“No guarantee” that the PPP will regain power in 2020 – Vishnu Bisram

“No guarantee” PPP will regain power; better to fight for constitutional reform, executive power sharing- Vishnu Bisram

A New York-based  Guyanese pollster, teacher and political commentator, who has constantly predicted a People’s Progressive Party (PPP) victory, on Saturday said the incumbent David Granger-led APNU-AFC coalition would be in power for the foreseeable future.     

“There is no guarantee they would return to government. It is my analysis that those in government would remain in office for decades to come,” Vishnu Bisram was quoted as saying in a letter in the privately-owned Stabroek News newspaper. Minister of State, Joseph Harmon earlier this week expressed confidence that the APNU+AFC coalition would be in power well beyond 2020. “Based on how we see things and the way in which the population is now responding, we will be here beyond 2020,” said Harmon, regarded in some quarters as Guyana’s de facto Prime Minister.

Against that background, Bisram called on the PPP to launch a campaign for the scrapping of the 1980 Constitution- which was promulgated out of a rigged referendum and revised in 2000- and pass one that provides for limited presidential powers and power sharing.

“They should therefore oppose the constitution and call for its immediate replacement with a constitution that restricts powers of the executive and that share the government with all elected parties in proportion to the percentage of votes obtained in a free and fair election,” Bisram said.

It is unclear whether his forecast about the PPP remaining out of office for several years to come was linked to the polls that he said he has been conducting over the years or other reasons.

If the opinion poll he says he conducted is anything to go by, then Bisram might be suggesting that the People’s National Congress Reform-dominated government would rig the next elections. That poll, he said, finds that 63% feel the next general election will be rigged to keep the incumbent in office.

Bisram’s says his poll shows the the PPP winning the 2020 general elections if it is free and fair. “The latest poll finds that if a free and fair election were to be held now and Jagdeo decides to contest, he will win the Presidency with majority support defeating the incumbent David Granger as the candidate of the APNU+AFC combine,”  Bisram said earlier this month.  If the general elections are free and fair, he said the poll shows that 53% of the PPP will win, 40% said the coalition and the others are unsure.

Bisram  also used the opportunity to state that PPP General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo, his executive committee members Anil Nandlall and Frank Anthony, among others, knew nothing about the struggle against the 1980 Guyana Constitution in the 1970s when PPP activists were “physically abused at rallies and protests.”

PPP ‘s Freedom House.

“Those who enjoyed exercising the powers of the Burnham constitution since the 1992 restoration of democratic rule have not related to our struggle against a fraudulent document. The opposition fails to understand that the very powers in the constitution that they look forward to invoke are currently being used against them,” Bisram said in reference to the PPP that appears eager to use the constitutional powers.

On the other hand, the PPP is banking on a number of vote-getting issues: what it says are the David Granger-led administration’s failure to keep its promises such as creating jobs for youths, substantially increasing real wages, decreasing crime, fighting public corruption, improving transparency, closure of the sugar industry and the apparent witch-hunt of PPP members and supporters with perceived trumped up corruption allegations and charges.

The PPP’s tenure from 1992 to 2015 had been characterised by accusations of racial discrimination against Afro-Guyanese, rampant corruption, drug-trafficking, death squads, violent crime by armed gangs (which the PPP blamed on the then opposition), mismanagement of the sugar industry and alleged violation of human rights such as freedom of expression.

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 02/25/2018 at 2:48 pm

    Interesting analysis. IMO, the local government that best serves the interests of the fossil fuel transnational corporations would win the day.

    • Mark  On 02/26/2018 at 12:25 am

      No one can defy or challenge the aristocracy of Big Oil. Chavez did that when he nationalized the oil fields in Venezuela, and a decade later, he died in his 50s of a cancer that appeared out of nowhere.

  • Sue  On 02/25/2018 at 3:24 pm

    I guess if the current government is returned to office it will be automatically assumed that the election was rigged….and the beat goes on and on and on.

  • Ram Jagessar  On 02/25/2018 at 11:33 pm

    I too believe the APNU-AFC coalition has a very good chance of winning the 2020 election WITHOUT CHEATING and the PPP has a very good chance of losing despite its best efforts.

    Reason for this opinion is simple statistics. Here we go.
    Wikipedia stats say the Black group is 29.3% of Guyana population and I say pretty much all of this group will vote for APNU/PNC.

    The mixed race group in Guyana is 19.9% and again I say nearly all of them sure to vote APNU/PNC.

    So we have 49.2% of the population pretty certain to go for APNU/PNC.

    The East Indians are 39.8% of the population, but not all vote for the PPP. In the last election the PPP took 166,340 votes and the AFC 35.333 votes, pretty much all of them East Indian. That’s 21% as much as the PPP received. Taken as a proportion of the East Indian population that gives the AFC 8.3%, which has to be subtracted from the Indians share of the vote. That should give the PPP just 31.5% of the population willing to vote for them, and the APNU-AFC gang 49.2% plus 8.3% or 52.5% fairly certain share of the votes without any cheating at all.

    The only other factor of importance in the election equation is the Amerindians with 10.5% of the population. But follow me on this one. Even if ALL of the Amerindians vote PPP that will still give the PPP only 41.5% of the population against the black, mixed race and AFC Indian groups picking up all the rest. I understand that many of the Amerindians don’t vote, and while they have in the past tended to lean towards the PPP, there is no way to expect all of them to turn out and vote PPP.

    That’s my view on the 2020 elections. My calculations could be wrong, especially on the AFC share of the East Indian vote, and I hope somebody corrects me if that is the case.

    In my opinion the APNU-AFC group now in power have a winning hand in a free and fair election with their share of the black, mixed race and East Indian population. I see no real chance of the AFC voters switching back to the PPP, or of any significant slice of the black or mixed race group switching to the PPP either.

    Ram Jagessar

    • Ali...  On 02/26/2018 at 12:00 am

      Whoever wins let’s hope they have Guyana’s best interest at heart. Like I said before Guyana needs new blood in politics. The old men in there have no clue. It doesn’t matter who wins nothing will change.

  • Linda  On 02/27/2018 at 4:10 pm

    The same persons who built and living in huge mansions while drawing a government salary are the same persons who could afford to buy a Ferrari in Guyana. It’s just that they don’t want to draw any more attention to themselves and what went on during their hay days.

    • Mark  On 02/27/2018 at 10:26 pm

      Government salary in Guyana can’t even pay for a second-hand Japanese car, much less a fully paid Ferrari….Corruption?

      • Linda  On 02/27/2018 at 10:37 pm

        Not talking about the ordinary run of the mill pencil pushing civil servants….it’s the ones that wheeled the power that ended up with the mansions and fat bank accounts.

  • Mark  On 02/27/2018 at 10:50 pm

    @Linda: For them to drive a Ferrari in Guyana is laughable. Driving a Ferrari will stick out like a pimple on a freshly washed face.

    • Linda  On 02/27/2018 at 11:44 pm

      In essence that’s what I said in my initial comment…” that they would not want to draw attention to themselves”….translates into “will stick out like a pimple on a freshly washed face”.

      • Mark  On 02/28/2018 at 4:32 pm

        Yup, exactly! Whoever wanted to buy that Ferrari used elaborate attempts to evade ownership, such as using an American Guyanese woman to apply for Remigrant tax concessions to import the Ferrari duty free while changing the hands of the Ferrari to a private auto dealer, which will then be “cleaned” into a sale by the original buyer.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if that Ferrari was initially to be parked on a driveway at Pradoville #2, Lamaha Gardens or Bel Air Park. The house prices there are very costly.

        Who pays over US$1,000,000 for a plot of land in Pradoville #2 when the nearest hospital is 10 miles away and it’s run down? In Toronto, Canada, rich people live in Rosedale, and houses there only cost CDN$2.5 Million, and this is in a city where one gets state of the art healthcare, dental, eyecare, security and a higher standard of living.

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