Guyana Politics: Granger-led coalition “likely” to win next “close” election -US Congress report

The United States Congressional Research Service (CRS), a think-tank for the United States (U.S.) Congress, says some analysts believe that the David Granger-led coalition is likely to win next year’s general elections.

“Past general elections in Guyana suggest the 2020 race will be close, but some analysts contend the APNU/AFC’s multiparty and cross-ethnic coalition is likely to sustain the Granger government in power,” the CRS said in its December 6, 2019 edition

Granger’s People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) is the largest party in A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) umbrella which includes the often vocal Working People’s Alliance (WPA). The Alliance For Change (AFC) is the second largest party in the entire coalition.     

The CRS says information in its report should not be relied upon for purposes other than public understanding of information that has been provided by CRS to Members of the U.S. Congress.

The CRS report says congressional interest in the South American country is that “as Guyana approaches its March 2020 elections, some Members of Congress have stressed the need for the plebiscite to be free, fair, and fully transparent, particularly as the next government is poised to gain considerable proceeds from oil. In addition, legislation has been introduced in both houses (the House of Representatives and the Senate) to extend the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) until September 2030”.

In 2000, Guyana became a beneficiary of the CBTPA, a program that provides enhanced tariff treatment for certain imports from the region, including goods made with U.S. yarns, fabrics, and threads.

The report’s analysts did not give any reason for their forecast that the incumbent administration is likely to win the next polls. Their prediction is in sharp contrast to that of Professor Evan Ellis, who in his private capacity, has said the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is likely to win.

Professor Ellis has said that given concerns regarding corruption in prior PPP administrations, the United States should embrace and work in good faith with a future PPP government.

At the same time, Professor Ellis advises that the U.S. must do so with its eyes open, holding the PPP to account with respect to its commitments to transparency, democracy, and commitment to free market and the rule of law.

The APNU+AFC coalition has since lashed out at Ellis, saying that he “is a ‘known asset’ of a certain lobbying firm in Washington DC, USA. This firm has a known connections [sic] to the PPP.”

The American Embassy in Guyana has since stated that Ellis’ comments “in no way reflect an official position” of the U.S. government and he had written those “last April before his employment with the U.S. State Department”.

The CRS report notes that U.S. relations with Guyana have improved since the early 1990s, when the government moved away from its socialist orientation and one-party domination of the political system and embraced a market economy and free and fair democratic elections. According to the State Department, U.S. policy towards Guyana centers on democracy promotion and civil society development, economic growth, and the promotion of security and stability.

READ REPORT HERE: CRS-Guyana

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Comments

  • Denise  On December 24, 2019 at 8:26 am

    There will be big commotion if what they say is true because you know the other major party will claim that it was rigged and will refuse to recognize the govt as being legitimate and the same crap starts all over again. If Guyanese are serious about who they want to form their government, then they need to go out in full force and cast their ballots so that there’s no doubt as to who the winner is.

  • Dr Nat Khublall  On December 31, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    The United States Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides no reason that the APNU+AFC Coalition will win the general elections scheduled for 2 March 2020. There is no mention that the CRS or any organisation on its behalf carried out any recent poll suggesting that the present regime, which is illegal and in breach of the Constitution of Guyana, will be preferred by the electorate. In the light of its dismal performance in every sectors since 2015 and its very low poll in the local government elections in 2018, I doubt that it has any credibility in winning the elections in March 2020.

  • Andrew Wright  On January 1, 2020 at 1:32 am

    My Guyanese wife told me that after Cheddy Jagan passed away in the mid-90s, the PPP-C party became so corrupt that Ministers working for Guyanese salaries were buying and selling prime real estate in the millions of American dollars to foreign investors. I learned that Customs officials in JFK would keep an eye on Guyanese arrivals because Guyana started to become a route for drugs.

    My wife also confided that journalists and government critics tend to become victimized either through false charges or physical harm. There is a gentleman named Mark Benschop who was wrongfully charged with sedition and forced to rot in jail for a while. There is also that journalist Freddie Kissoon who had been subject to assaults, death threats and having human feces thrown at his face for what he wrote.

    I also recall the story of fringe journalist Ronald Waddell who was alleged to have been executed by the PPP-C government because he was not fond of the PPP-C doing anything they like to oppress the poorer classes.

    My wife told me that the years 2001-2009 were dangerous times for Guyanese, and there was a huge deal of organized crime running the PPP-C government and a growing resistance against it, which the PPP-C responded to by hiring alleged drug barons.

    However, with this new government, I haven’t heard of any serious problems other than the allegations of censorship from Mr. Lewis and Professor David Hinds.

    In my opinion, the current government is less problematic than the PPP-C. If there was a third party, let me know.

  • kman  On January 3, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    Let the party begin!

    Why don’t the Americans worry about their own corrupted government and leave
    foreign corrupted governments alone?

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