While one would have hoped that issues, policies and political agendas would have dominated the current discourse, the fact that the AFC and APNU are engaged in coalition discussions has resulted in the national conversation being focused on parties and personalities, specifically, who should ‘lead’ the coalition, should one eventually materialise. Editor, I submit that many, if not all of the arguments based on ‘race,’ are totally unsupported by objective data. Further, the argument that the formation of a coalition is absolutely necessary to defeat the PPP, is not only based on non-existent premises, but is fallacious in reasoning, unsupported by data, and logically flawed. I submit that while a coalition may be the more desirable pre-election configuration, such is unnecessary to defeat the PPP. As regards who should lead, there is no question that David Granger is not only the better candidate, but also, the only consensus candidate to lead a coalition.
First, the obvious: according to the official results of the 2011 elections, the AFC garnered 10.3% of the votes cast, which translated to 7 parliamentary seats. The APNU, on the other hand, obtained 26 seats by winning four times as many votes, or 40.8%. That the AFC would even suggest that APNU’s 140,000 supporters should quietly acquiesce in AFC leadership is not only arrogant and inconsiderate, but downright ridiculous.
Consider, too, the declining political fortunes of the PPP since 2011, caused by perceived government corruption and mismanagement. There is also little question that the PPP’s traditional support base has declined owing to out-migration. And the recent ‘slapping’ incident in Aishalton could not have helped the ruling party to win the support of indigenous Guyanese.
Finally, as David Granger and Moses Nagamootoo are the only two candidates now being seriously considered, let us compare only those two. Since January 2012, David Granger has been campaigning continuously; he has visited, repeatedly, all ten regions of Guyana. He has campaigned in PPP strongholds, from Port Mourant to Moco Moco, to Corentyne to Richmond Hill, in New York. Granger has visited Lethem, Parishara and numerous other Amerindian communities. He has not neglected Georgetown, Linden and other ‘Afro-Guyanese areas.’ In fact, Editor, David Granger has been on the campaign trail every single weekend since January 2012, literally, with the exception of only five weekends. One can reasonably surmise that all of that work would translate to additional support in 2015. One must ask, what has Moses Nagamootoo done? What is his comparable campaign record? Where are the photographs of Mr Nagamootoo campaigning in outlying communities, among all, not just some Guyanese?
Editor, the race is not even close. In fact, the question should not even arise. A consideration of all objective criteria definitively concludes that APNU must necessarily lead an APNU-AFC coalition, and David Granger must, without question, be the presidential candidate. Further, should a pre-election coalition fail to materialise, the APNU is well positioned to win a plurality and a majority in a three-way contest, with or without any help from the AFC.