Kaieteur News -I thought that David Granger was strategising by not announcing his candidacy then doing it at the last moment. But with the entry of Joe Harmon, it looks like Granger is riding away.
I have done many pieces on Granger and will probably continue to do so as he slowly fades from the political limelight. He just did not possess leadership qualities. Now the contest looks like a three-way race because Volda Lawrence is not competing. If she keeps waiting, she cannot do so at the last moment.
The battle will be between Aubrey Norton and Joe Harmon. Dr. Richard Van West Charles isn’t going to get votes. Dr. Van West Charles belonged to a world long gone. He has to know two things – he hasn’t had a presence in Guyana for a long time so delegates do not know him. Secondly over 70 percent of the population is over 40 years old. As a spin off from number one, Dr. Van West Charles will not be a name that evokes memories in the delegates.
Norton will be a better candidate than Harmon but I think Norton knows what is coming. Norton knows how Harmon is going to become leader of the PNC. When Harmon assumes the top post, I think the PNC is going to lose both Norton and Lawrence.
If the process is not transparent, Norton will kick up a fight but he will lose and there will be knives out for him after the dust is settled. Norton’s fate will be that of Vincent Alexander’s after Alexander loss to Robert Corbin. Norton is out of favour with Granger, Robert Corbin, Harmon, and many others.
Here now is what Norton told me at a “watering hole” on Thomas Street, North Cummingsburg that we use to patronise on the weekends. In discussing the congressional defeat of Alexander by Corbin, Aubrey told me whoever controls the accreditation committee decides who becomes leader.
We may be seeing the last of Lawrence. When Harmon becomes leader, he will not embrace Lawrence. Granger may be an active, invisible voice behind the scene for years to come. If that happens, Lawrence’s assets will decline. I doubt whether there is going to be a culture of accommodation after Harmon becomes numero uno.
I thought Roysdale Forde stood a chance but he is not in the contest. So the die is cast. Harmon will be anointed. It is not too late to have a compromise candidate. If ever there is need for a PNC leader to have a new face without baggage and a visage that will cause people to want to give him/her a chance, the time is now.
Forde is backing Harmon for reasons that may have to do with when they both had state authority and the time spent together during the election imbroglio. But Forde cannot be serious about the tainted politics of Harmon that makes Indians boil with rage.
Forde had to know that Harmon went to Region Five, with his leader, Granger, in September last year and spoke words that Guyanese of all classes and ethnic make-up should never utter. Forde must have embarrassed himself when he observed that the PNC is not a racially driven party. Whatever drives the PNC it surely is not a multi-racial soul.
I point Forde to two articles I have done, looking at strategic placements of Africans in the PPP without a corresponding reality in the PNC. They are: Thursday, September 30, 2021, “The death of Imran Khan: A loss to multi-racial politics,” and Saturday, October 23, 2021, “I insist that the PNC did not have a Rohee and a Luncheon equivalent.”
Those two articles are arguments for the PPP having more claims to a multi-racial character than the PNC. I think Forde cannot come up with a useful mechanism to support his contention that Joe Harmon is not racially active but Norton is. Forde cannot confuse street antics with direct statements that incite people.
Forde in backing Harmon has and must address Harmon’s conduct in the aftermath of two homicides in Cotton Tree last year September. I can tell Forde that Harmon’s emanations along with Granger’s, who sat next to him when they spoke to African Guyanese supporters, have virtually killed any space for accommodation among the Guyanese Indians. There must be an annual event to commemorate what happened there so memories are kept alive. What happened there almost pushed Guyana to the brink.
I conclude by expressing some thoughts on Guyanese politics based on more than 50 years of experience. The PNC needs a leader other than Harmon and Norton. But Norton is a far better politician.
(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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