Kaieteur News – Do you know how unique Guyana is in terms of the surreal things that happen here? I doubt any country in the world has a parallel to the WPA in Guyana. I am willing to bet a few dollars that there isn’t one nation on Planet Earth where you can find another caricature like the WPA.
The WPA was born in 1974, then, became a political party in 1976. It was founded at the lower flat at the head office of the trade union NAACIE, led at the time by Dr. Nanda Gopaul. Go to Youtube to the Gildarie-Freddie Kissoon Show for last week and see the feelings of disgust, Dr. Gopaul expressed about the remnants of the WPA.
After 1980, with the assassination of Walter Rodney, the WPA was literally degutted. After 1992, with the advent of free and fair elections, the WPA secured only one seat and drifted into the wilderness. By 2011, when the PNC and WPA formed APNU, the WPA was virtually a shell with about six persons. Over 3 decades, the WPA never had a congress to elect its executives and never announced publicly who its leaders are and their party designations.
In 2015, APNU took state power and those six persons went into government. Tacuma Ogunseye, Desmond Trotman and Clive Thomas went to SARA. Thomas became chairman of GuySuco. Dr. Maurice Odle went to NICIL. David Hinds became a consultant to Minister, Amna Ally. Rupert Roopnaraine became Minister of Education.
We are about to enter 2023 and no one knows who or what is the WPA. No one knows who the leader is. No one knows anything about it. From the time the APNU lost power in July 2020, Clive Thomas in his weekly Stabroek News column has not mentioned the WPA once, I repeat not once.
Yet Demerara Waves and the Stabroek News carry front page coverage of what the remnants of the WPA say. The longest surviving third party in Guyana is the United Republican Party that has contested every national election from 1992 onwards.
Its leaders, Dr. Vishnu Bandhu told me on the Gildarie-Freddie Kissoon Show that his party does get coverage from the mainstream press. I promised Dr. Bandhu we will have him on the programme again.
The parallel in Guyana to the WPA is the AFC. This country will make even Frankenstein and Dracula laugh till they get “stitches.” The AFC announced it will not contest the 2023 local government election (LGE). There is no stronger word to use than asinine if you think the AFC can win seats in the LGE in 2023.
Why would it be asinine for anyone to think the AFC can win anything in the next LGE? Commonsense not analytical ability kicks in here. The party in power is billions of miles ahead of the opposition because of the simple fact that it has state power.
People gravitate to ruling parties because they want things from it. Investors and business people in general donate because they are looking for a reciprocal relation. In Guyana, ruling parties have traditionally received resource assistance from the business folks.
The AFC had enormous state power. The AFC had the Prime Minister and six Ministers in the government in 2018. Yet the AFC collected 4 percent of the votes in the 2018 LGE. The AFC did not win even one of the 38 NDCs that it contested.
If a ruling party could lose so badly in 2018, then you have to be the biggest fool in the world to think in 2023 the AFC could even get one percent. If at the height of your greatness and power when all you stellar actors are assembled on your bandwagon, you could not win one NDC, then how you do it in 2023?
All your star power is gone. All your financial donors are gone. All your foot soldiers are gone. Where then is your staying power? The AFC has become like the WPA. They are shells but a few who cling to yesteryear believe the dreams are still alive. The WPA and the AFC constitute rich material for a Tennessee Williams play.
All of Williams’ plays are deeply sad. All of Williams’ dramas constitute variations on one theme- life goes on, the past will never return and those who belong to the past and want it to return will live in sempiternal angst. The WPA had its moment. The AFC had its finest wine. But time has left them behind. I close with Shakespeare from Macbeth:
“Come what come may,
Time and the hour,
Runs through the roughest day.”
(A 1, Scene 3)
(The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not this newspaper.)
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