REPUBLISHED of ORIGINAL FEB 7th 2022
…Negotiating a secret Cummingsburg Accord is not for the benefit of the voters or the country….
It’s not like it’s the Da Vinci Code, or anything nearly as complex, that needs be unraveled here.
This is a game of snakes and ladders, where the snakes are the biblically defined amoral creatures and the ladders are the boundless ambitions of those who would employ the amorality of a snake to climb to the top.
As PNC continues to dominate top billing on the nation’s political marquis and the phrase political scoundrels outpaces unorthodox statesmen, we’re contemplating how the voters and supporters of APNU got here and why the political deities seem to, always, render to the Guyanese electorate more Caesar than god.
We don’t subscribe to the notion of it being a curse at all.
Instead, we ascribe it to the politically engineered slow moving evolution of voter awareness, that sustains a national political ideology of survival being a constant skirmish between the two dominant political Parties, each controlling the two larger racial blocs.
And those of us understanding the encampment of politics and its effect on our thinking never forget the PNC’s embrace of Kemraj Ramjattan and Moses Nagamootoo as damning miscalculations by dubious strategists oblivious to the history of cultural facts…anticipating some sort of poaching of voters that 2 unpopular ex PPP members would have brought to their fold.
Kemraj had been expelled from his Party and was denied his crawl back, even as he pitifully reaffirmed his commitment to its ideology, virtually on his knees.
Nagamootoo had left his, because, after all of his years of insanitary political practice, Jagdeo was disinclined to have a record that could be compared to anyone else’s…even in part.
Alliance for Change offered some kind of haven and Granger’s APNU sought partnership.
The two, thereafter, rose to heights they would have never attained in the PPP.
From the roof top of his career, one even delivered the vote that ejected APNU from leadership by his careful non-rigorous oversight of his ill-disciplined member, while the other bubble wrapped said member in police escort to the airport after he cast the vote to declare no confidence in their Coalition – in a move that looked like post- performance gratuity for the designated sacrificial lamb
It’s the handshake between deviousness and demagoguery that was extended from David Granger to these AFC men who were enjoying leadership by circumstance through an accord that was akin to a sand castle, crafted by a king that was just as circumstantial…all at the expense of people who voted for ‘A Good life for all Guyanese’.
The Cummingsburg Accord immediately became Granger’s weapon of power as he reneged and pruned away at agreed governing responsibilities that would have given the AFC due visibility- and after Ramjattan made a public declaration of the efficacy of the agreement citing the quality of Granger’s character which he now knows, like the rest of us, holds steady at the lower end of the range.
Of note is that Ramjattan had gamed out possible retaliations, should Granger give them the shaft during their governing ….including a plan to declare his Party’s total 12 seat vote of no confidence in the APNU 1 seat majority Government para 16…
which may explain why the man who cast the vote of No Confidence was treated like a rock star and more recently, Ramjattan’s current demure posture on the ‘Amended Cumingsburg Accord’.
As an extra safeguard back in 2015, he had subscribed to the “Leader of the List being an Independent person” and given that he has had about the same 5 years we’ve had to see Granger as a legal opportunist, tugging at every loophole, skirting regulations and dallying along multiple routes to administrative corruption, the only reason we can conclude that this evidence would encourage him to cut deals with a demonstrable reprobate would be what’s in it for him.
In January 2020 when Granger, who can barely feign judiciousness, announced that Ramjattan would be the PM candidate, there was lot to contemplate, in the realm of snakes and ladders.
Nagamootoo, in exile, had become the nation’s number two man- a post he was denied where he came from and an overture that offered no promise beyond a one seat majority to hoist Mr. Granger into what he turned into a functionally ornamental capacity …with access to that power cable- THE LIST.
One ladder…one snake… you get the picture.
Now Ramjattan -whose fortification against a Granger sabotage will definitely be to the detriment of those who vote Coalition- has not only sat through a Cummingsburg Amendment for his turn at the PM box but has agreed, along with Granger and Harmon, to keep its edits …however nationally underserving , secret.
Another snake another ladder…
Men stepping on their voters for personal gain under the rubric of “service to nation and patriotism”, has run through the fabric of politics from time immemorial.
“Ambitious men undoing simple interpretations”– ancient Socrates told us, as he made clarifying distinctions between plotters and patriots who infect pure meanings with their species of loyalty.
Let’s hope they aren’t served that cup of hemlock…
That said, the situation is this.
Granger has resigned as APNU Chairman but refuses to give up Representative of its List of Candidates. Harmon has resigned as Leader of Opposition but refuses to exit as a Member of Parliament. Ramjattan remains Deputy Representative of the List, in an appointment that questions Granger’s capacity to have so named him.
The resignations were not acts of honor that came in the spirit of making way for new leadership. They came after Granger and Harmon were forced to acknowledge that they were walloped out of office in a deluge of votes cast in celebratory abandon to remove their control.
But their decision to squat, even though Harmon has since resigned as leader, should not be dismissed without scrutiny.
As lay readers of the law, we found in Laws of Guyana Chapter 2:10 (pg. 27/204) that there is a right to form political parties that must respect the principles of democracy…which sits exactly at the opposite end of dictatorship. Political parties are formed under the law to function as the ideological representative of its constituents and not as private enterprise – which means that Party Leaders have a fiduciary responsibility to serve their voters.
That does not comport, at all, with Granger and Harmon crafting an Amended Cummingsburg accord with Ramjattan and publicly declaring the document so secret that it is circulated amongst them and their selectees…reportedly excluding the Party’s current Leader and Executive … even after their victory.
Can’t conceive how PNCR card carrying Party Members, obliged to pay dues to sustain the entity that was formed by law to serve them and extended membership, are not decrying the secrecy that these men of documented blemish are forcing them to accept.
And those tripping over themselves to point to Jagdeo and his Party, just chill.
That’s exactly the response, the hollow partisan defense of their actions, that this APNU trio is playing for from from a country and a Party so steeped in racialized politics that they can’t see how they’re being ‘fried’ (the palatable F word) by their own .
The Coalition is the nation’s political Opposition per the country’s constitution. The PNCR, its larger entity, remains the victim of sabotage from within, with able assistance from its 2nd largest partner who validates the undermining by agreeing to hide vital information.
And for those swooning over the fact that the resident US Ambassador visited Mr. Norton at his Sophia Office, please note that this is purely proforma, what her portfolio demands and is in no way any demonstration of sudden affection or political preference for the Opposition.
The job of every Coalition member, every Guyanese fighting for a country in which all are beneficiaries of its patrimony, is to demand the critical inspection the ‘Amended Accord’. Every word, phrase, punctuation mark, must be examined for context; which is the pledge of the constitution and the promise of its laws as it pertains to political parties.
Mr. Norton has won the grand prize of resuscitating the larger arm of the Opposition he now leads and reconstructing the politicking that his Coalition must implement, to be viable at all.
The ambition should now point to discarding the time weary PNC Operations blue print and the practices, now outdistanced by skills.
Rooting for the country is what we do but acknowledge that it is intra party analysis that will determine how it rebrands and engages the path forward.
Mr. Norton has won the Leadership of his party.
Now he has to win more of the electorate to take the PNC beyond partisan politics and into the national realm.
And again, for those rushing to draw parallels to the ‘winning operation’ of PPP, we’re not talking of political cultism, where race and leadership by terrorism is said to be politicking…
a social construct so ridiculously artificial and porous in formation that the US State Department can coopt it, along with its criminal architects as their ‘champion of democracy’ in their regional soft incursion .
We need a second Party to perform the obligatory role of essential oversight.
Hopefully, that’s where Mr. Norton’s ambitions are too.