Poor, inept and one-man leadership led to coalition’s defeat

Dear Editor,
The 2020 Regional and General Elections which the PPP won is history, but the truth must be told as to why APNU/AFC, hereafter referred to as the coalition, lost the elections after being in office for only five years. One of the reasons is that the coalition lost the elections because it wasted an entire year in court fighting to rescind the “No-Confidence Motion” of December 21, 2018. The Granger Administration’s refusal to call elections within the three-month period prescribed in the Constitution for an election was because it was ill-prepared to go to the polls. Instead, they put forth the most foolish and bogus case that 34 and not 33 votes were needed to pass the No-Confidence Motion. Not only were they wrong but they were more illogical than the person(s) who proposed such daft arithmetic. At the time, polls had shown that if the coalition had called an election by May 2019, it would have won because of public sympathy. Needless to say, none of the courts – Guyana’s High Court, Guyana Court of Appeals or the Caribbean Court of Justice – validated the coalition’s voodoo arithmetic.
However, the primary reason why the coalition lost the 2020 elections was due to poor, lacklustre, and visionless leadership and also because the entire cabal in the PNC and AFC allowed one person – the leader – to dictate how the elections should be run. It was a colossal error on the part of the PNC and AFC executives not to confront the leader on his weaknesses and ineptness. But they were afraid of retaliation from a vindictive, indolent, boring and selfish leader who believed that he had absolute power to do as he pleased. He is a self-centred and an elitist leader who does not care about problems affecting the masses. The silence displayed by the PNC and AFC cabal and being out of power caused some to imbibe to the extent of becoming alcoholics, others are behaving like zombies and a few have indulged in babbling. Losing the election could spell the end for the AFC which is near to death as many of its senior members across the country have either resigned their positions or have quit the party altogether. Other than being immature, what other reasons could the leaders provide for refusing to attend the meeting between President Ali and the former Presidents and for not attending the farewell party of the outgoing Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana?
Many in the public are of the opinion that the PNC is in political turmoil and this is largely due to the shunning of one of the stalwarts of the party who the leader refused to assign as a Member of Parliament (MP). Not only is she a devoted and very popular member of the PNC, but she is also the Chairperson of the party and the Women’s Auxiliary Group. Ostracising the standard-bearer of the PNC from the decision-making process could be the demise of the party, which many believed would be in opposition for a very long time, if not forever. From the inception, many, including a large number of PNC supporters felt that the so-called six-party coalition put together by the leader was a sham due to the fact that it was comprised of four one-man parties, which together could not even obtain 1000 votes at the polls. At the time, only the AFC and the PNC had a support base, but as evident in the last election, the AFC support base which is mainly on the Corentyne has dwindled. In addition, the senior members of the AFC are always in disagreement over who should be the leader of the party. For example, there has always been a struggle for the leader of the party between its current leader and the Chairman and there were some major and bitter conflicts between the former Prime Minister (PM) and the leader over the prime ministerial candidacy in the last election. We all know who emerged as the AFC PM candidate.
It is time for the senior members of the PNC and its support groups in the New York Diaspora to speak up against the assault on the party by its leader and his surrogate. Following the murders of the two Henry cousins at Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice, the two senior leaders of the party visited the area and prodded their supporters into riotous acts without knowing the reasons for the murder. However, neither the executives of the PNC nor its ten diaspora groups in the Tri-State area condemned them for such shameful behaviour. The Chairperson of the PNC was the lone voice to tell her party supporters to stop the mayhem against their Indian sisters and brothers in the area who are their neighbours.
The public, as well as the PNC groups in the diaspora, felt that the leader of the party did not have the talent, wisdom, ability and the political and requisite skills, talent and personality to be president. One reason is that as President of the country, he held only three press conferences in five years. Another reason is that he was aloof and an elitist who lived in his ivory tower and did not care about the people who elected him.

A third reason is that as the President of a country with only 780,000 people, he appointed 26 Ministers; more than the number of Ministers in Jamaica with a population of roughly three million and Trinidad and Tobago with more than one-and-a-half million. And to add insult to injury, the leader approved a 50 per cent increase for Ministers while he gave civil/public servants, including nurses and teachers, a meagre ten per cent increase. If this is not moronic and asinine, then we do not know what is.
Truth be told, the former President gave up his quest to stay in office on August 2, 2020, after a protracted five intense and awful months of fighting to stay in office and several court cases which failed to overturn the election. Many PNC supporters and its ten groups in the Tri-State had thought they had won the election. However, the loss has led many of them to criticise the President and characterise him as a misfit who is incapable of leading the party and the nation. Today, the PNC is fractured, thanks to its leader and his surrogate, whose support in the New York Diaspora has melted away while the Chairperson has a groundswell of support, which means that sooner rather than later, both of them will have to migrate in the wilderness.
Yours truly,
Dr Asquith Rose