Latest update March 20th, 2023 12:59 AM
Mar 06, 2023 Features / Columnists, Peeping Tom
Kaieteur News – The PNCR operated as if it was living in a different stratosphere. Just why it believed that it could have gotten away with benefiting from rigged elections is hard to comprehend.
The fact of the matter is that the PNCR was quite divorced from the realities of regional and international policies to expect to get away with such a stunt. The consequence for this attempt is that the party is going to struggle electorally.
The only possibility which the PNCR has of ever returning to power is for it to either win significant cross-over votes or do what it did in 2015 and align itself with a force that could steal votes away from the PPPC. Throughout its history, the PNCR has not proven itself able to win significant crossover voters and the reason for this has to do with ethnic polarization and the blatant dishonesty of the party is rigging the 1968, 1973, 1980 and 1985 elections and the referendum of 1978.
The AFC can no longer count itself as capable of luring PPPC supporters to vote for it. In that respect, it is dead meat. Neither can the PNCR and the AFC reinvent itself so long as it has in its power structure, persons who continue to pedal and defend the narrative that the general and regional elections of 2020 were rigged. Until and unless the PNCR and the AFC can rid themselves of the defenders of electoral rigging, there is no possibility whatsoever of these parties reinventing themselves.
The PPPC is going to sweep the local government elections this year. That is a forgone conclusion. The PNCR is likely to retain control of Linden, Georgetown and New Amsterdam. There will be a toss-up for Bartica and Madhia. The PPPC will sweep the other municipalities – Mabaruma, Lethem, Anna Regina, Rose Hall Town and Corriverton and is going to retain control of the bulk of the neighbourhood democratic councils.
It is left to see is how strong will be the turnout in the PNCR constituencies. The AFC draws its support from all across the country but is incapable of winning any neighbourhood democratic council or municipality.
The PNCR and the AFC would have suffered fallout from the 2020 elections. The key question to be answered – and it really cannot be fully answered in local government polls – is the extent of this fallout. If the turnout in PNCR strongholds is less than 30%, then it would be clear that the party would have suffered a major fallout from the elections.
There are forces who believe that the PNCR is imploding internally and that the present Leader may not survive as leader for the 2025 elections. Those persons who stake this claim do not understand the PNCR, what is taking place within the PNCR and they certainly underestimate Aubrey Norton.
Aubrey Norton is no political pushover. He is a seasoned political personality. He has experience in mobilizing on the ground. He has experience in managing the internal affairs of the party – he was once the General Secretary of the party. He is trained diplomat and is no intellectual minion.
There are serious divisions within the PNCR. There are even calls for some of those persons who have been shunted aside to return to greater visibility. There are even calls for David Granger to return to lead to the party. The calls for the return of Granger are becoming stronger each day.
But that is just the internal dynamics within the party. When it comes to elections time, the membership will rally behind the party because there is a historical hatred, and in some quarters utter contempt, for the PPPC.
The PNCR will lose some support as a result of that silly attempt to benefit from rigged elections in 2020. But the base of the PNCR is not likely to depart en masse from the party come 2025. What is at stake is whether without the AFC, whether the PNCR would be able to muster more than 40% of the votes. It is not likely to. But it does then all hope is lost for Guyana because the only hope for this country has to come from a commitment to democratic politics.
This is why if the PNCR hopes to have any chance of returning to office, it has to dump those who continue to pedal discredited narratives. And it has to rebuild with fresh leadership. But where will that leadership come from?
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