Kaieteur News – The APNU+AFC destroyed whatever chances it had of being returned to office. It affected its own fortunes by the attempts to rig the 2021 elections.
Had it simply conceded, accepted its defeat and took action to remove the under-performers who were responsible for its electoral loss in the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections, it may have been able to return to government in 2025. It cannot now do so because of what it attempted to do with the elections results.
The PPP/C took a different approach. It lost the 2015 elections and went into Opposition. It spent the next five years organising its base, then expanding its support, winning two local government elections and then humiliating the APNU+AFC by the successful passage of a non-confidence motion.
The four years elapsed quickly and the PPP/C is now back in the political saddle again. The PPP/C is riding into a long tenure in office because of the silly shenanigans of the APNU+AFC.
The APNU+AFC did not have the patience of the PPP/C. Some of its leaders were unprepared to go back into Opposition and therefore there was an attempt to steal the elections, which has now backfired.
If only the APNU+AFC had conceded gracefully and waited out its five years, the PPP/C would have been booted out in 2025. But that is not going to happen because a critical segment of the electorate will never again trust the APNU+AFC with political office.
It was democracy, which had delivered a razor slim majority – but a majority nonetheless – to the APNU+AFC in 2015. And, instead of the Coalition accepting that, its best chance of regaining power was through the ballot, it tried to rig and bully its way back into office.
If the APNU+AFC had accepted its defeat, the Irfaan Ali administration would have been a one-term government. Ali is a young man and he will learn on the job but he cannot bring about the economic transformation, which he is promising. The resources are simply not there, the economy does not have the capacity to absorb the projects which he has in mind for over the next five years and the usual suspects are around and are doing the same nonsense which cost the PPP/C its majority in 2011 and the presidency in 2015.
Irfaan Ali is a young man who must be encouraged. But it should be clear to all by now that so long as the usual suspects are in his order, so long as he is pursuing the big projects which his administration is incapable of executing, so long as these projects serve the interests of a small oligarchic class which has re-emerged, Ali cannot deliver the transformation he promises.
He has just celebrated his first anniversary as President. These occasions provide a chance for leaders to present their report card, to tell the nation what they did. But Ali instead of doing this last Monday, went off on and on about medium and long-term plans, the same type of plans which we used to hear about in the past and which seemed like a rolling stone.
The President disappointed tremendously in his presentation to the country and to the media last Monday. Instead of focusing on the big plans, he should have concentrated more on his report card. His address was imbalanced. There was too much about what is to be done, rather than expanding more on what was done.
The Opposition need not worry about Ali’s wish list of projects, including three new drainage canals for which the nation has not heard about any study, which justifies it. They need not worry about the gas-to-shore project for which the government has not yet done its own feasibility study but for which it is already inviting investors. The Opposition need not worry about the Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Project. No one is going to invest in that when the government holds a one-seat majority in the National Assembly.
And while the President was eager to speak about his long term plans, nothing was heard about the more immediate concerns. Nothing was heard about the Commission of Inquiry into the elections. Nothing was heard since about the democracy awards for those who the President hailed for saving the country. Nothing was heard about diplomatic appointments.
The President was asked questions by a Kaieteur News reporter. He insisted that his government had made public all its plans. Yet he could not directly answer the three questions.
The PPP/C is its own worst enemy. The Opposition does not have to do anything to undermine the PPP/C. The usual suspects will take the economy and the PPP/C down the drain as they did to Donald Ramotar. The Opposition does not need to do anything; just leave the PPP/C to its ways and it will self-destruct.
But the PPP/C has a ticket to power until 2030. And it was the APNU+AFC, which handed it that ticket.
(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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