The recent lapse of the AFC is small potatoes

Dear Editor,

I am not a member of the AFC, but I support the idea of the third force. Since the formation of this party and especially since the November 2011 elections we have witnessed the importance of this force. One must have no illusion; the situation in parliament today, the effectiveness of the majority opposition are direct rewards of the third force. Without that force the political landscape of Guyana today would be difficult to contemplate. Simply put, the third force has contributed immensely to putting pressure on the brake pedal of the runaway train. So all those who are trying to take advantage of the present parliamentary gifts should never forget that if it was up to them alone this situation would never have come about. So ‘dissing’ the third force is absolutely sacrilegious.

Without the third force what would we have today? We will technically have PPP 1 and PPP 2 in eternal competition and in-fighting, which stretches back to the 1950s. What we will basically have is the two main political parties having the population just where they want us ‒ it is either we or them. And if we should look back at our history we will realize that one came out of the other. They are basically part one and two.

I was of the impression that the majority of persons who latched on to the AFC over the years did so because they understood the third force concept. I thought they were totally dedicated to the cause and the potential change possible while appreciating the gains it has enabled thus far. So when I see persons jumping ship because of a little shortsightedness on the part of the leadership I come to the conclusion that these persons have no good intentions and may have been in it for the wrong reasons and are thus seeking positions elsewhere for self aggrandisement.

After twenty-eight years of the PNC and twenty-one of the incumbent, for the life of me I cannot see anything within the AFC that could cause the behaviour and deep concern of so-called members, as expressed in the press , which are un-reconcilable. What is within the
organization, which is relatively young, that is much more grave than what the Guyanese people have endured for forty-nine years? What is so ghastly that so-called members cannot wait until the next major conference or congress to fix?

All I can say is that these persons have fallen victim to those anxious to quell the third force. That they can be so gullible is an indication that they were never about country in the first place. In the future, I would suggest potential members state in writing their reason for joining a political party.

Also, why do persons continue to try to crucify the Hughes’s for their association with Sithe Global? Why is it I cannot see any conflict of interest? Why is it that so many are bent on not separating the structure of the Amalia hydro project from Sithe the part investor. Why are persons blaming Sithe and by extension the Hughes’s and not the government for the potentially ill use of taxpayers money? What is the agenda and who benefits from this?

My case is this. Sithe is a business, an investor. Business people look for the best deals. If you think that the deal they were getting is bad and a ‘give away’ don’t blame them. Blame the negotiators. (Remember GT&T, Omai & Barama) Secondly, any international business with the intent of doing business in Guyana will have to register locally and establish an office. A shrewd business would seek out the best attorneys in Guyana, to be on their side and represent their interest. In a small marketplace like Guyana one would agree that Nigel Hughes is one of the best. He will most likely be getting most of the major hits. To all the naysayers I say, put yourself in the place of the investor. If it was your money or interest on the line, what would you do?

The AFC was on the wrong side of the Amaila project in parliament. APNU got it right. This project as it was structured would have been bad for Guyana and extremely good for Sithe. What really caused the AFC to side with government on this worrisome vote may come out in time. Some make the wild claim it was to support the Hughes’ interest in Sithe. Even if that is true the vote did not affect the right outcome in parliament. And if that kind of strategy is bad I invite you to the American parliament. Parliamentarians often vote against their beliefs just to be on the right side of the people who elect them or vice versa.

Regardless, after all, the concept of the third force is paramount. People who believe in the third force ‒ wake up. Do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Do not fall prey to those are excited about the failure of the third force. Remain focused. The recent lapse of the AFC is actually some really small potatoes.

Yours faithfully,
F Skinner

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