The small party cannot win alone

Dear Editor,

Mr Moses Nagamootoo has recently made some interesting public statements which may clarify the views of the AFC’s leaders, and allow Guyanese to make logical inferences.

That the AFC is considering the ethnic dynamic when formulating policy is obvious and can no longer be denied. On the party’s Facebook page, Mr Nagamootoo wrote, “We cannot brush aside ethnic security.” On February 8, at a meeting in New Amsterdam, he conceded that the APNU will easily win 40% of the votes, but, he said, the AFC can deliver the additional 11% needed to clinch the majority. May we infer that Mr Nagamootoo was thinking of Indo-Guyanese voters? Can we also infer that the AFC, in spite of recent rhetoric, now concedes that it cannot win an election in a three-way race? Editor, I think that we can. Mr Nagamootoo said too, “This small seven-seat party called the AFC, we cannot compare ourselves to a twenty-six seat party called the APNU.” Can we, the Guyanese public, reasonably conclude that the AFC has now given up all claim to any rational reason to lead a pro-democracy alliance?

Editor, in previous letters, I had highlighted the declining fortunes of the PPP. Guyanese are well aware of the perceptions of rampant corruption, the numerous scandals, the allegations of financial impropriety. Hinterland-based citizens are not blind to the neglect of their interests by the PPP. GuySuCo’s workers and rice farmers are mindful of their suffering under this regime. Added to those factors, out-migration of many Guyanese will not help the ruling party. And the PPP has yet another problem: a younger population will not fall for ‘bogeyman’ invocations. Young people want jobs now; they don’t care about what happened thirty years ago, before they were born. In other words, the PPP, already in deep trouble, will obtain diminishing returns from its usual scare-based rhetoric.

Editor, many traditional PPP supporters would have already taken the first cognitive step: abandonment of the ruling party. At this point, those Guyanese may either abstain or adopt another party. Those votes are in play. I disagree with Mr Nagamootoo’s assertion that it is up to the AFC to deliver the crucial 11%. Who knows, the APNU’s unrelenting campaigning may have already secured a majority for the partnership. Let us not forget too, that Amerindian-Guyanese comprise more than 9% of the population. And David Granger has been campaigning in their villages since January 2012.

I am encouraged by Mr Nagamootoo’s words. On Facebook, he said that the hurdle is to put the corrupt PPP out. He wrote, “how to do this is by Unity” (his emphasis). It appears then, that the AFC has finally awakened to reality. The small party cannot win alone, the APNU must lead any coalition, and a winner-takes-all system of government must be abandoned.

Yours faithfully,
Mark DaCosta

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