One of Raphael Trotman’s closest friends met me outside Nirva Supermarket on Sheriff Street last week. I knew him as my UG student many moons ago. Since then we came to have very friendly interactions.
With piercing eyes and a large curiosity on his face, looking at me directly, he intoned; “I read you every day, Freddie, what has this government done to so earn your wrath?” I offered my explanation which is contained in these pages countless times. I have done literally dozens of analytical pieces on why the AFC became a hated organization.
I am continuing on this theme to answer some tormenting questions that are destroying the psychological soundness of many leaders, both at the upper and secondary levels of the PNC and AFC.
In fact, I received a call two weeks ago to look at an AFC television programme that was showing, in which one of its leaders pounded his hand on the desk, saying it was impossible with such a large turnout in Region 4 for PPP to increase its numbers so largely from 2015, and for the PNC to receive such a meagre increase from 2015.
I will examine why that was a reality in 2020, but first, Henry Jeffrey. He wrote on Wednesday that both parties – PNC and PPP – did irregular things with the voters’ lists in recent general elections. He described how he saw a lady who had several ID cards. This is old news. I can tell Jeffrey tall stories about this type of skullduggery. In 2015, two very good lady friends (I mean close friends) told me that they voted twice in Buxton for APNU+AFC. I believe they did. I believe PPP supporters did the same thing.
In every election these things happen in extremely safe enclaves of both parties, where the polling station is literally in control of the local party cadres. I refer to these acts as “election things.” They are little mischievous things that occurred in every poll including and since 1992.
The question is – do these “election things” shape the final results? I doubt it. Observers do not pick it up, because of the way it happens, and it is not done barefacedly and nationally so it can be openly detected.
The election result for 2015 was one of the closest in modern times in any part of the world. When a party wins an election by point three percent, that is thinner than a coat of varnish. Did these “elections things” produce the coat of varnish in 2015? I honestly do not know. But this I know – both PPP and PNC did “election things” in 2015. And they did it in 2020.
I looked at the numbers on March 2 shown to me in the Kaieteur Radio studio by very credible people who don’t care if the PNC or PPP is in power. They observed the process, and by Tuesday evening knew the results. The PPP’s seats are 34 as against 29 for the PNC with the small parties taking 2.
I am not interested in the paranoia about Jagdeo coming back to power. There are people who want to destroy Guyana because they don’t want Jagdeo back. Why should I support the destruction of my country because Jagdeo and the PPP won the 2020 election? If you deny the PPP its victory, then who gave you the imprimatur?
Why did APNU+AFC (according to my calculations of course) lose four seats? This is 20, 000 votes. When you leave out the seat allocation and you shape your perspective using votes as the most important variable, 20,000 is not an unusual hemorrhage. I predicted it in several columns.
How do you explain the increase in Region 4 for the PPP and the meagre take for the PNC? I will leave that for another column, in which I will reproduce the words I used to Trotman’s friend.
Briefly, APNU+AFC lost because the Guyanese electorate, like most electorates in the world, have short memories, are fickle, vote emotionally and are unforgiving.
Barbados was doing well under Owen Arthur. But “Bajans” felt 14 years of him was sufficient. The Britons never forgave the Lib-Dem party for propping up a Conservative administration, and literally reduced them to almost nothing in the next election. The worst beating Labour ever suffered was against Boris Johnson. Imagine a questionable politician inflicted that type of devastation. Labour lost seats in December 2019 that it held since 1932. In Ireland if the perpetual loser, Sinn Féin, had fielded more candidates, it would have won the election.
(To be continued)
(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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