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Blunders of the APNU/AFC Government

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This article was first published on the 20th of June, 2020.

Last updated: June 20, 2020 at 22:45 pm

Due to its poor performance in government from 1966 to 1992, the PNC had never been able to win a free and fair election in Guyana, South America after 1992. In 2011, it contested the elections under the banner of the APNU: A Partnership for National Unity – which was a coalition of 5 or 6 parties – the PNC being considerably the largest faction.

In 2011, the APNU coalition lost the National Elections to the PPP/C, but in 2015, it teamed up with the Alliance for Change (AFC) which at that time held one seat in parliament. The coalition then renamed itself to APNU/AFC.

Campaigning under the banner of National Unity, Racial Inclusion and Transparency, the APNU/AFC barely managed to squeeze its way into government in 2015 with a victory of a mere 5000 votes – more or less.

Almost instantaneously upon taking office, the APNU/AFC began to show its true colors: a cleverly designed PNC which used the coalition as a Trojan Horse to invade and unleash terror upon the unsuspecting nation. Immediately upon taking office, all smaller parties where thrown onto the back-burner with the PNC politicians taking the reigns. This hit a climax when a PNC politician said on national media that she is looking to employ a doctor who speaks Spanish or Portuguese and that she is “looking for one who is PNC, because the only friends she got is PNC and she will only give work to PNC supporters.”

The statement sparked a series of backlash and outrage, but AFC politician Rafael Trotman came on air to try to justify the statement instead of condemning it. The PNC politician subsequently apologized for the statement, but the damage had already been done.

Read Also: Guyana’s First No-Confidence Motion.

A subsequent show of Burnhamism took place in Guyana’s government after 2015, starting with a 7 million dollars Burnham Restoration Tomb Project and a subsequent literary saga which heaped praises upon the former dictator via state media and social media posts. Forbes Burnham, by the way, was the former PNC dictator under whose reign of terror Guyanese fled starvation and poverty by the droves to Venezuela and other neighboring countries.

The next show of the APNU/AFC coalition was witch-hunting, persecution and vindictiveness. An organization called “State Assets Recovery United” was set up to persecute and jail PPP/C politicians and PPP/C affiliated businessmen. This organization, although having sucked perhaps billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money which most likely was paid to foreign investigation firms and persons, yielded little to no results. Dr. Roger Luncheon, a former PPP/C parliamentarian, was dragged before the court for one small house lot which was acquired in the previous 23 years of PPP/C government.

Now president of Guyana, Dr. Irfaan Ali, was slapped with 19 fraud charges by the coalition government Witch Hunting Team for allegedly selling land at an undervalued price. These charges had resulted in Dr. Ali being barred by the Canadian government from attending a meeting in Canada. However, to date, the charges remain unsubstantiated and while there may be some truth to the claim that land was sold at below market value, these actions by the coalition reek of witch hunting and vindictiveness.

If, instead of wasting billions of dollars on SARA and other witch hunting activities, the coalition government had invested all that time, energy and money into supporting industries and providing employment to Guyanese, then neither the coalition nor the country of Guyana would be in the dire straits that they are in today.

Bear in mind that in 1992, when the PPP/C took office from the PNC, they inherited a broken economy and a country left in financial ruins. But they didn’t go into witch hunting and persecution mode, and they didn’t seek to jail any PNC politician or businessperson.

The next charade by the APNU/AFC/PNC government was the closing down of several sugar estates leaving tens of thousands of Guyanese jobless without a contingency plan. This plunged the economy into a nosedive that was felt perhaps across all sectors of industries and the Guyanese population.

The David Granger led APNU/AFC political party had campaigned on the basis of job creation, but subsequent to taking office, more jobs were lost than were created. And just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. When David Granger was questioned on national media about the jobs he had promised to create for Guyanese, especially the youths, he said that it is not the government’s role to provide jobs and that the people can go and sell plantain chips and cookup rice.

This may sound a bit ridiculous, but if this makes you laugh, this next blow from the APNU/AFC coalition might make you cry. Upon leaving office in 2020, the beautifully disguised PNC/R will once again leave Guyana in financial ruins. When the APNU/AFC took Office in 2015, gold reserves stood at 15 billion dollars. By May, 2020, gold reserves were depleted to less than 1 billion. But that’s not all, take a look at the video below.

Although having campaigned under the banner of Racial Inclusion and Unity, the David Granger Administration made several flagrant moves which heightened racial tension among Guyanese who are constantly seeking to heal from decades of segregation and acrimony.

The David Granger administration pushed to allocate 15% percent of Guyana’s land to people of African descent as a reparation for slavery. Bear in mind that Guyanese did not enslave Africans, but the British. Any reparation is supposed to come from the British. All Guyanese toiled equality to build Guyana under, before and after the British, so taking from five other races and handing it to one is a clear case of favoritism, racism and bullyism and is unbefitting the head of a civilized nation.

Further, how does a government expect to win the hearts of the electorate with such barefaced moves? Bear in mind that people of all ethnicity have voted you in power and you can neither seek to disenfranchise nor show favoritism to any group.

On this note, the David Granger Administration has demonstrated by its refusal to adhere to Guyana’s constitution that it believes that it is incapable of winning a free and fair election, but intends to stay in power through rigging, dictatorship and fraudulent practices.

In December 2018, the coalition government fell by a no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition PPP/C party. The constitution of Guyana stipulates that elections were supposed to be held within 3 months and the government is to assume caretaker status until then.

In clear breach of the constitution, the APNU/AFC remained in power with business as usual spending and contract awarding until March, 2, 2020 – the date that the national elections were finally agreed upon.

But the PNC/R would stop at nothing in holding the nation hostage and seal its own doom in Guyana’s political history. As if ruining the economy is not enough, after losing the elections, the PNC/R led coalition refused to concede defeat, but instead, as Dominic Gaskin put it, they continued to “hijack, ridicule and tear apart” the country of Guyana.

Since losing the elections of March, 2, 2020, the PNC/R has gone to great lengths to rig the elections, bar international observers from observing the recount and called court case after court case to try to derail the electoral process.

Several AFC Ministers, including Dominic Gaskin and Khemraj Ramjattan, have conceded defeat and advised other coalition members to act in fairness to the recently concluded recount results. Further, leader of the Justice for All Party, which forms part of a coalition, Mr. Sharma, has admitted that the coalition has lost the elections, and advised David Granger to allow a democratic transition of government.

In addition, a conglomerate of international powers have called on the David Granger Administration to respect the recount results and let democracy prevail in Guyana. These include the Organization of American States, the United States Embassy, CARICOM, the Commonwealth and the Canadian High Commissioner.

As this article is being written, a court case which was filed by an APNU/AFC supporter is being heard to block the declaration of the PPP/C as a winner – an event that can be delayed but cannot be stopped.

As we speak, on the 20th of June, 2020, the APNU/AFC coalition is on the verge of disintegration. It is not clear whether there will still be an APNU/AFC coalition after the conclusion of this election. But one thing is sure: the PNC/R will rear its head again. The question is, under what disguise?

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