AFC can’t be trusted in alliance politics

Dear Editor,

Reference is made to the article `AFC studying alliance blueprint’ (SN July 25). In this article it is said that the Alliance For Change (AFC) paper “Pathway to Victory 2011,” argues for a grand alliance and sets out a framework to drive it forward. The paper proposes an alliance of political parties, civil society groups and individuals who have similar national goals and expectations.  The reporter further said the AFC’s National Executive (NEC) met on July 24 in order to review the party’s position on alliances.

At the July 24 meeting the NEC ruled “that the AFC, as early as is possible, proceed to forge alliances with civic society groups, like-minded political entities, and even personalities from both the PPP/C and the PNC/R, but not with the PPP/C or the PNC/R as political organizations.” This decision was released electronically to its mailing list the same evening.

Simply put the AFC will be forging alliances with political individuals but not with the PNC or the PPP as political organizations. The party said “that the AFC ultimately will not be able to maintain its identity and core principles if it were to ally with either one of them.”

The AFC needs to help readers understand what “identity and core principles” it is speaking about that it does not want to lose.

In 2006 some political parties said they were going to form a Third Force to contest the elections as a coalition and this was torpedoed by none other than the AFC.  Indepth information from this can be gathered from Desmond Trotman’s letter “The collapse of the Guyana Third Force was a consequence of intrigue; representatives were not prepared to place the interests of the people of this country first” (SN May 6, 2010).

When the PNC called for a verification of the list before elections and said “No Verification No Elections”, initially the opposition agreed but the AFC again betrayed this group and said it was going to the elections. This betrayal forced the PNC to go to the elections in order to ensure its parliamentary relevance.

When talks began about a new opposition coalition for the 2011 elections the AFC had more than one view. Eventually Raphael Trotman said that he was prepared to form an alliance with the PNC. First, Khemraj Ramjattan said that he would not be in any alliance with the PNC but in Stabroek News of June 22 he showed a change of heart when he said that “there are some international factors… I have come around to the position, that if you want, largely, to get the largest block, there must be a larger block than the AFC.” Raphael Trotman recently admitted that Ramjattan had come around.

Readers are reminded that the formation of the AFC was also seen in similar inconsistent fashion and disregard for decent politics. It was Raphael Trotman, Khemraj Ramjattan and Sheila Holder who squatted on the PNC, PPP and WPA seats, formed the AFC and campaigned as AFC members even as they earned taxpayers income as PPP, PNC and WPA parliamentarians. People need to pay closer attention to the modus operandi of the AFC and voters need to see the AFC for what it is – a self serving group of people, devoid of principles and not to be trusted.  This is not the new politics Guyana should crave.

Yours faithfully,
Vincent Ellis

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