…PNC’s Aapan Jhaat
While “voting for your own” is a constant in every divided society – be it along religious, cultural, race, colour, ethnicity, whatever – in Guyana, the phenomenon got an “Indian” tag, “aapan jhaat” even though the imperative was created by Forbes Burnham. An African Guyanese, he broke off from the multiracial PPP and used his standing in his community to persuade them to vote for his faction. And that’s the way it’s been ever since – vote for your own!
This came out loud and clear over the weekend in a very poignant message from prominent businessman Terrence Campbell, who announced he’d quit the NGO RISE and the nascent political party New United Guyana (NUG).Why? Aapan Jhaat!! Declaring he’d voted for PNC/APNU all his life and supported causes in their African-Guyanese constituencies, he became convinced that because of their missteps since 2015, they were going to lose the next election. He threw his hat into the ring to “prevent a PPP victory” and force constitutional change via RISE and NUG.
And that’s the way the PNC is…not even the gentlest of criticism from “their own” is brooked, much less joining up with “others”!! We learnt this when David Hinds and Lincoln Lewis had their columns in the Chronic abruptly yanked when they dared suggest the coalition could’ve done some things differently! So what if the Chronic’s the STATE paper? When your party is the PARAMOUNT party, it’ll take no lip – even from friends!
But the no-confidence vote shook the PNC to the core. Its carefully crafted strategy to project a more benign image under David Granger was taken to a new level when they actually buried the PNC brand in the bowels of APNU. Then came the masterstroke: inveigling the AFC into a coalition to pip the PPP. They were in power by the tiniest of margins – 1 seat – but once ensconced, the PNC just couldn’t help itself: their genes took over.
While Burnham took four years to defang his coalition partner, the UF, Granger did it within a month! He gave AFC’s Nagamootoo none of the promised “increased PM powers” but a salary raise and six outriders muzzled his mouth!! And since then, it’s been vintage PNC by Granger who promised to “fulfil the legacy” of his mentor Burnham! But even this didn’t satisfy the die-hard PNCites, who suspected Granger might be building a parallel structure by placing ex-Disciplined Forces personnel in every Government department.
It’s the die-hards who came out swinging at Campbell for his “betrayal”. They’ve drawn a line in the sand and will use whatever means necessary to prevent the democratic return of the PPP to office.
…on voodoo Mathematics!
Just when your Eyewitness thought it was safe to venture back into the no-confidence arena, up came the PNC and filed another motion (you REALLY think a “private citizen” filed the other one??!!) based on the voodoo Mathematics that in a finite set of 65 discrete elements, the subset of 33 isn’t greater than 32!! As this paper pointed out – but the irony will be lost on the PNC! – imagine a Government, which is in office with a 33-seat majority, demanding the court RULE that “winning” actually needs 34 seats!!
Will they resign if the court does so rule?? But we know what’s going on here, don’t we? The PNC’s just playing for time. Surely they don’t think the Judiciary will be less straight up that the Speaker? Your Eyewitness can just see the Judge demanding that Basil Williams, on behalf of the Government, demonstrate exactly how he can arrive at “half-bodies”!!
Even if he dissects one, he’ll have to do a Dr Frankenstein not to be charged with murder!!
Seems the PNC are hedging their bets on elections in three months. Norton came out and announced that Mash is ON! In fact, it’ll be BIGGER AND BETTER!!
A free campaign “jump up” for the PNC – from G/Town, to NA to Linden?!!