Mixed predictions about coalition’s chances of winning elections

Mixed predictions about coalition’s chances of winning elections

Sunday, 15 February 2015 19:12- Written by   – CMD


Presidential Candidate, David Granger and his running mate, Moses Nagamootoo flanked by top officials of APNU and AFC at a joint news conference to announce their Valentine’s Day deal called the “Cummingsburg Accord”.

“I think what they want to do is to get rid of the PPP. I am not certain that that is the best option for doing so but I am not convinced that it’s the best option,” said Jeffrey, who was also an ideologue in the People’s National Congress (PNC) administration. He argued that the opposition would have stood a better chance of unseating the PPPC from office if they had chosen someone from civil society to lead the coalition into the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections.

He explained that the civil society-led coalition could have set constitutional reform as one of its objectives to pave the way for fresh general elections under a new system.

Jeffrey said he would have preferred a Moses Nagamootoo-led coalition as a means of winning more East Indian votes. “I am not buying into the view that Blacks would not have voted and all of that. In any case Indians are the majority in the country,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

Now that the Alliance For Change (AFC) has coalesced with A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), whose major partner is the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Jeffrey contends that voters who would have seen AFC as a middle-ground party away from the two larger political organisations would stay away from the polls. “They have removed the possibility of a middle-ground that people run to. If there is no middle-ground, people have an option they can stay home or they go back and vote for whom they were voting and that is a great possibility that exists at the moment because the AFC joining with the PNC does not offer that middle-ground any longer,” he said. Jeffrey reminded that the AFC-APNU do not necessarily  need to gain more votes in the May 11 polls, but the major challenge is keeping what they would have won at the November 2011 elections that resulted in the PPP losing its parliamentary majority by one seat but controlling the executive, while the two parties together got 51 percent. Guyana’s electoral laws do not provide for a post-election coalition.

Ram: Granger- a man of integrity
Nagamootoo: “The PPP had an opportunity to make me the presidential candidate and they would have won an election”

But Ram- a Chartered Accountant, Attorney-at-Law and political commentator- is upbeat about the AFC-APNU coalition, saying that it does not matter who is the presidential candidacy. Told that the PPPC would continue to exploit Presidential Candidate, Retired Brigadier David Granger’s military history and political association with the PNC, Ram betted on the PPPC administration’s treatment of its supporters, Amerindians and alleged widespread corruption.  He does not predict that the PPPC would say anything new that could tarnish Granger’s image. “One of the big issues in this country is the question of corruption and you can say whatever you wish about Granger, you can’t say he is corrupt, you can’t say he is not a man of integrity so any attempt to do that will not stick,” he said.

Nagamootoo- who back in 2006 told a PPPC rally at Good Hope that he would never be a neemakaram and betray Dr. Jagan’s party-became disenchanted over issues of corruption and being sidelined from ministerial appointments and the presidential candidacy in 2011, resigned and joined the AFC as its Vice Chairman.  Asked whether he expected the PPP to batter Nagamootoo’s candidacy among its traditional East Indian support base, Ram opined that Guyanese have matured over the past 20 years and in particular during the three years of a minority government. “No doubt, the PPP comportment and behavior will appeal to some Guyanese but I don’t think it will attract widespread support,” he said.

Speaking for himself, Nagamootoo rebuffed claims that he is “power drunk” on the grounds that he conceded the presidential candidacy to Granger. He conceded that if the PPP had made him the presidential candidate in 2011, Guyana would not have been faced with gridlock and heading into early general and regional elections well ahead of the constitutional deadline of next year. “The PPP had an opportunity to make me the presidential candidate and they would have won an election. We would not have been here after I would have tabled a motion of no-confidence. We would not have been here discussing a new election. But they could say what they want to say and, of course, I would not be bothered by the negatives of the PPP because a dying, decaying  regime would, in fact, become a little more aggressive and dangerous as it becomes moribund,” he said.

The Political Commentator hopes that the AFC-APNU coalition swiftly informs Guyanese how it intends to address key issues such as constitutional reform, crime, public financial management, public service management, the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and the bankrupt Guyana Sugar Corporation (Guysuco). “I hope this coalition over the next few weeks- there is not a lot of time- they have got to define themselves now by way of policy,” he said.

The coalition says it will in the coming days be working on its name, symbol and programme of action for its campaign which is to be launched either in late February or March.

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 02/16/2015 at 1:01 pm

    This is a bold and courageous political move. The coalition can fail. There are no guarantees for success. If the Guyanese people want change, they must be willing to give the coalition a chance.

    For how long will the people of Guyana stand divided?

  • detow  On 02/16/2015 at 5:35 pm

    Rosaliene I believe that you have hit the nail squarely on the head with the last line of your post. The people must do the math and focus on how much more good can come from a unified populace rather than one divided as they have been almost since independence.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 02/16/2015 at 9:01 pm

    “Crabs in a barrel!” The analogy was reinforced by the many trips to La Penitence market. One time I naively told a vendor that some crabs would climb out of the barrel. He dismissed my concern, “Nah worry! The rest go pull dem down!”.
    Sure enough. As long as I stood there, not a single crab was allowed to escape.
    My imagination was captured by the prospect of a “West Indies Federation”.
    “Lord Hailes”, the “Federal Palm” and “Federal Maple”.
    Dr.. Eric Williams, “One from ten leaves naught!”
    (Sir) Alexander Bustamante, “Jamaican got two goats; Federation come, Trinidad tek one”. And of course Sparrow

    Crabs in a barrel.
    In 1953, a united PPP swept the polls – much to the chagrin of many of my parents’ generation
    A little later – PPP (Burnhamite Faction); PPP (Jaganite Faction). Two Crabs in the barrel.
    I forget how many years later, the ‘Third Force”? Or did it start out as the “United Force”?
    My memory is not as good as it once was.
    Anyway the alliance (pardon the term) between the PNC and the UF was an attempt to unseat the PPP … which it did.
    And I distinctly recall the oratory of LFSB to the effect that for the election that was to follow “… the PNC will win …alone!”
    King crab, perhaps.
    So, pardon my skepticism/pessimism.
    I have this image of Messrs. Nagamootoo and Grainger – each at a grindstone with an axe!
    Please God, help the land of my birth!
    We, mere mortals, are quite incapable of taking that high road.

    • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 02/16/2015 at 10:25 pm

      Enjoyed the link to the Mighty Sparrow. CARICOM is another story!

    • albert  On 02/17/2015 at 12:36 am

      Ron you make me think I understand what someone said: old men dream dreams while young men have visions. You have to be an old man because dreaming is about things of the past. Here is where some doubts service. Many of the PPP/AFC supporters are older ones who dream of the past. They are more likely to recall the past with Jagan and Burnham. There is no need however, for glasses to see that Granger does not have the selfish ambition of a Burnham. It might require vision to have hope in the future with Nagamootoo and Granger. Lets hope there are many with vision.

  • Ron. Persaud  On 02/17/2015 at 3:45 am

    Old people seh, “Time longer than twine”.
    And here is a quote that Messrs. Grainger & Nagamootoo may well use as a backdrop to their negotiations.
    “Yesterday is a memory.
    Tomorrow is a dream.
    Today well lived makes
    Every yesterday a pleasant memory.
    Every tomorrow a vision of hope”.

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