in 2011 and 2015 and the PNC lost in 2020 not because of numbers, but type of governance.
The AFC is right. The future of elections success will be slim, but what the AFC left out is that based on its demographical perceptions, this slimness can work for both sides – PPP, PNC. In reality then, one-term government is not a just probability and possibility, but highly realistic. In the theoretical explanation of why the PPP lost in 2011 and 2015, lies the prediction of one-term success.
In 2011, the rural Indians scattered over Regions 2, 3, 4 and 5, but mostly in 6, were disenchanted with 15 years of Jagdeo’s style of power and like in the Hoyte days, where ordinary Blacks did not see the light of day, poor Indians were left behind by Jagdeoite neo-liberalism.
In 2015 multi-racial groups, though small in numbers, put APNU+AFC over the line. Those votes were not traditional PNC ballots, but people who wanted a third force in government. They got it in 2015, only that the third force disappeared.
APNU+AFC lost in 2020 because of the very reason the PPP lost in 2011 and 2015 – governance. I will enumerate the causes in another column – suffice it to say there was no reason for the small-minded, narrow-minded, scare-minded unrealistic, unthinking hierarchy of both the PNC and AFC to generate the kind of instability Guyana is currently drowning in.
There are two reasons why I believe the elections were tampered with – the PNC felt that it could not gather the numbers it wanted from the mixed race groups and the Amerindians, and feared this will exacerbate in 2025. Secondly, with oil money to spend, the party in power in 2020 will splurge and splurge its way to 2025, thus getting power perpetually.
With these two conceptualizations, the PNC and AFC did on March 4 what few people, except in those two kingdoms, will deny.
I reject this mental state of the mandarins in the PNC and AFC. I will leave it for another column. But briefly; poor, incompetent, visionless use of power cost the PNC and the AFC the 2020 election. With better, thinking leaders, the PNC and AFC could have won.
(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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