Granger shuts door to talks, expects street protests if President suspends Parliament

Granger shuts door to talks, expects street protests if President suspends Parliament

Sunday, 09 November 2014 – By  – Demerara Waves

President Donald Ramotar taking the salute at the Rembrance Day Parade

President Donald Ramotar taking the salute at the Rembrance Day Parade

 

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  • guyaneseonline  On November 10, 2014 at 10:25 am

    The AFC’s no-confidence gambit
    November 9, 2014 | By KNews | Columnists, Peeping Tom

    Proroguing parliament may be a dangerous gambit. But it certainly is not as risky as the one that the opposition parties are taking in moving towards a no-confidence motion.
    The opposition parties are taking a major risk in moving ahead with a no-confidence motion. It is now clear that there will be no pre-election coalition between APNU and the AFC. The AFC sees any such coalition as an act of political suicide, even though it must be clear to the AFC that it cannot on its own command a plurality of the votes.
    APNU on the other hand may not be confident of gaining a plurality of the votes unless the AFC joins its partnership. But the AFC is not prepared to do this.
    The most realistic perspective is that the PPP will regain the Presidency, but the opposition will dominate a hung parliament. The worst case scenario is that the PPP will regain the majority.
    This is the gambit that the opposition parties are employing. It is a high-stakes gamble, far more dangerous than the President beating them to the punch by proroguing parliament and calling snap elections.
    The AFC wants to have the honour of forcing the PPP government to resign, the first time this would happen in the English-speaking Caribbean. The PPP is prepared to repel this possibility. They have the constitutional option of proroguing parliament before the AFC’s no-confidence motion, thus avoiding the embarrassment of resigning.
    The end result of both gambits, that is, either the government resigns on the passage of a no-confidence motion or the President prorogues parliament, will be the same. Either way, elections will have to be held. But if the government prorogues parliament it will avoid the embarrassment of having to resign.
    The AFC is fearful that the PPP will try to rule without the legislature. It should not fear this. The PPP is not going to give the opposition parties, especially the PNCR, a party known for its propensity for violence, an excuse to topple it through extra-constitutional means. The PPP is ready for elections. Any decision to prorogue parliament will be solely a face-saving one for the PPP.
    But what about the risk that the opposition parties are taking? What if fresh elections return the PPP to power either with a majority or as a minority government? Where does that leave the opposition parties? They would have gambled and lost.
    Well, if in any fresh elections APNU fails to gain a plurality and form the government it would have lost corn and husk. The AFC also loses, but not as much as APNU. In fact, this whole gambit about the no-confidence motion is a three-card trick that the AFC is playing on APNU.
    AFC knows that it cannot win a plurality of the votes. It cannot possibly increase its tally of seats sufficient to gain the Executive. But it has been steadily increasing the number of seats that it has obtained since it began to contest general elections. It is likely that its short–term goal is to become the main parliamentary opposition.
    In other words, the AFC may not be out to win the next elections that it is hoping to force through its no-confidence motion. The AFC may be hoping to get enough seats at those elections to overtake APNU, thus becoming the main opposition party and demanding the position of Leader of the Opposition.
    Having commanded the position of Leader of the Opposition, the government would be forced to negotiate directly with whoever is the AFC’s leader, thus allowing the AFC greater political leverage and a major role in negotiating with government, including in making constitutional appointments.
    The AFC‘s no-confidence motion may therefore be more than just about forcing fresh elections. It may be a tactical manoeuvre to outfox APNU, seize political turf from them, and steal the position of Leader of the Opposition.
    That plan may have hinged in part on securing political capital and support by forcing the government to resign in the wake of a no-confidence motion. The AFC would gain a great deal of support if it is seen as the party that brought down the PPP.
    The AFC, however, did not seem to cater for the fact that the government would negate that possibility by calling snap elections after proroguing parliament.
    The AFC has not covered all its bases. Neither has APNU. Their gambit looks like it may backfire.

  • Albert  On November 10, 2014 at 11:06 am

    ……”It is now clear that there will be no pre-election coalition between APNU and the AFC. The AFC sees any such coalition as an act of political suicide, even though it must be clear to the AFC that it cannot on its own command a plurality of the votes”…….
    Cannot follow how politicians think. Why cant these two parties (APNU/AFC) find a way around the legal hurdle to form a coalition so that with a majority they can be the government, even though they stay apart for practical purposes to appease their followers..
    Is it because politics is not business.

  • Thinker  On November 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    The AFC would lose credibility with its supporters the minute it joins in any electoral alliance with the the PNC. The latter is unrepentant and gives no indication that it will ever act differently from how it did in the past.

  • CYril BALKARAN  On November 11, 2014 at 9:03 am

    The political situation in Guyana became hopeless due to the “NO CONFIDENCE MOTION “that GRAnger brought against RAmoutar. Granger knew that the options of the President were limited and he continued his game whilst the pPresident kept on repeating what he would do when parliament is reconvened with the No confidence motion on the white papwer. Any STReet protests will be against the opposition forces. This will consolidate support for the pppcivic. Lawlessness must be avoided at all costs. This is an emotional time for the people in Georgetown. Their leaders must be vigilant and do everything in their power to contain the emotions of their supporters. THe street protests will hurt the chances of the PNCR most.especially if acts of violence against the INDO GUYANESE people happen in Georgetown. THIs is the 21st century Politics and we must behave maturely. But considering what happened in the past 3years in the parliament,it is very difficult for mr Granger and the PNCR to contain their supporters. So let’s wait watch and pray and hope for the civil thing to be done and maintain our democracy.God bless our Nation!

    • Albert  On November 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      History has a way of repeating itself. I have seen a similar scenario in the early 60’s. If Granger’s group do not resort to violence on their own there are ways to get them to do it, or appear to be doing it. All it requires is the right provocative act or two, on the othr side, to stir up group emotions.

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