In my Tuesday, November 5, 2019 column with the heading, “A question for Mark Kirton, Aubrey Norton and Vincent Alexander,” I asked two questions of them; which parts of Guyana, the AFC will get their vote from in 2020, and what percentage of the votes do they allocate to the AFC.
Only two of the three have replied. It was through emails and done in very informal ways but within that informality lie the men’s serious thoughts. Both said to me, it is a friendly chat from their own perspectives and I am requested not to name them.
I have since deleted the emails. Both of them generally have a similar perspective, with minor difference in the ratio of allocation of seats and Cabinet positions. Here are the thoughts of the two.
Both believe that the AFC cannot and should not be allowed to dictate to the PNC because the two parties are not equals for all intent and purpose. Both feel the AFC is bluffing about going it alone and the PNC should ignore almost any ultimatum by the AFC.
These gentlemen are of the unmovable view that the PNC should choose its own prime ministerial candidate and the person should come from the PNC. One of them even said that if he were in the negotiating team, he would have walked out when the AFC insisted on naming the PM candidate.
He wrote that the talks are about renegotiating the Cummingsburg Accord, so you have to put the entire menu on the table. He indicated that once the AFC insisted that the Cummingsburg Accord stipulated that the PM candidate must come from the AFC then the talks should have been stopped because the AFC was negotiating in bad faith.
For him, the contents of the Accord is up for a re-look and a re-think; therefore, you cannot pick and choose what you want to change and what you want to retain.
Concerning the percentage, here is where there was a difference. One of them believes that the PNC can win the election without the AFC. He wrote that the demographics favour a victory whether it is APNU+AFC or APNU going alone.
I have not replied to the emails because I don’t think they will entertain further discussion. But I would have liked to see his analysis of how the APNU can win an outright majority.
One argues for a ratio of 90 and 10. These were his words, “I don’t think the PNC should concede more than ten percent in Cabinet posts and parliamentary seats because the electoral strength of the AFC is very weak.”
The other goes for a ratio of 80 and 20. Interestingly both men at arriving at their percentage simply said that is what they think the AFC is worth.
This was all those emails contain. They were very brief but in that brevity, I get a sense of how the PNC feels about the AFC. I guess when I see all three of these gentlemen, I will probably get a more expansive outpouring of their thoughts. These emails came on Wednesday morning. It was on Wednesday afternoon, and the President announced that he has not chosen a specific candidate to fill the position of PM.
If I had received those emails after Granger’s pronouncement then I could have argued that the sentiments in the emails were based on what Granger said. It just goes to show that these two fellows know the feelings inside the PNC about the PM candidate.
Now here is what is interesting. I am typing this piece here at 3 PM on Thursday. Earlier in the morning, I was on the Eve Leary seawall and I got a call from a prominent second tier leader in the AFC. He called to discuss the headline in the Kaieteur News for that day in which Granger insists that he will name who is to be his prime minister.
I was requested to ask a question in my column as to why Raphael Trotman has not publicly endorsed Ramjattan for the PM slot.
Well here I am asking the question right now. I remind readers that in my Monday, October 28, 2019 column captioned, “Imran Khan put a ‘jumbie’ lash ‘pon’ Khemraj Ramjattan,” I wrote the following, “Trotman was one of four persons who hosted the press meeting but unlike the other three at the table, Trotman did not speak to the issue that the press conference was called to air (the refusal of APNU to accept Ramjattan as the PM candidate).
I guess another AFC press conference is about to happen. The nation awaits the vexations on what Granger said.