Kindly allow me to respond to Mr A Rodrigues from Canada in a letter to SN, on December 15 titled ‘We wait to see who will walk the walk on corruption.‘ He admirably expresses most Guyanese concerns for ending corruption since “once it is the property of the Guyanese people we want it back.“ I agree with him completely. This should also include the expropriated luxury cars that former PNC officials seized when they exited in 1992, and the trashing of some government offices which Dr Jagan’s PPP/C government failed to investigate.
The failure to investigate pre-1992 corruption meant that officially the PNC was not corrupt at all. No official evidence was accumulated. It would also be appropriate if families of the Lusignan, Bartica and Lindo Creek massacres were to get compensation, as well as families of the Enterprise sugar workers who disappeared aback of Buxton. Can the APNU/AFC crusade against corruption trigger snap elections?
Mr Rodrigues writes, “Going back to the polls because of the failure to examine these [corrupt] transactions can only be disastrous for the PPP, as this is perhaps the reason why they have not gotten a majority in the first place. The second time around they may not even have the presidency.” Interesting analysis.
Here is where I beg to differ. Does either opposition party have the finances to fight a snap election? Even the PPP/C election machinery is in complete disarray and non-existent. Neither General Secretary Mr Ramotar nor ex-President Jagdeo invested time in its upkeep and maintenance. They may have the finances but its machinery was dismally non-productive in 2011. Only APNU had the most effective machinery with its ex-military and other segments marching to its central command.
What will drive its core base back to either the PPP/C and PNC/APNU? Assuredly the PNC’s traditional relapse into street demonstrations has cost them much. Notice how quickly the APNU youth arm quickly disassociated themselves from themselves in reversing the call to boycott the private sector.
The possibility of the AFC also collapsing completely is very strong if extremist demands are fomented against the PPP/C and a snap election occurs. For example, in 2006 under Mr Raphael Trotman’s presidential candidacy the AFC got 5 seats mostly from African supporters of the PNC. Mr Trotman’s decency in calling for the PNC to apologise for its past and move on was critical. Prime ministerial candidate Mr Khemraj Ramjattan’s contribution was negligible, about one seat (give or take) from mostly Indian voters. Did those 4 seats made up mostly of African voters which Mr Trotman brought to the AFC return back to APNU to account for their 4 seat increase of 26 seats in 2011?
There can be no doubt that Mr Naga-
motoo’s presence in the AFC reduced the PPP/C’s 2006 majority of 36 seats to fall by 4 seats in 2011 (now 32). Mr Nagamotoo in effect duplicated the 4 seat change similar to what Mr Trotman did in 2006. The PPP/C’s arrogance and growing negligence in sidelining Mr Nagamotoo must have been an eye-opening mistake for them. Now it is possible he may become Speaker and teach them a good lesson.
In fact if the AFC had retained its 5 seats from 2006, Mr Nagamootoo’s crossover in 2011 should have increased their total to 9. But this did not happen. The reality is that the AFC now has 7. What is the makeup of the other 3 seats to account of the AFC’s 7 given that Mr Nagamootoo‘s crossover from the PPP/C brought 4 seats? One seat each could be crossovers from GAP/ROAR and TUF, plus the single seat which came with Mr Ramjattan in 2006 and remained constant in 2011. But this still needs to be determined. I may be wrong.
What is very clear, however, is that APNU was the biggest winner. In 2006 the PNCR got 22 seats, but in 2011 with Mr Granger as its presidential candidate APNU picked up 4 seats giving them 26. Apparently the entire AFC’s black support of 2006 returned to APNU in 2011. So if Africans made a statement of rejecting the PNC in 2006, now Indians have done the same to the PPP/C in equal amounts of 4 seats each.
What has the WPA brought to the PNC? Not a thing. Yet the WPA got 3 seats. What now explains their failure to get 50 per cent of APNU’s parliamentary seats in conformity with the “equality” that they demanded of Dr Jagan’s PPP/C pre-1992?
Now that Mr Granger will become the Opposition Leader we also know who is actually in charge of the party’s destiny. No one really expected Mr Robert Corbin as PNC leader to engineer the PNC’s destruction by committing political suicide.