In my Friday offering, I described an encounter on the steps of Nirva Supermarket on Sheriff Street with one of the close friends of Raphael Trotman. He asked (his exact words); “what has this government done to so earn your wrath?” In that Friday piece I did not describe my answer. I will now.
In so doing, I will also offer readers what I have composed several times in these pages before the March 2 election – the reasons why APNU+AFC will lose the 2020 poll. Without exception, I insisted that because of performance, they did not have the numbers to take them over 51 percent.
On the Naim Chan morning show on channel 6, three days before the election, Chan asked for my prediction. I said a minority government for either PNC or PPP, with my last words being that APNU+AFC just haven’t got the numbers. From my examination of what I believe is a true reflection of the votes, from what I saw on Tuesday (March 3) evening from credible, neutral people, I was right.
So why did APNU+AFC lose in 2020? Surely, a newspaper column cannot do justice to such an analysis. Before the reasons, a word on Cathy Hughes. In the AFC’s November 2019 press conference hosted by Mrs. Hughes and Dominic Gaskin, over the PNC’s reluctance to formally accept Khemraj Ramjattan as Prime Minister, Mrs. Hughes blurted out that the PNC has never won a general election on its own. She was right, but she was also under an illusion, a deep one that she was not aware of.
What Mrs. Hughes meant was that if the PNC never won on its own, it will not win in March 2020 if it goes on its own without the AFC. The illusion lies in the head of Mrs. Hughes and the rest of the AFC’s hierarchy, because the PNC was on its own electorally since the 2015 election results, and went on its own in 2020, because there was no AFC.
So in the end Mrs. Hughes was right. The PNC never won on its own, and since it entered the March contest all by itself, it lost once more.
Mrs. Hughes’ husband, a most analytical mind, pointed out one of the fault lines and line faults of the PNC- it did not arrange for constitutional reform after 2015; that if it did, we would not have the colossal Mingo embarrassment that has crushed the image of Guyana throughout the world.
Here are Nigel’s words: “The African leadership in the APNU failed to appreciate that the victory in 2015 was not a result of the minority African votes being sufficient to win an election ….They compounded the error of assessment by assuming that the interests of the African community could be protected by relying on the results of a numbers game…this led to perhaps the most fatal error of judgment, the rejection of any form of constitutional reform as a means of protecting the minority interests of the African people and every other minority interest.”
Until I pen more columns on the subject matter of why APNU+AFC lost, here are some brief factors. When in July 2015, APNU+AFC gave its ministerial bigwigs a hefty salary increase, a psychic jolt occurred in the nation. The response was this was not the people we voted for. PNC and AFC leaders thought that with time, the act would not be remembered. But the chagrin lodged inside the psyche of the nation, and it shaped the nation’s assessment of the people they voted for to remove the PPP.
A huge dream was born after May 2015. People were relieved the PPP had lost. It was an era of Jagdeoite hegemony that brought incestuous politics, corruptibility, power madness, criminal politics and facistization to all the windows, living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms of society. The dream, however, was not kept alive for a large number of reasons.
Firstly, Guyanese began to seriously detest the AFC. This was the wonder boy people craved for to weaken the political stranglehold of the PNC and PPP. With each passing day, it was graphically emblazoned on the face of the nation that the AFC was not only ordinary, but dishonest, immoral, corrupt and power-drunk.
The psychic wound that the July 2015 salary increase caused, opened up even deeper.
Secondly, the people who replaced the PPP leadership were utterly disappointing and people knew it and began to compare past PPP ministers favourably to the new kids in town.
Space has run out, but the reality is that APNU+AFC lost by 20,000 votes, and that was predictable long before March 2020. It should accept it, and let Guyana live.
(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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