From 1992 to 2006, the PPP dominated Guyana politics. However, change was reshaping the PPP and the political landscape from 2006. 2011 delivered the first sign of the dimming future the PPP faces.
While it remains the strongest political party in terms of numerical support, the PPP has seen a steady decline of its support from a high of 220,000 in 2001 to 166,000 a mere decade and two elections later. Of all the major parties, the PPP is the only party that has steadily declined from its 2001 high. The PNC has see-sawed back from its 2006 demise while the AFC has made steady but marginal gains.
The PPP on the other hand has steadily lost some 54,000 votes since 2001. These losses can be explained by demographic changes affecting the PPP’s main voting support group, Indians, which as a population is declining at the fastest rate amongst all ethnic groups due to migration and lower birth rates.
Then there is the growing Indian disenchantment with the corruption, internal dictatorship, hijacking of the party apparatus by a few, wrongdoing and other ills that are commonly associated with the PPP power cabal. Before the arrival of the AFC, the PPP obtained the largest percentage of crossover ethnic votes from Amerindians and Mixed Races.
The AFC has split this vote while a substantial segment of these two ethnic groups have stopped voting at all. Combine these chilling facts with the dramatic decline in ethnic voting determined by support for ethnic parties (only 61% to 63% voted for PPP and PNC/APNU since 2006 whereas both got 90% of total votes in 2001) and the future of the PPP is only going to get bleaker. The internal wranglings of the PPP have deflated many of its traditional supporters.
With weak handpicked leadership in the presidency, internal dictatorship dominating the party machinery, no real change in personnel (Rohee is still around), the continuation of square pegs in round holes like Bishop Juan Edghill as Junior Finance Minister, the strongly suggestive influence of the reviled Bharrat Jagdeo, corruption continuing unabated, no dynamic new leadership on the horizon, Indian awakening and independence and Indian psychological liberation from the PPP (see Berbice in last election), decreasing ethnic voting, alienation of its own membership, campaigning laziness (‘wine-down sessions as opposed to intensive campaigning), hijacking of the party by a handful of suspect types and the continued full exhibition of incompetence, mismanagement and maladministration, the PPP is in a serious bind for the future.
Unless the PPP undergoes a radical democratization and transparency transformation like the PNC with new leadership on board, it will likely suffer further losses in the future. Even if some Indians who departed for the manna from Moses (Nagamootoo) are to return, demographic realities impacting Indians and an even further massive disappearance of the crossover votes from Amerindians and Mixed Races will harm the PPP in 2016. Whereas in the past the PPP needed these crossover voters to secure a majority, the party needs them now to secure a plurality.
The PPP is losing the little multiethnic appeal it held to Amerindians and Mixed Races while it is bleeding Indian supporters, particularly the younger Indian generation which is no longer an assured vote for the PPP. That is a volatile and depressing combination. As the election result demonstrated, the attempt to resurrect fear amongst Indians failed or only partially succeeded.
It is no longer a proven political ballistic. Indians want more than fear and the PPP has not offered it. Indians want credible political leadership. The PPP cannot offer it.
Unless the PPP allows the brilliant sunshine of democracy to erupt within its party, it will face more apathy and revulsion from its traditional supporters. Its arrogant refusal to change that which failed before and jettisoned its supporters will generate more political casualties.
What is truly tragic is that the PPP led by that celebrated incompetent, Robert Persaud, rather brazenly and barefacedly tried to blame PPP supporters and Indians in particular for the party’s inability to secure a majority without casting the entire quarry of stones at the cabal running the PPP that has deformed the party and wrecked its integrity and symbiosis with the people.
The Guyanese people have advanced beyond the PPP’s model of building often shoddy infrastructure and bottling it as the entirety of progress and development. People want a better quality of life that values life and human dignity.
While it is difficult to see the PNC/APNU overcoming that 26,000 gulf in votes between it and the PPP in the next election, it could in the election thereafter. What if by some miracle the PNC/APNU wins power in 2016. Has the PPP prepared its followers for that reality? The future of the PPP lies not in ethno-politics but in trying to erase ethno-politics to appeal to the changing demographics of its own support and to try to win back the departing droves.
A minority government run by a race-based party cannot offer security to its supporters and to the nation without serious change in the way its does business. The fact of the matter is that the PPP has not changed at all or has not metamorphosed to enable its own supporters to face a better future.
The handful of failed leaders running the PPP inner circle are so consumed with getting power and filling pockets that they have missed the potential consequences of their actions upon their supporters and the nation in general.
As it stands, the Parliament and most importantly, the armed forces (army and police) are dominated by non-PPP parties and supporters. Has the PPP considered where the allegiance of the army lies when a delicate matter of national importance puts the executive and the majority in Parliament at loggerheads? What if this minority government situation existed in the early 2000s during the crime wave? Could there ever arise an instance where the armed forces back the decision of Parliament over the executive?
The future of the PPP lies in using the next five years to implement serious changes to erase ethnic imbalances so that it can regain its crossover votes, minimize ethnic insecurity and bring fairness and equity back into the fold. The PPP must start with serious ethnic balancing of the armed forces. Continue with making Gecom independent and hardened to political manipulation. Implement various rights-based and equity oriented organizations and commissions.
Even if some in the current PPP inner circle may consider keeping power by any means, the reality is that the armed forces which had no problems with the PNC’s propagation of dictatorship will not take kindly to any contemplation of dictatorship by the PPP. This raises the question of whether the PPP will consider rigging the vote in 2016 if its support continues to fall and the PNC is in danger of pipping it?
Will an ethnically imbalanced security forces ever take electoral skulduggery from the PPP lying down? Believe it or not, the future of the PPP lies not, as it presently appears, in the pursuit of internal dictatorship or in ethnic voting but in democracy and the reduction of ethnic voting.
Outside of the AFC, it is the party with the best ability to transform into a strong multiethnic force and to capture votes outside of the African and Indian majority populations. The future is darkening for the PPP. As long as it continues down this autocratic and arrogant road, encroaching darkness may end up being a permanent blackout.
NOVEMBER 16, 2011 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS
A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) continued its countrywide campaign with a number of meetings in Berbice. One such meeting was held at the Junction of NO 41 Scheme in Stanleytown, New Amsterdam where a few hundred persons were in attendance. The feature speaker was APNU Executive Member and Leader of the Opposition Robert Corbin.
Corbin lashed out at the ruling Peoples’ Progressive Party/Civic for its incompetence and its lackadaisical performance which has destroyed Guyana.
He stated that the PPP is a party of deception, and conmen, who have been deceiving the Guyanese people for the last 19 years. He noted that Bharrat Jagdeo is the “chief deceiver and the chief trickster and con man.” Holding up a copy of the Sunday 13th November Kaieteur News, Corbin showed residents the photograph on the front page where Jagdeo “fooled the world that he was married to Vashnie Jagdeo. Conning everybody that he was married, what a shame. How can a President behave so low and have the gall to say things about people?”
“The PPP is in panic mode at the moment and we must vote them out,” Corbin stated.
Corbin stated that the PPP is in bed with the drug dealers and that this is the catalyst for all the bad things that are happening in Guyana at the moment.
He reminded residents about of the notorious Roger Khan, who stated that he worked with the Guyana government to fight crime. He mentioned a story told to him by a businessman who had closed his business and fled Guyana. According to Corbin, the businessman revealed that he had gone to see the President at Office of the President and Roger Khan was leaving at the same time. “He immediately became afraid, packed up and closed his business and left the country.”
Corbin reminded residents of the massacres that took place at Lusignan, Agricola, Bartica and Lindo Creek under President Jagdeo’s watch, for which no inquiry was ever held.
According to Corbin, newly converted Alliance For Change member Moses Nagamootoo was with the PPP for a long time “and if he could talk about the PPP banditry, corruption and thievery then you must believe him.”
Corbin said that when APNU had mentioned that the PPP was like Ali Baba and the 40 thieves, “They wanted to sue. But we were waiting for them. Now Nagamootoo who been with them say the ‘Robb Street’ gang make Ali Baba and is crew look like small boys.”
Corbin told the Berbicans that a vote for an APNU government is a vote for clean, lean and decent people to lead this country for the next five years.
“The Robb Street gang of thieves, yes men, soup drinkers and bandits are abusing power, and using their majority to bulldoze the Guyanese people. They must be stopped, and come November 28, the nation has that opportunity by voting for a clean APNU Government.”
“You must reject these sycophants, who are outdated and dealing in corruption, drug trafficking, threatening national security, the heart of discrimination, and simply put, dealing in bad governance.”
The PNCR Leader said that an APNU government will reduce VAT, ensure economic and infrastructural development, job-creation and investments in health, education and housing.
He went on to outline the qualifications of APNU Presidential Candidate and leader Brigadier David Granger and Prime Ministerial candidate Dr. Rupert Roopnarine who are by far the two most qualified and experienced campaigners who he said will lead Guyana with dignity.
My letter is of particular importance for consideration by my Guyanese sisters and brothers. I am fully aware that the Alliance for Change (AFC) is making remarkable progress in getting its message across to the Guyanese people and in particular, to the young people who would be voting for the first time and whose votes would be the deciding factor in the upcoming elections.
Given all the brilliant minds that Guyana has produced, why is it that we remain a lost people in search of a new home, mainly in North America. The answer is very simple, we have not had the right leadership prior to and following Independence. We have had good leaders in the past but unfortunately they were preoccupied with self interest. Hence, they divided the country racially and no serious attempt has been made by anyone subsequently to heal this division between the various race groups resulting in Guyana maintaining its status as a backward country with backward leaders.
Mr. Jagdeo as a young man had the golden opportunity of succeeding in bringing the people together to develop this country following the last election as he was not part of the destructive elements of the past but he failed miserably and would go down in history as the worst leader in Guyana’s history. Dr. Jagan was an honorable man and certainly not a dictator. Mr. Jagdeo grew up during Mr. Burnham’s reign and hence, he has been emulating some of the negative attributes of Forbes Burnham. Unfortunately, Mr. Jagdeo is politically naïve and devoid of Mr. Burnham’s intellect. Mr. Jagdeo is very good at ‘cussing out’ and trying to humiliate Guyanese. He truly lacks the dignity of a President.
We must remember that the PPP/C did not win the election in 1992; the PNC lost that election as we wanted change, given the atrocities of the PNC. The fall of the Berlin Wall had a cascading effect and the US decided to do the honorable thing and facilitated free and fair elections. Because of Dr. Jagan’s inviting personality Guyana had the glorious opportunity of rising from the dead but he was aging and did not have the strength to satisfy the needs of Guyana. The intellectual minds that supported him in the 60’s had disappeared to other shores, namely Balram Singh Rai, Sir Fenton Ramsahoye and others who were not communists. He was then stuck with the bankrupt and corrupt intellect of the cabal in Freedom House.
I certainly remember when it took over two hours to travel by road to the Cheddi Jagan Airport from Georgetown because of the poor state of the road, so there has been some progress made since 1992 but the corruption under the Jagdeo’s presidency is unprecedented and phenomenal. Look at the economic well-being of the Jagdeo clan and judge for yourselves. I recall when one minister was a taxi driver just before he was adopted by the PPP/C and take a careful look at what he owns now. He has now left his party and joined the PPP/C’s cabal. Open your eyes and look at the homes in Pradoville 1, and in particular, the first one on the right painted blue. Look at the mansion that Mr. Jagdeo is building at Pradoville 2. Calculate the cost of erecting such a building against his salary as President. We are not all as gullible as you think Mr. President.
Donald Ramotar said that he will follow the policies of Jagdeo. So where are we really going? The retention of Sam Hinds is only temporary. Sam Hinds will resign shortly and Robert Persaud or Jagdeo will become Prime Minister. Jagdeo will not let go of power easily and hence, he did not want Ralph Ramkarran or Moses Nagamootoo as the presidential candidate as they have minds of their own and he would not be able to manipulate these two gentlemen. Donald Ramotar and the others will do as Jagdeo says as they lack the intellect to think for themselves. Wake up Guyana.
Some of us cannot think outside of the box of the PPP/C and PNC (APNU). We need to put Guyana first and foremost in our minds. The AFC has honest and capable leaders without criminal pasts and is the best option for Guyana. The names of Khemraj Ramjattan, Raphael Trotman, Moses Nagamootoo, Cathy Hughes etc; certainly give me hope for the future of Guyana and all Guyanese. It is the only political party in the upcoming elections without a negative past. Our young people need jobs so vote for change. It is important to mention that I am not a member of any political party but Guyana is my home.
A Concerned Guyanese