Elites control Guyana two major political parties
The PPP and PNC are elitist political organizations. As race-based parties, they use their primarily Indian and African support and see these two ethnic groups as politically expedient. These parties have always acted in the interests of the few who dominate them. This elite is comprised of a handful of men and a few women who believe they own these parties.
There are no term limits and an incestuous system of cronyism and nepotism within these parties that ensure the elite remains firmly entrenched in power. The PPP and PNC may pretend to be working class parties but they are in fact bourgeoisie entities. Once in power, those who dominate the party situate themselves, their families and friends in plum positions where they benefit handsomely while the ordinary man and woman in the street who voted for them is left holding the empty end of the stick. A scan of the executives of both parties shows the majority have been there for decades. There is functional superiority galore. Decisions are made that offend the dignity and good sense of the membership but the leadership elite does not care. PPP supporters who are enraged that Kwame McCoy remains in the PPP upper hierarchy despite his recent conviction are ignored. PNCR supporters angry with APNU’s sloth and laziness on a legislative agenda since the last election are ignored.
The PPP and PNC are con artists. The AFC will head down that same road if it does not change its ways. Racial politics make it easier for a few members to accomplish control. The ordinary rank-and-file membership of the PPP and PNC is there simply to rubberstamp these individuals back into power congress after congress. The congresses are carefully controlled affairs, to ensure the old boys club is maintained. Where the party feels its elite will be threatened, it suspends the congress to prevent ordinary members from voting. This is what the Jagdeoites did with the PPP. Donald Ramotar was handpicked by the Jagdeoites and rammed down the throats of PPP supporters. What the Jagdeoites did by suspending a congress was to annul democracy within the PPP. Forbes Burnham is probably rolling in his grave wondering why PPP supporters and mainly Indians were so vehemently opposed to him then for disregarding democracy when PPP supporters approved and endorsed the candidacy of Donald Ramotar which was imposed on them, and delivered the sound of silence on the suspension of the party’s congressional election. It becomes profoundly difficult to argue that it is acceptable to condone authoritarian behaviour from your own but not from others. You are either for or against it in all its manifestations.
Elitism within the PPP and PNC leads to corruption, as these individuals believe they are un-touchable. They also assume delusions of grandeur. The PNC did not fix the debacle of the 1980 Burnham constitution, although it knew fully well it was going to lose power in 1992. The PNC wanted that exact same instrument in place if it regained power. It backfired on PNC supporters who felt the brunt of the PPP’s use of that constitution against them. Similarly, the PPP has gone from condemning corruption while in the wilderness to condoning it by implication.
Strong anti-corruption legislation will never be passed in Guyana because there are many skeletons in the closets. This is why the American political system allows for a John F Kennedy or a Barack Obama to emerge to shake the very foundations of power and redraft the social contract. That will never happen in Guyana.
Dynamic figures will be vilified by the elites in these parties and forced to toe the line. When an entire country is held to ransom by a handful of elites controlling political parties, and those elites have a deep-seated self-interest in preventing good, decent and virtuous laws to be enforced, that country cannot advance.