The newbie…


If it’s another week – after Granger threw out March 2nd as the date of the next elections – it must be another political party-ette launched. There was a bit of a hiatus after the initial mushrooming in the wake of the NCM, but the party-ettes are now spawning fast and furious. What else but “party-ette” can you call these entities, when at the launch of one, the “founder” performed the role of Master of Ceremonies, introduced himself, and then handed over the mic to himself, all alone at the head table!! A “micro-party” would’ve had at least a complement of at least, say, two office bearers, no?
But your Eyewitness knew for sure this was gonna happen after the PNC scooped up all the existing party-ettes in 2011, forming what they dubbed a “coalition” named “APNU”. It was more like a ship with barnacles!! But they created a vacuum that just had to be filled. After all, in every election since 1992, there’s been this remarkable phenomenon where unknown fellas (and they’re always “fellas”) suddenly popped out of the woodwork to announce they’re running for the presidency!! If nothing else, it sure proved our “democratic” credentials, since everyone (males at least) evidently believe they can become president!
The new party-ettes appear inspired by the AFC’s success after launching in 2005, picked up five seats in 2006 and seven in 2011. They fail to appreciate that lightning doesn’t strike twice at the same place. In 2006, the PPP had been in office for 13 years and had become enmeshed in a war of attrition with gangsters holed up in Buxton. Both they and the PNC appeared to be losing control of the political situation and lots of folks from across the divide were looking around.
One prominent member of the PPP, PNC and WPA defected from their parties – so they already had name recognition – and launched their AFC, which, they assured everyone (wink, wink!) was backed by the US Embassy!! In fact, the fella from the PPP had been thrown from that party for “carrying news” to the Americans!! Now it could be that since the AFC has imploded since the last LGE, the new party-ettes are hoping to pick up the detritus from the implosion.
But then, they don’t understand the politics of this divided society called Guyana. Now that the two behemoths are back to full strength, they’ve each shown they have a reasonable chance of winning the whole enchilada, and the Americans ain’t looking, the “disaffected” have returned “home”. Why split the vote??
So, what’s your Eyewitness’ prediction of the party-ettes chances come March 2??
One of them MAY get a left-over seat!! At best!

…businesses in oil
While it may be a tough pill to swallow, the former TT Energy Minister’s reported touting of his country as the “logistics hub” for our incipient oil industry might have a lot of truth to it. Firstly, 150 miles from the oilfields to our shores isn’t a whole deal different from 250 miles to Trinidad’s, when it comes to servicing those FPSO’s and drilling ships. Especially when we just don’t even have the local content law to compel use of “Guyanese” companies.
Or even defining what percentage of Guyanese ownership makes a company “Guyanese”. And even if the business doesn’t literally go to Trinidad, the money will end up there since so many Trini companies with the necessary expertise have set up shop here, using Guyanese as “fronts”. The sad truth is most of our companies are still at the stage of just knowing how to import plastic buckets and selling them to street vendors.
The only hope is our diaspora. Whichever party wins the next elections will have to aggressively recruit overseas Guyanese talent.

…in financialised markets
The plummeting Guyana dollar is our first taste of one effect of “capital flight” in our completely liberalised financial markets – imposed on us by the IMF since 1989.
So when are we going to relook at capital controls??