Home Features The afc – which one of their mps will walk if they...
The AFC announced this week that they will no longer be part of the APNU coalition. For the PNC, the AFC have not really been part of the coalition for a long time now. As far as the PNC are concerned, like the one-man and one-woman parties in APNU, the AFC were also already assimilated into APNU. In any case, now that the AFC have announced they will leave, the struggle to maintain their seats in Parliament begins. Aubrey Norton, the Leader of the PNC, has always made known his position – the AFC did not deserve nine parliamentary seats. Now Norton’s position is just as pellucid – the AFC must give up their nine seats. The AFC’s only hope now is that David Granger will not recall the nine AFC MPs in Parliament. For the next few weeks, we will witness Granger’s game of making Norton come to him on his knees and beg. For the AFC, they are hoping that Norton has an ounce of dignity still somewhere hidden in his body, and refuse to beg Granger.
But what happens if the nine AFC MPs are recalled? How many of the nine will remain as members of the AFC? Remember how quickly Geeta Chandan-Edmond left the AFC and jumped over to the PNC? Since Valentine 2015, several AFC senior members across Guyana have jumped ship to the PNC, and even to the PPP. Remember when — after the long five-month fiasco, when the PNC/APNU/AFC tried to rig the March 2, 2020 elections’ results — APNU/AFC announced their parliamentary list, they included a WPA member that the WPA objected to? The nominated member then quit the WPA and joined the PNC. She now sits in Parliament as the head of a one-woman party which joined APNU. For sure, these things must be worrying the big-wigs of AFC. Maybe Ramjattan would remain in the AFC. Maybe David Patterson and Cathy Hughes would remain in the AFC. But what about the other six AFC MPs? Poor Beverly Alert, she waited so long, and now that she has taken Raphael Trotman’s place, she may now be recalled!
The AFC now are just marginally better than the one-woman or one-man parties in APNU. But any loss of one of their present MPs would bring them closer to the one-man, one-woman parties. It is not like they have more than a handful of supporters out in the communities. It is why they could not dare compete in the Local Government Elections, 2023. Had they stupidly decided to participate in LGE 2023, they would have had to put together, before December 12, a list of candidates. There is not a single place in Guyana that they would have been able to put up a full list of candidates. Just as they now depend on Granger to save their seats and avoid another exodus, so they depend on the sad excuse that the Voters’ List is not credible. They have run out of crazy ideas to save themselves. They cannot now accuse the Russians; they cannot accuse the ABCE Diplomatic Corps. They are on their own, and they are drowning.
Let us not forget also that soon after the 2015 elections, when Moses Nagamootoo was appointed Prime Minister, he essentially donned the PNC jacket. For a brief moment in 2019/2020, he asserted his AFC credentials because he wanted to be considered for the PM position on the APNU/AFC slate for the March 2, 2020 elections. Once Ramjattan was nominated by the AFC, Nagamootoo proceeded to “diss” the AFC, acting more like a staunch, long-time PNC member. Nagamootoo attended every function since 2015 in memory of Forbes Burnham. Nagamootoo showed up every single time to pay homage to Forbes Burnham. He had become a Burnham hero-worshipper.
The AFC continue to inflict wounds on themselves. Instead of standing up for principles, they find every weird excuse and method to display their hate of the PPP, and particularly of Bharrat Jagdeo. The only reason the AFC now exists is not based on fighting for the Guyanese people, it is based solely on vendetta against Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP. A political party cannot exist on personal hate. It has to have the guts to stand up for the right thing. When the PNC walked out of Parliament before the Constitutional Reform Bill recently, the AFC had an opportunity to stand up for themselves and to stand up for Guyana. They chose to walk, like a loyal poodle with Norton and the PNC. It was yet another self-inflicted wound, proving to the few who still hope that the AFC can be a platform for objective, prudent policy alternative to the PNC and the Government.
The truth is that in walking away from the coalition in order to get their bearings again, the AFC are risking complete implosion. Should they lose those seats, can the AFC count on all of the nine MPs to remain members of the party? Not even Ramjattan can say unequivocally yes. He will remember December 21, 2018, when the coalition lost the No-Confidence Motion in Parliament. The AFC was confident that all its members would stand in solidarity. Charrandas surprised them; they should not have been. January 2023 is going to be another time when the AFC leadership will look at each other and ask, ‘You too?’