A point of no return

first_imgIn 2005, the Alliance For Change (AFC) party, which was then considered ‘the third force’, promised to liberate Guyanese from the politics of divisiveness, hate, revenge, race and immaturity. It promised to work hard to usher in a period of unprecedented development should it enter Parliament or become Government by focusing on poverty reduction, the implementation of modern constitutional reforms, strengthening Government and State agencies, and paving the way for a new political culture where consensus and compromise as well as putting Guyana first would be paramount.As the years went by, the AFC and its ‘third force’ politicians, rallied against Government corruption. They accused the then ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) of incompetence, abuse of power, Executive lawlessness and condoning corruption. Raphael Trotman, the late Sheila Holder and Khemraj Ramjattan were seen as the new beacons of hope in the Guyanese society. Some felt they were the standard bearers as far as identifying honest politicians with a service oriented character. The AFC rose to fame and continued its political work vowing to never betray the working-class people of this country and most importantly, never to join a coalition with the PPP or the People’s National Congress (PNC). After all, the AFC resented both parties and blamed them for the current socioeconomic and political conundrum that Guyana was facing. As history recorded it, many Guyanese especially those of mixed descent bought the message of the AFC and gave them the votes they needed to taste parliamentary power. This happened despite boisterous warnings from the PPP that the AFC could not be trusted because those at its helm where deflectors from the major parties who were bitter, untrustworthy, revengeful and thirsty for Executive power.Sheila Holder died before the AFC underwent a most shameful transformation under the leaderships of Trotman and Ramjattan. When she departed this world, the AFC was still a party that had the potential to force the other two main political relics into oblivion because of the freshness of the AFC’s untested approach mixed with its promise to shake up the Government bureaucracy and engineer real change. Now the party has become one of the biggest disappointments in Guyana’s political history thereby beating the United Force, the Working People’s Alliance and GAP/ROAR from the top slots after they too failed to keep their momentum and deliver the kind of change this country needs to progress. The post 2011-AFC is no longer the ferocious tiger guarding the public’s interest and purse. Its teeth have been extracted and it is now enjoying the milk and honey flowing from the covert operations of the David Granger Administration which rose to power as a result of a cosmetic surgery performed on the PNC. That party used every trick in the book to regain the Executive power it lost in 1992 and its last ditch attempt to agree to everything and offer anything that would appeal to the badly bruised and inactive smaller parties in Guyana, inclusive of the Justice for All outfit and WPA, in order to form the A Partnership for National Unity.Instead of declining APNU’s offer to join the coalition which had the PNC as its senior partner, those at the helm of the AFC became discontent with their lot. They wanted to taste Executive power. They wanted to use that power to wreak havoc on Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP. After all, there was no Sheila Holder to stop them and no other mature political voice within the AFC to challenge their desire. And least we forget, Moses Nagamootoo entered the pageant after failing in his last-ditch attempt to wrestle the presidential candidacy position from other senior comrades in the PPP party. He later succeeded in wrestling power away from more suitable persons in the AFC like Cathy Hughes, Raphael Trotman and Dr Rupert Roopnaraine to become the coalition’s Prime Ministerial Candidate in the 2015 General and Regional Elections. The decision was now obvious as both the AFC and PNC were on the same wave length. They now shared a common interest and it wasn’t about delivering meaningful change to the masses but rather securing their individual political futures.Nagamootoo is now Guyana’s first Prime Minister without a serious portfolio. Led by the Prime Minister and Vice President Khemraj Ramjattan, the top brass of the AFC appears set for life. Many splurge and spend taxpayers’ monies on fancy banquets, trips abroad, upgrading their homes and offices with modern and luxurious furnishing, and high-end vehicles. The AFC is now a component of the PNC. It is justifying and shamelessly defending every single Executive abuse by the Government in which it serves. It is condoning corruption and encouraging political witch-hunting. The AFC is now supportive of constitutional violations. For the first time in 10 years, its leaders now are at the lowest point of their political careers because they lack the moral authority and integrity to lecture the PPP or any other important stakeholder on matters pertaining to transparency, accountability and good governance. They are now part of the Government machinery that could soon commit greater atrocities than the PPP ever did.While it is clear that the top AFC leaders have already been bought for their 30 shillings of sliver, the party’s machinery is in chaos and decline. It is virtually non-existent and nonfunctional. The party groups do not meet regularly. They get no guidance from their elected representatives and there are instances of massive financial corruption and mismanagement. There is also widespread concern that the elections to key offices are also staged to keep the existing status quo. The AFC appears happy with this coalition arrangement but 2020 will prove how happy its supporters and financiers are.Even if no one will admit it, the AFC is at a point of no return. Its part of the annals of history that will never be forgotten because it’s a failed third force and a failed attempt at conciliatory politics. It did not have the political patience or discipline to break the trend of oppressive politics.last_img

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