The Force With An Answer And A Fight

The AFC has inflicted a very serious wound to the likelihood and fate of any third party in Guyana. It took 40 years (after the death of Walter Rodney and the weakening of the WPA), for Guyanese to build the trust in another third party. Yet in just about two years, the AFC has severely hampered the chances at any third party regain the confidence of the Guyanese public. The AFC has even weakened their own chances of attracting the support of new persons, and worse yet, the trust of those whom were once able to convince.

This is not a hallow assumption, we have proven this scientifically. As the United Republican Party (URP) fans out across Guyana in an effort to introduce ourselves to the voters, the constant refrain is “Are ya’ll going to join up with de PPP or PNC like what AFC did?” Not one of our public events or bottom house meetings finishes without someone reminding us of the betrayal of trust that the AFC has deposited in the minds of the swing voters in Guyana.

The URP remains hopeful, however, and it would be less than truthful for me not to admit that what the AFC has done to retard the hopes of any third party in Guyana, is seismic. We are convinced that in order for the URP to win, we have to appeal to the non-racial, non-partisan and non-ideological better spirits of the objective Guyanese. Guyana is way too racially divided and politically ideological for us to expect that voters would be inclined to vote mainly on issues. The jumbies of both Burnham and Jagan are too strong for the voters in Guyana to not be wooed, especially when the PPP and PNC party leaders begin to invoke the spirits of these dead men.

(By the way, Guyana is the only country in the Caribbean that still votes for dead people. Let that sink in for a moment. Cuba and Venezuela are probably our two closest neighbors who follow that practice of party leaders invoking the dead, to win elections. Actually, the practice is steep in communism and dictatorship.)

Like I was saying, the AFC was able to do what no other third party was able to do – they won a sizable amount of seats in parliament. Not even the WPA that was around for such a long time, with such a popular leader, was able to do what the Alliance did. And they were effective because the Guyanese people were literally fed-up with the PPP and the PNC. The founders of the Key-party tapped into a frustration that the Guyanese both locally and in the diaspora were experiencing. There was great push-back when the AFC executive decided to enter talks of forming the Coalition. Many felt that the PNC would swallow up the AFC. Some suggested that the PNC members in the AFC would side with the PNC during tough negations. Others voiced their opinion that the AFC would lose their fresh independence of thought. Now, two years into the deal, all those fears are being realized.  The AFC has shrunken into a struggling party, made up of mostly Government ministers. They have lost their core supporters, particularly the PPP members whom they once attracted. Their sheer spineless inability to maintain their raison d’être is now forcing their worried backers to call for their unhitching from the PNC. We all know that that will not happen; the decision makers in the AFC are all ministers of in this PNC Government. The AFC has severely damaged the chances of any third party but all hopes are not lost.