Kaieteur News – In July, 2025, Aubrey Norton will be 68 years of age. If at that age he loses the 2025 election, there will be challenges by younger, ambitious Turks in the PNC. One characteristic the PPP and PNC have at the moment is that they are blessed with a plethora of young politicians.
Guyana has a president in his forties with a pool of young Cabinet ministers. It is doubtful the PPP will change its presidential candidate in 2025. My guess is that the PPP will win in 2025. If it wins, it is likely to bring in more of the younger folks. Given the demographic make-up of Guyana, this will be the trend way into the future.
My guess also is that Anil Nandlall, S.C., will be the PPP’s frontman in 2030. By that time, Nandlall, in his fifties, will be facing Norton who will be in his mid seventies. After 2030, Norton, if still around, will definitely have to endure some passions from the younger Turks in the PNC. My third guess is that there is going to be a leadership battle in 2026 and Norton’s challengers will have the advantage, especially if a woman is in the contest. My fourth guess is that the main contender will be Ms. Walton-Desir.
Even if after the PNC’s defeat in 2025, Macbeth’s witches begin to repeat their chant of “Double, double toil and trouble: Fyaah burn and cauldron bubble”. The era of mo fyaah/slo fyaaah is dead. It is 25 years since fyaah burn and cauldron bubble.
That era is gone. Norton cannot put destabilising numbers on the streets in 2025 even if he, black pudding maan and the rest of the lunatic fringe want to. In any case, three of the members of the lunatic fringe live in the US and they do not have that influence on the African lumpen-proletariat any longer because the youths of today, don’t know them. Macbeth’s witches existed in special circumstances in Guyana which cannot be repeated.
Between now and an election defeat for the PNC in 2025, Norton is not making it difficult for his potential challenges. On the contrary, they are looking at the consistent stumbling of their leader. Since being catapulted at the apex of the PNC’s hierarchy, by less than 50 percent of the congressional delegates, Norton oozes rhetoric that causes you to conjure up images of the street fighter that many think is what alienates many sections and many strata from embracing Norton.
His latest contretemps came across as comical. In an energetic confrontation with Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, he calls for a public debate between the two men on the legitimacy of the March 2020 elections. When Mr. Jagdeo agrees and request that he brings along the PNC’s statements of poll (SOPs), Norton said he will do so after the debate.
This was a terrible lapse in leadership competence. Norton’s reaction to Jagdeo’s request has many dimensions that need to be discussed. (1) – How did he get the SOPs? Only three PNC leaders had access to them at the time of the leadership contest in December last year – David Granger, Joseph Harmon and Amna Ali. The only explanation is that one of the three gave the stuff to him.
(2) – If Norton has the SOPs, continues to claim the PPP lost the election and refuses to make them available to strategic and powerful international actors, then this is jejune leadership for which Norton should be criticised. The SOPs are the trump card of the PNC. If genuine, the release would create enormous doubts throughout Guyana and in the world about the 2020 results.
Powerful governments and powerful international organisations will now see that the election was indeed controversial. But in not making them available, Mr. Norton has done what his predecessors have done – make themselves laughable in the eyes of the world.
(3) – It was a terrible manifestation of political mediocrity in that confrontation with Mr. Jagdeo. Mr. Norton chose a topic that he should never even raise for a moment. The cry that the PPP tampered with the election and the PNC won it does not go down well in the society. Even PNC voters and PNC sympathisers no longer buy it.
Mr. Norton in his exchange with Mr. Jagdeo ignored one of the fundamental laws of life – choose your battles and fight from a position of strength. There are more than a dozen topics Mr. Norton could have thrown upon Mr. Jagdeo. It does mean those issues have a factual basis but they have more persuasive properties that would have made Mr. Norton look credible. But he chose a dead subject – the PNC victory at the March 2020 election. Mr. Norton is stumbling and badly too.
(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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