Guyana Politics: The PPP – Clutching onto Straws

Guyana Politics: The PPP – Clutching onto Straws

In the absence of desperately needed political traction, the PPP has latched on to a rusty political strategy which well-thinking Guyanese largely see as outdated, unproductive and tribal.
In recent months, the PPP has not advanced any policy on the major issues in the country such as how to improve the economy, lower crime or reduce corruption.

Instead, it has repeatedly criticized almost every policy by the government on these issues. In some cases, it has taken legal action to overturn the appointment of the Chairman of the Guyana Election Commission and has issued frivolous charges against several ministers for misuse of state funds.     

The charges have been quashed and the case against GECOM has been thrown out by the Court. The PPP has also threatened to “rouse-up” the country over the sedition clause in the Cybercrime Bill. It did not happen due to the lack of support.

It seems that the actions by the PPP fly in the face of simple political intelligence or the lack thereof. They show that the party is bereft of pragmatic ideas. While such actions are likely to score cheap political points, they will not lead to the PPP salvation.

The truth is the PPP is on very shaky grounds; it is on political life support and is clutching onto straws to remain relevant. The PPP was booted from office in the May 2015 general election after more than 15 years of massive corruption, abuse of power and contempt of the people by its leaders. Despite severe warnings, rebukes and pummeling by the public to change course, the PPP remained steadfast. It continued on its destructive path, knowing fully well that it could lead to dire consequences for the party.

The PPP utterances of wrongdoings and corruption against this government suggest that common sense has taken leave of the party. After 23 years in power, its leaders became very arrogant, unrepentant and out of touch with the people. They felt that they were invincible and were ordained by the Almighty to rule Guyana indefinitely. But they have learned the hard way that governments cannot succeed without the support and the involvement of the people.

They did not seem to understand that politics in Guyana is a fight for the crossover votes and spoils of the two hostile groups that appear to be at war during every election cycle.
It is said, that once the toothpaste is squeezed from the tube it is almost impossible to put it back in. This is what happened to the PPP in the 2011 and the 2015 elections. In 2011, it did not capture a majority of the votes, yet it formed a minority government and governed as though it had a majority.

In 2015, it was defeated by the APNU+AFC Coalition, and even though it was a very narrow victory, the PPP became the official opposition for the first time since 1992. But it did not blame its supporters for staying home as they apparently did in 2011 because the polls showed that voter turnout in 2015 was extremely high in most PPP strongholds.

Instead, the PPP accused the APNU+AFC Coalition of rigging the election and has asked the court to declare the 2015 election null and void. The case is still pending. As the government, the PPP was in control of the election apparatus, so for leaders to accuse the opposition of rigging is beyond silly.

The PPP has not realized that some of its supporters have left the party and like the toothpaste analogy, it may be difficult for them to return.

Its support has plummeted over the years from 42 percent to 38 percent as shown in the 2012 census. It is for this reason that while in government, the PPP had refused to publish the census.
The PPP seems to be in crisis mode. But a wise person once said, “In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams.”

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  • chandra singh  On 06/19/2018 at 5:13 pm

    This rag has an ax to grind and is publishing false news. Kaieteur seems blind to all the illegal moves and shenanigans going on in this government. To tell the truth they seem afraid of the present government.

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