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.
UG Registrar could be next on the firing line
Written by Denis Scott Chabrol
Wednesday, 25 January 2012
The University of Guyana’s Council decision for the position of Registrar to be advertised is being viewed with suspicion in some quarters as a move to get rid of incumbent, Vincent Alexander.
Well-placed sources note that the employment contracts of the Director of the Berbice Campus, Prof Daizal Samad and the Bursar, John Seeram were renewed last year although the positions had not been advertised.
Alexander’s contract is due to expire in April and the Council has decided that the post of Registrar should be advertised in another two weeks. He is free to apply.
Concerns have been already raised at the level of the Council about Alexander’s approach to his work- a signal, the source said, that the council might be setting the stage to find a replacement.
Alexander’s name was recently in the spotlight as the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Commissioner who ensured that accurate results of the November 28 general elections were delivered. An earlier tally had given the governing party a one-seat majority which it subsequently lost when Alexander uncovered the error.
Similarly, the source told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) that Political Scientist, Freddie Kissoon’s contract has been terminated because of concerns about the quality of his work and alleged inappropriate classroom conduct. Kissoon has insisted that he is qualified, competent and conducted the requisite research.
Kissoon has been a strident critic of the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) administration in his Kaieteur News newspaper columns and on the election campaign trail for the Alliance For Change (AFC). A libel case brought by then President Bharrat Jagdeo against Kissoon had also provided some unfavourable political fodder in the run-up to the polls.
Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com ) was told Vice Chancellor, Lawrence Carrington had made out a case for Alexander’s contract to be renewed but that was rejected by the council. Chancellor, Professor Compton Bourne, the sources said, disagreed and insisted that his support for contract renewal be recorded.
Vice Chancellor Carrington has also notified the council that he would not be seeking a renewal of his contract but would be willing to stay on until a replacement is found.
The Council, however, rejected Carrington’s offer and said that Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr Marilyn Cox should act as Vice Chancellor.
By STABROEK STAFF | Thursday, November 24, 2011
Over the past year, Guyanese have had a spirited debate about the future of our country, and I want to thank you and the publisher of your newspaper for making this possible. What has happened over the last few months cannot be denied, covered up, or erased by spin doctors, propagandists, letter writers or lack of editorial space. The young people of this country have risen up. They are driving the political campaign of the main opposition APNU, and it is a beautiful sight.
A few months ago, I remember complaining about the apathy among the youth, and the silence at UG‘s Turkeyen Campus. Well, I have been proven wrong, for the young people at UG are now anything but dormant, and have spoken! Youth now constitute the most vocal and active component on the campaign trail.
I have witnessed the lethargy and strain of incumbency as the PPP/C struggles to run on their 19-year record of rampant corruption, nepotism and atrocious governance. Like many, I have observed with interest the movements of the disenchanted and politically discontented. I have struggled to understand why some among us still cling stubbornly to the belief that Guyana’s political future lies in the old winner-takes-all, one-party rule, that has left us a poor and broken people. I have pondered the negative effects of racial cleavage and the scars that it has left on this land. I have watched with amazed pride as former enemies and several diverse groups came together for common cause, and I have marvelled at the rise of a partnership that has now become a national movement.
Whatever happens next week, it is clear that the pendulum of history has swung and altered the course of Guyana’s history. APNU has shown that when politicians, groups and parties put aside selfish political goals and band together for the betterment of the nation, good things can happen.
From their manifesto we see the policies and programmes that they will implement. We see an emphasis on strong and inclusive governance, with all stakeholders having a seat at the table in a government of national unity. We see a commitment to invest heavily in human development, economic empowerment and job creation. We see the return of an Ombudsman, a new and more transparent procurement system and senior public servants and ministers having to declare their assets. We see the implementation of the Chang and Symonds reports recommendations that will strengthen the police force, a complete overhaul of the tax system, and establishment of a constitutional reform commission that will remove the dictatorial presidential powers of the 1980 constitution, replacing it with a more democratic document that has safeguards for minorities and enforces the rule of law.
I am confident that the young people and the women of this nation will ensure that we will never return to the dark days of one-party rule, the maximum leader, and elections that are just a racial census. I have visited their Facebook pages, I have received their Tweets, and Blackberry messages. This generation that sends and receives their information in megabytes has finally come of age. Whoever wins these elections will have to deal with them. The APNU Campaign Movers, the Guyana Action Committee, Granger Action Groups, and the many other groups that have been formed to agitate for change in our native land, will not be silenced. In the words of American singer and song writer Tracy Chapman, “Poor people are gonna rise up and get their share. Poor people are gonna rise up and take what’s theirs … finally the tables are starting to turn…..”
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.
A new Guyana government should also investigate the crimes committed against citizens by people like Kwame McKoy, Manniram son Navin Prashad, Donald son Alexei Ramotar etc
NOVEMBER 16, 2011 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
Dishonesty in government is the business of every citizen. So says Dalton Trumbo, an American novelist.
This quote aptly describes the action needed by all Guyanese in exposing this PPP/C Government and Donald Ramotar’s smoke and mirror operations on the Presidential Pensions Payment Continuously.
PPP Campaign Manager Mr. Robert Persaud, failed his Uncle in Law miserably with his unintellectual attempt to throw a red herring into the debate on the unrighteous Presidential pension package by bring Mrs. Janet Jagan pension into the picture.
So in his words Janet Jagan earned $729,529 per month, therefore why is Jagdeo demanding over $3 million? Why couldn’t he settle for $729,529? Only the following word comes to mind – covetous and greedy.
Under an AFC Government, greed will be dealt with condignly, and the Presidential Pensions Law will be revised to reduce the Presidential Pension to just above what a Permanent Secretary gets and not a cent more.
I close with excerpts from the lyrics from a song by Red Chilli Pepper “Greedy little people are always in a sea of distress”.
President Jagdeo your distress will start on December 1, when the AFC Government commences its forensic audit into how senior Government officials in the PPP amassed so much wealth in such a short time.
There is absolutely no question in my mind that after more than 19 years of PPP rule and 10 years of elected dictatorship, Guyana has emerged as a failed state. When Mr. Jagdeo assumed power, he did not have a clue of how to govern the affairs of the country. The bequeathing power to him by Mrs. Jagan on that rainy morning was a tragic mistake.
No one can predict the future but maybe, the rain could be interpreted as if God was shedding tears for what was to happen to this beloved country.
Mr. Jagdeo’s horrible performance as president and his erratic and irrational “cuss down” outbursts are unbecoming of a president. He has embarrassed the presidency and the nation. It proved that Mrs. Jagan took a man’s job and handed it to a little boy.
His child-like behaviour is not only evident in his berserk “cuss down” episode last Sunday of Glenn Lall, Adam Harris and Kaieteur News but also when he said that Mr. Ramotar, at age 61, is a young man but that Mr. Granger at age 65 is a very old man. This is a very foolish and unbefitting statement coming from a president. It shows that he does not know what constitutes old or young.
Several senior members of the PPP are shocked and disgusted at Mr. Jagdeo’s behaviour. They are quietly exiting the PPP for a civilian life. Guyanese are concerned about the reckless behaviour and lack of morality of Government officials, the breakdown of law and order and the atrocities carried out by the PPP regime.
Mr. Jagdeo’s rigid control of the state apparatus, the state-owned television and radio stations, his delay in propagating the Information Act, his twisted way of cussing down people, his use of the PPP majority to make Parliament a farce, his trumped-up charges of treason against Mark Benschop and others, his refusal to have an inquiry into the extra-judicial murders of over 300 Guyanese, and the acquisition of highly paid propagandists like Prem Misir and the vanished Randy Persaud are similar to the actions of Hitler.
The regime has the entrenched and intrinsic belief in ethnic and racial superiority. It does not have a national policy based on racial equality, harmony, the co-existence of the races, and the fair and equitable distribution of the benefits of the state resources.
Instead, the elected dictatorship has a sinister and inept strategy to subjugate one race and render it servile.
Mr. Jagdeo has not shown any interest in promoting unity, harmony and equality among the races. He is more inclined to use the country’s resources as he sees fit, spend taxpayers’ money in a reckless manner, ignore corrupt practices by government officials and is yet to charge a major drug dealer.
Glenn Lall, owner of Kaieteur News, is correct when he said that “It’s is thiefing that going on from top to bottom in the country. I don’t believe in thiefing the ordinary man, taxpayers’ dollars.”
More reasons why Guyanese are worst off today than 10 years ago? We are in the 21st century and there are constant power outages nationwide, lack of adequate potable water, mothers and babies are dying at childbirth, truancy rates at schools are extremely high, PPP untouchables continue to disrespect the rule of law, taxpayers do not get value for money spent on public projects, 45 per cent of the youths are unemployed, Georgetown stinks, UG has
collapsed for lack of funds, public hospitals and schools have crumbled, the future of GUYSUCO is in doubt, wages have remained stagnant while cost of living has risen to the sky, and the roads are the worst they have been in years.
In addition, more than 80 per cent of the population lives in poverty while Pradovilles are popping up everywhere and PPP untouchables have coveted the best lands in the country. Guyanese are worst off today than ten years ago because the elected dictatorship governs the country like a cake shop.
If these are considered development, then we should find a new meaning for the word “development.”
And one more thing, Bharat, do not blame Glenn Lall, Adam Harris and Kaieteur News for the horrendous state Guyana is in. Unlike you and your cabal, they are decent citizens trying to make an honest living by working hard everyday.