After Raphael Trotman, Khemraj Ramjattan and Sheila Holder crossed the floor from the PNCR, PPP/C and Working People’s Alliance respectively and formed the Alliance for Change in 2005, it did not take much to convince the two larger parties to collaborate on bringing legislation to prevent a recurrence of such events. Notwithstanding their claim to have been voted to the National Assembly by constituencies that they believed could be better served by their leaving their parties but maintaining their seats in the National Assembly, others viewed their act, à la Charrandass Persaud, as villainous, arguing that the constituencies they were claiming belonged to their respective parties. Given the likely closeness of future election results, please do not be surprised if after the dust has settled, the PPP/C and PNCR collude to bring legislation to prevent MPs from voting, perhaps even speaking, against their party. Indeed, some are already trying to use the above-mentioned legislation to claim that an MP cannot vote against the party!
In my last column, I stated that after the 1997 elections agreement was reached to cut Janet Jagan’s term by 2 years, efforts immediately began to attempt to extend that period and only a few years ago, the minority PPP/C government, faced with a no-confidence motion, attempted to avoid it by resorting to the medieval apparatus of proroguing parliament. Because of their ingrained ethnic fear of the other side, the default mode in Guyanese politics is to do everything to hold on to power as long as possible and I am, therefore, not surprised by the coalition’s behaviour…..