The Local Government Election (LGE) 2018 was true people power. The people in 80 Local Authority Areas (LAAs) stood up, spoke out and resisted the downward path the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) have been taking Guyana. They rejected dictatorship, discrimination, political harassment and intimidation, incompetence and corruption. They deemed the APNU/AFC clueless and visionless. They affirmed their faith in the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and its leaders, again. The results of LGE 2018 is a stern repudiation of APNU/AFC. The results have confirmed that the Trotman, Nagamootoo, Ramjattan-led AFC has outlived itself. The results confirmed that the Guyanese people have lost confidence in the Granger-led APNU/PNC. The biggest message of the LGE 2018 is that the Guyanese people have sent an unequivocal message to Moses Nagamootoo, the chest-puffing Prime Minister, who wants to be President, that he can stop dreaming, that he will never be the people’s President.
LGE 2018 is now etched in the history books. While the election results are still being formalised and the nation is awaiting the official release of the results by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), there are a number of blazing headlines already creating political havoc for APNU-People’s National Congress (PNC) and the AFC. One shocking headline must be the news that the PPP won comfortably the Buxton-Foulis Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC). The other headline has to be the rejection of hometown candidates, like Moses Nagamootoo and Khemraj Ramjattan. Yet another headline is that the people of Guyana reject overwhelmingly any increases in property tax, the threat of the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown of implementing the parking meters and introducing other onerous fees on businesses in the city.
Buxton, along with Linden and South Georgetown, has long been the mecca, the bastion of PNC-power in Guyana. The village of Buxton has been uncompromising in its support of the PNC for every year of the existence of the PNC. That the PPP/C was able to obtain the support of citizens to win control of Buxton-Foulis NDC must be sending tsunami-style shockwaves through the ranks of Congress Place and dumped the AFC to its grave. The win in Buxton-Foulis, together with massive gains in Georgetown and New Amsterdam and encouraging gains in Linden, Kwakwani, Mahdia and Bartica adds to the shock. Compounding the problem is that the PPP, which won three townships in 2016, now has registered victories in five townships. In virtually every one of the 80 LAAs, the PPP has improved or made impressive gains in support. But while shocking to the APNU/PNC and AFC, the population is not surprised. The people have been betrayed and feel despondent and they allowed their votes to speak for them.
Moses Nagamootoo, the siren-loving Prime Minister, made Whim a referendum. For him, as he showed up on Sunday, the evening before the LGE, the voting was for bragging rights in Whim. He took on Bharrat Jagdeo and bellicose his way in declaring that Whim is Nagamootoo’s turf, Whim is his Kingdom, Whim belongs to him. The people massively rejected Nagamootoo. He and the AFC and their local candidates failed to even match the number of backers they claimed supported their list. The elections confirmed that the AFC cheated and included people as backers through fraud and deceit. GECOM and a Judge might have facilitated the fraud perpetuated by the AFC when the AFC included citizens as backers of their list against their will and using total and unfettered deceit. The results vindicated the citizens who objected in the way the AFC used their names.
But it is not just Nagamootoo who was rejected by his hometown. Ramjattan lost massively in his village. Like Nagamootoo, he spent the whole campaign period for LGE 2018 hiding. Ramjattan drove his fancy, siren-equipped vehicle to Berbice and directly to the TV stations from where he attempted to speak to people. He did not feel welcome and he was scared to face people. The cane cutters and sugar workers, rice farmers and citizens across the Corentyne villages were treated as invisible people. On Monday, November 12, 2018, the people made Ramjattan and Nagamootoo invisible. Charandass, in Canje, was invisible and other leaders of AFC disappeared. The results signalled why they disappeared. They betrayed people and people used the power of their X to repudiate them. The repudiation was stern, severe and final because the AFC has had its last nail hammered into its coffin.