The PNC has the Statement of Polls (SOPs). The PNC knows which Indian, African and Amerindian areas in all of Guyana that gave their votes to the APNU+AFC. Keith Lowenfield has GECOM’s SOPs. If the PNC has thrown away their SOPs then he can give them GECOM’s.
The PPP has published their SOPs online. So the analyst has access to the SOPs to see how ethnic voting went. I looked at quite a large number of those SOPs and the electoral devastation of the AFC was comprehensive. Not in one; I repeat, not ONE district, town, village or enclave where East Indian predominate did the APNU+AFC got even five percent of the vote. In Nagamootoo’s hometown of Whim, APNU+AFC was thrashed. In Ramjattan’s home of Number 48 village, APNU+AFC was similarly treated.
Unlike 2011 and 2015, Indians made a complete withdrawal from the AFC in 2020. If the PNC assigns nine seats to the AFC then that is equivalent to 46,000 votes. The entire country knows that the AFC did not get 6,000 votes muchless 46,000.
There are several reasons one can offer the proposition that awarding the AFC nine seats would mark the slow self-destruction of the PNC. First, for the coming years, the PNC is going to be in a state of mental uncertainties. There is going to be a lull in activities. Stalwarts will leave creating many vacancies that will be filled by undesirables like James Bond and Simona Broomes which will further dent the credibility of the PNC.
Secondly, with the young population Guyana has, the PNC is not going to return to power way beyond the foreseeable future. In 2030, those who are 18 years today will be a mere 28 years old and they will not forget what the PNC did for five months in 2020. Added to this, it is highly unlikely that a bad performance by the PPP over the next five years can generate a PNC victory in 2025.
Thirdly, it is in the long term interest of the PNC to secure those 31 parliamentarians for the PNC itself. The more seats available to the PNC, the more personnel it has at its disposal, the more income its leaders will have because 31 PNC parliamentarians will be collecting a monthly salary, part of which will have to go to the party’s income.
Fourthly, why give away nine seats to another party that is of no electoral and political asset to you? The PNC’s war room has to be filled with dysfunctional minds if those leaders feel that the AFC has something to add to the PNC over the next five years. For all intent and purpose, the AFC is a dead entity.
Fifthly, if the PNC gives nine seats to the AFC is it virtually keeping the AFC alive? What the AFC will most likely do is to ask those nine MPs to donate from their parliamentary salaries to keep the AFC office going. In essence then, the PNC will be using its resources to sustain the AFC.
Surely, realpolitik has to guide the PNC in its current relation with the AFC. If asked to guess what the PNC will do, I think two directions will be taken in the coming days. One strong, anti-AFC group is going to argue that the era of the AFC has come and gone and therefore the PNC must move on and consolidate the physiology and biology of the PNC and take its rightful place in parliament by having its 31 MPs.
An opposing school will argue that in the aftermath of the crisis, it would be terrible public relations for the PNC to take all 31 seats. This group will not go beyond four seats for the AFC. Even though this faction will not ditch the AFC, the assignment of nine seats is out of the question. I think this is where the AFC will fight among itself because the PNC will demand Indian names so as to balance the ethnic mix in the APNU+AFC’s parliamentary edifice.
Since the PNC is short on Indian names, it would make sense for PNC leaders to ask the AFC to balance the parliamentary composition by submitting Indian names. Here is where the AFC’s implosion will come because some top African personnel in the AFC’s hierarchy will have to be left out if the PNC is only giving four. If you look at the attitude of the PNC leaders during the election campaign to the sharing of jurisdiction if APNU+AFC had won, you will see that the PNC did not recognize the AFC’s viability. The PNC will not give the AFC nine seats.
(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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