A questionable political union

By Gerald V. Paul

Many moons ago by Guyana’s Botanical Gardens – with more than just trees shaking in the wind – a young lady shouted across the road: “You got de ring. I got de ting!”

Well, ting-aling-aling. Stop the press. Alliance for Change (AFC) party tied the knot with Alliance Party for National Unity (APNU).

Associate professor and Working People’s Alliance (WPA) executive member David Hinds pontificated that an East Indian as APNU presidential candidate would be like a loss of the whole hog. Now, with Moses Nagamootoo – a PPP defector – as second in command, is this half a hog betta da none?

Anyone up for a piece of pork for allyuh post Mother’s Day, May 11, when Guyana goes to the polls?

After all, half a hog, or pork is better than none. Right?

Hinds noted APNU presidential candidate David Granger (there in the rigged elections and dictatorship with questions as to what he knows about Dr. Walter Rodney’s assassination and stuffed / missing ballot boxes) stressed, “From a gut feeling I believe the two parties need to run separately and they need to squeeze as much as they can from the two ethnic communities.”

Hinds preferred “running separately, not fighting down each other. So what you have is a coalition without formally coming together on one slate.” He saw this pre-union of AFC and APNU as seductive.

Hinds, wrongfully imprisoned and abused by PNC’s Burnham dictatorship regime, posited: “The question (East) Indians who are swayed in the direction of an AFC-led coalition would ask is this: How do we know this coalition, if it wins, would not turn into another Indian government? We may end up losing the whole hog … back to a PPP majority.”

Hog / pork – seductive around Valentines Day? So from support in the shadow-politics of strange bedfellows to “tying bundle” publicly – like shacking up is to getting married – Guyana’s united opposition is faced with one question: Trust.

On Family Day, Guyana’s veteran journalist and lawyer Oscar Ramjeet noted, “Today is the 53rd anniversary when opposition elements set fire to dozens of business houses in Georgetown in opposition to the budget presentation introduced by the Cheddi Jagan PPP administration. It was known as the Black Friday riot which was preceded by racial conflicts. Very sad indeed. Guyana has not recovered from that sad day, Feb. 16.”

That day led to another kissy-kissy / bang-bang: the PNC/UF coalition where the UF was thrown under the bus and Guyana entered 28 years of rigged elections and dictatorship. Is history about to repeat herself?

With Mash and Carnival in the air, my Trini Eyesers tell me a horn, is a horn … Ent? And if yuh mess wid de bull, yuh get de horn! Yuh guh a cram dance? Expect, mud! And my Guyanese Eyesers seh: How yuh mek yuh bed? A suh yuh a guh lie down pun it.

Guyanese scholar Richard Rambarran said, “I believe this is the AFC’s last move and this national election will be the final chance for a party or coalition to democratically destabilize the PPP. My inclination, however, is that this move will backfire on the AFC and this is an all or nothing election for the party.”

He suggests only time can tell but “I would advance that the AFC offered an ‘independent voter’ an option.

“Through coalition with a long-standing political party it has, in my view, reduced its support garnered from holding the position of being that independent party.

“I don’t believe that the party has the command it believes it has to lead people in to another dimension of its politics. As such that independent vote will be lost and the electorate will revert to old voting habits which we can historically deduce tends towards a majority for the PPP.”

He adds, “One thing is certain, and this is the best thing for Guyana, that this is a winner-takes-all election.”

Gerald V. Paul
Gerald V. Paul