Friday, July 19, 2024

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The crisis was relegated to an unspecified period for an investigation into alleged sexual assault, in deference to the Party’s Congress…which the most senior elder saw as “concerning matters that threaten to destabilize the party environment”.

“Party matters”, we took it, would be of paramount importance, given the connection to the other entities in the political combination elected to be the nation’s Opposition.

Internal turmoil was the extended situation report- with features like the absence of mandatory quarterly meetings, several delays in setting a date-specific to host the biennial Party Congress and overt expressions of no confidence in Party Leadership, alternating for top billing.

On top of all that tumult came this ‘crisis’ that the elders put on a back burner to deal with after elections…suggesting, perhaps, new hope in new leadership. 

One week post the former Leader’s sweeping victory, we’re yet to hear what’s the political program of this larger arm of the Coalition Opposition; how it plans to engage its Coalition members, incorporate their political positions into a Coalition universal document.

Running for office anticipates victory, so plans and policies are available for public digestion without hesitation if/when victory is achieved.

These aren’t interchangeable with campaign sloganeering. They are the detailed versions of how a specific objective will be achieved…specifics that have been characteristically elusive since 2021.

Unsurprisingly, the Key Note Address at Congress read like a playlist, in loop, of favorite hits of PPP infractions.

What remained missing, as it has since 2021, is the proposed solutions by this major arm of the Coalition to counter those infractions as a unit; incorporating the input of its member Parties.

And while we’re awaiting this trove of policy and counter strategies to PPP’s use of its 33 seat National Assembly Majority, with its 1 seat guaranteed Caucus partner…making it a 34 vote advantage to the Opposition’s 31…we’re getting a repeat of times past …bombast and belligerence, unfriendly fire at friends.

2025 and Presidential Candidacy? Aspirations way past a proven ability to run a Party?

We’ll reiterate our support of the PNC for its historic import on Guyana’s political landscape.

Its founding, in 1957, by its original stalwarts, was expressly to give Afro Guyanese–on whose backs and by whose blood the country was built – a fair and fighting chance at the polls.

That need was made dire, pursuant to findings of The Waddington Commission of 1950 and the conclusion of its Dr. Rita Hinden, that Jagan was in pursuit of one Party rule; that his ideology was founded on power in number by race; which remains, today, as true as it was when that report was originally submitted .

The erosion of quality as the Party Blue Print diluted in structure, came with a debilitating  absence of caliber which has left the once robust PNC, a fractured rendition of its formerly formidable self, now facing irrelevance.

We’ve never been shy about decrying its self-serving ventures, none of which, especially in recent years, has made either social or economic impact of measurable significance, on the lives of its constituents.

In this diminished version of itself, the Party thrives, survives, on battles that make it a local entity- as opposed to one that has national leadership potential and that of government in waiting. It’s always easy to do the easier things.

We need only look at the lead up to the re-election of the Leader and the absence of the administrative substructures that were revealed.

Overflowing fervor to stand for what they believed… but where is this energy when jobs and contracts are not trickling down to the work force?

Do they know that they’re not being represented by their elected officials at the table?

Or is the flow of fervor a protective mechanism that claims unity when the prevailing order looks threatened?

It’s only tribal if they are not guided on how to use emotion to both support and demand. We don’t know. So we won’t call it tribal.

The preferred candidate was elected overwhelmingly, is the headline, but other headlines are offering damnation by feint praise.

Citings range from contesting the 2025 elections as a single entity, to the Leader’s pronouncement of which Party should field the Presidential Candidate because of a 90% company ownership of the Coalition versus a collective 10% analogy and his dual role of Party and Opposition Leader…all of which he has a ‘not so illustrious record’ on.

Word is, he’s up against a formidable 10% Leader…a minor stock holder, per his analogy… who has gravitas in both political and business circles…so ‘the stare down start’.

We’ll wait to see what he documents as his operational procedures for us, members of the public… but so far they’ve begun with the anticipated business as usual.

And now that the business of Congress is over, we’ll see how expeditiously the Elders address that ‘crisis issue’ that was placed on the back burner to facilitate Party matters.

In the end, for us who are more for the Party’s history than its current politics, this is about the preservation of a primary pillar of Guyana’s Black History; the entrenchment of Black Suffrage.

It was the PNC that was the vehicle for blacks to vote and have their votes matter by a system that prevented their votes from being inconsequential – because one race had greater population and more members of the electorate.

It’s image has already been tarnished.

And the Elders public meeting, convened ostensibly, to address an allegation of sexual assault, waffled and offered more biased opinion than specifics.

But those evasions were eloquent too.

The business of change is not an extended term for a candidate, whose popularity doesn’t match productivity on the job in terms of measured results.

But we’ve seen this phenomenon before.

This time, however, there is a powerful 10% -in and out of the PNC – with ambitions for the country to govern -which may well be enough incentive to make this 90% shareholder, at the very least, try to work in the capacity of national Opposition Leader.

We’ll continue to call it as we see it.

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