AFC won’t lose support if coalesces with APNU – says Moses Nagamootoo

AFC won’t lose support if coalesces with APNU – says Moses Nagamootoo

Thursday, 12 February 2015 16:03 – by  Denis Scott Chabrol– CND


Moses Nagamootoo

David Granger

David Granger

The Alliance For Change (AFC) on Thursday dismissed suggestions that it could lose the 11 percent it garnered at the 2011 general and regional elections if it coalesces with A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) for fresh polls due in another three months.

Chances of the AFC losing votes comes against the background of negotiations with APNU that multiple sources have said include a rotating presidency between Afro Guyanese David Granger and Moses Nagamootoo, an Indo Guyanese.

The AFC does not believe there will be heavy racial voting at the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections in which the incumbent Indo Guyanese-backed People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) would paint a combined opposition as “PNC” (People’s National Congress Reform) whose rule from 1964 to 1992 had been characterized by political and human rights abuses. Nagamootoo, a former long-serving senior PPP member, recalled that party’s late leader, Dr. Cheddi Jagan and then PNC Leader Forbes Burnham had held unity talks up to 1985 when the latter died.

“You couldn’t say it was good when Jagan pursued merger talks between PPP and PNC and it is bad if AFC decide thirty years after Burnham died to create a coalition with a larger grouping. I don’t think they will succeed. I think is an exercise in futility,” he said.

He rejected suggestions that the AFC was appealing only to East Indians.

Nagamootoo denied a report in the Thursday edition of the PPPC-aligned Guyana Times in which he was quoted as saying that the AFC could hand the 11 percent East Indian vote to APNU in order to secure a coalition victory.  Instead, he predicted that APNU would again win 40 percent of the votes in the upcoming polls and would need his party’s support. “If you want to cross the line and have majoritarian government in Guyana, you need eleven percent. The Alliance For Change has a strategic role in elections where there are two parties to the contest,” he said.

The AFC hopes that negotiations with APNU would be wrapped up before its National Executive conference scheduled for Saturday, February 14, 2015 preceding a Special Members Conference to be held in March. Without giving details, Nagamootoo said the talks were not only about removing the PPPC from office. “We want to happen is not simply to put the PPP minority government out. We want to be able to have an alternative that holds out promise for all the people of Guyana, that will make a new begining. That’s what we are agonizing about. If these talks are a little dicy, a litle tricky, taking more time than they ought to, more energy than they ought to take ; it is because we are trying to bring something that will be an enduring solution to many of the problems facing our people,” he said.

While Nagamootoo was highly confident that AFC would win a plurality, he and other executive members were at pains to say they were very optimistic about the outcome of the talks for a pro-democracy alliance.  “In these elections, the Alliance For Change believes that if you have a three-party contest we are confident that we will gain the plurality.

We are confident that we could win an election in a three-way contest but because we are committed to national unity that we need for the very first time in our history a multi-party, multi-class, multi-ethnic  and national government that we had decided we would invest in an alliance policy,” he said.

Asked specifically how good were the prospects of the coalition talks succeeding on a scale of 1 to 10 or 1 to 100 or a “very good chance,” the AFC Vice Chairman declined to do so. “We will see when we get there,” he said.

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  • Thinker  On 02/13/2015 at 5:20 am

    Moses, you will not see the Promised Land. You have to first get the PNC to apologise to the Guyanese people or people will remain suspicious of them and rightly so.

  • albert  On 02/13/2015 at 10:21 am

    Why should Granger apologise for what Burnham did? Will Jagdeo or Janet apologise for what the PPP did, or Ramoutar for what he is doing. They both did evil things and should apologise to the Guyanese people.

    • Thinker  On 02/13/2015 at 1:17 pm

      Why? Because if you are getting rid of the PPP you want to make sure that a PNC dominated government will never again rig elections, force students of a particular group to do national service in order to complete their education, make the party paramount, limit opposition access to newsprint, get thugs with hockey sticks to beat up peaceful marchers then get them arrested by the police, kill off political opponents, force civil servants to sell tickets for anyone’s birthday concerts, force poorer children to waste time practising for mass games, set up Knowledge Sharing Institutes where only the party faithful could get goods to sell, ban what can be considered cultural food items, make all use the word “comrade”, allow a quasi-religious political group to kill off a priest reporting an event, etc.,

  • Clyde Duncan  On 02/13/2015 at 2:24 pm

    Albert: Do you feel outnumbered?? It is arithmetic ….!!

  • albert  On 02/13/2015 at 3:20 pm

    Thinker for once I dont follow your logic. So by getting Granger and his group in this generation, to apologise for what Burnham and his thugs did in a past era, would ensure that those actions you listed, or other things similar, would not happen again? Well I admire your trust of human nature.

    A view shared by many knowledgeable individuals was that Burnham had a fear that an Indian dominated government would do exactly what Jagdeo/Ramoutar did. Utilise the resources of Guyana for the benefit of its followers and marginalised the African population. Black Bush Polder land distribution under Jagan is a case which support that belief. Each family was to be given about 15 acres for rice farming and a small plot for a kitchen garden. If you go back to history you find that the distribution was shamelessly fixed so that Jagan’s followers got almost 100% of the land. I recall one of Jagan’s minister at a political meeting on the Corentyne, in response to to question saying that Black people would not use the land for farming.
    Which group mainly carried the burden with taxation in those days to repay
    for those resources.
    While not justifying what Burnham did in that period, how do we ensure the resources of the country is divided fairly so we do not get a Burnham type reaction.

    • Thinker  On 02/13/2015 at 9:40 pm

      To make sure that we don’t return to the horrible past, you first have to WIN as an opposition. When there is a major question mark about the main opposition party, I am suggesting that there might be some reaching out to ensure that more people become part of the proposed working agreement/coalition, even as they hold their noses.

  • bernard  On 02/13/2015 at 4:45 pm


  • detow  On 02/13/2015 at 5:24 pm

    Come on Guyanese, why the hell are you all judging present day politicians against the deeds of the past. Do you not have any futuristic views that may compel politicians to regard Guyana as a country in need of reform rather than a country that needs no progress. At which point will you all allow Burnham and the Jagans to rest in peace, at what point will you try to recognize what they did right (if anything) and use that to help formulate plans for the future, and also try to figure out what they did wrong (many things) as things of the past, not to be repeated.

    Do you not even trust that a coalition of the AFC and the APNU can counteract each other and prevent whoever is at the time in the lead position from doing anything harmful to Guyana and its population (all Guyanese/no limitations).

    If you are so damned satisfied with the PPP/C and what they have done, and continue to do to Guyana over the last long while then my advice to you is to VOTE THEM INTO OFFICE AGAIN and just shut your bloody mouths when you are again subjected to their form of democracy.

    Although the AFC/APNU is made up of past and present members of the PPP/C and PNC and is viewed by some as not being trustworthy, it is, in the present context, the best fit that there is to create some breathing room that will prevent Guyana from making the final leap into a failed state.

    Time to wake up and put to rest the rhetorical nonsense that THE THINKER regurgitates on a regular basis. The word THINKER in his moniker (sic) is obviously misplaced.

    • Thinker  On 02/13/2015 at 9:23 pm

      Yes, shoot the messenger. Makes no difference. Bring out all the ad hominem arguments. Feel superior. I am just reporting howm some may feel. You can bury your heads in the sand as long as you want, guys.

      The issue is about building a firm basis for future cooperation between the AFC and the PNC if anyone really wants a change of government..Some sort of recognition of past misdeeds, I am suggesting, might be a confidence-building measure. If the proposed coalition fails, don’t say I didn’t warn you. As a matter of fact, this is the sort of thing that should have happened even before the WPA became part of APNU. I often wonder if Walter is rolling in his grave. Now that there is a real chance of change, let’s do what is necessary to build a firm foundation for future cooperation..

      The PPP should apologise too but it doesn’t need to if it feels it can hold on to power. The difference is that APNU can’t win by itself.

      Keep on shooting.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 02/13/2015 at 8:19 pm

    I very much appreciate the sagacious writings and comments of the “THINKER” – Thinker shines a light on the all-encompassing picture – a true Sage in my books!!

  • detow  On 02/13/2015 at 9:51 pm

    I have no intentions of shooting anyone, just commenting from a birds eye view where it is usually clearer to see the true picture. At times, like your last post, you come across as if you really give a damn as opposed to your previous one. However, I still do not see the benefit to anyone if the PNC issues twenty thousand apologies since in the current situation it is likely that no one would believe them and nothing would change.

    From where I sit it appears that the only thing that Guyanese (all) are capable of is remembering the past but have no vision for a better future. Someone reminded me not to long ago that to forget the past only means that you will repeat it, but my take on Guyanese interpretation of that old saying is that to remember the past is to be stuck in the past.

    Right or wrong, this is my take on Guyana’s situation.

    “Guyana was better, Guyana is rotten, Guyana can again be better.” My motto.

    • Thinker  On 02/14/2015 at 7:23 am

      The better vision for Guyana to a large degree involves undoing the past: the horrible unworkable constitution bequeathed by the PNC and which the PPP was in no hurry to change.

      • albert  On 02/14/2015 at 10:15 am

        Thinker “The better vision for Guyana to a large degree involves undoing the past”
        Right on target. To your credit what you were writing about: apology (even though I disagreed with this), recognition of misdeeds, etc were all geared towards the future by pointing out mistakes of the past.
        Could Nagamootoo and Granger make any realistic agreement without going through the same routine.

      • detow  On 02/14/2015 at 6:18 pm

        I am trying my best to figure out how to undo the past as there are a few thing that I would personally like to undo, e.g. slavery, indentureship, the bombing of the Trade Center in New York, the second world war, the great Japanese tsunami, etc.

        I still do not believe that any apology by the PNC will be acceptable to a certain sector of the Guyanese community, or believed. What I believe needs to be done is for Granger to find some way of convincing the people that the PNC of today is dissimilar to the PNC of yore, and I do not know how they can do this since all of the players in the organization are the same.

        What we have in Guyana today is a situation in which only luck can play a part or the supporters of the PNC made to vote en mass for the AFC, and I do not know if this will ever happen. So we are right back at the starting gate.

        I just wish the people of Guyana all the best and hope that some sanity prevails in the voting process.

  • Vivian Fredericks  On 02/14/2015 at 7:26 am

    Mr. Moses I think you are asleep in the midst of reality. As soon as you colate the entire picture will change. AFC has promised to be an independent part of all the other parties. To even think about such a development will negatively impact on your support in a very significant loss in votes.

    • detow  On 02/15/2015 at 12:08 am

      Vivian I understand your point of view but I firmly believe that the situation remains volatile and anything is likely to happen, even victory at the polls for a united AFC/ PNC ticket. The clincher here may be how the case is presented to the public and whether there is a great desire for change across all sectors of the Guyanese population. In the end it is down to what the voters want.

      My motto “Guyana was better, Guyana is rotten, Guyana can again be better”.

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