Tsipras was kicked out; the AFC will be, too
The most left-wing party in Europe, in my opinion was Syriza in Greece led by Alexis Tsipras. In 2015, Syria won the general election and Tsipras became prime minister.
This is what I wrote of Tsipras in my Tuesday, December 4, 2018 column, “After Greece found the austerity measures by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the IMF too horrible to bear, any party that offered an alternative to the supine government of the day, they would welcome. They embraced Tsipras. He became Greece’s youngest Prime Minister. Then Greece under their new radical Prime Minister, looked the identical country during the austerity pressures of the previous government.
Tsipris began to accept the same harsh recipes from the IMF and the ECB that he denounced as an opposition parliamentarian that his left-wing Finance Minister resigned and a number of his party’s MPs rebelled. A painful irony descended on Greece. Tsipras own parliamentarians didn’t agree to pass his austerity package and he had to rely on the votes of the traditional parties who he denounced for that very same package when they ruled the country.”
Tsipras lost power last week. He was beaten by the same right-wing pro-business party that ushered in the harsh measures that led the Greek people to embrace Tsipras. An identical situation is playing put in Guyana with the AFC.
The difference with Guyana and Greece is that Syriza contested the election on its own. The AFC cannot participate in its own right in a general election.
I am still in two minds if the AFC will win a seat, just one parliament seat, if it goes into the election alone but after the CCJ’s decisions on the no confidence vote (NCV) and the subsequent mouthing off of very unpleasant things in relation to power by AFC leaders, I want to think that the role of the AFC in Guyanese politics is now completely dead.
So whereas the Greek electorate displayed its dislike for Syriza, we will not see the same repudiation of the AFC because the AFC will go into the poll under the petticoat of the PNC. But we are talking about form here, not substance. Death will be death. The PNC cannot save the AFC and does not want to save the AFC.
What is playing out in Guyana with the AFC is being overshadowed by the expanding confusion arising from the NCV. Journalists and political observers have paid scant attention to the guerrilla warfare taking place within the AFC. My analysis here is not so much about the warfare but the reason for it.
Here are some brief episodes of the guerrilla battle then we will look at the reasons for the war. It began in February this year when Raphael Trotman, without a mandate from the AFC, told the media that the party will endorse Nagamootoo for a second stint as PM.
Angry voices in the AFC leadership denounced Trotman. Then in June, this year in the Guyana Times, Trotman warned against others in the AFC wanting to replace Nagamootoo in the next election because it will send the wrong signal to voters.
Since then a big quarrel divided the pro-Ramjattan faction and the Nagamootoo cabal at the June congress of the AFC. Ramjattan won endorsement to be the next PM candidate for the APNU+AFC ticket.
General-Secretary of the AFC, David Patterson made a public announcement that it is a done deal – Ramjattan will be the PM candidate because the Cummingsburg Accord stipulated that the PM will come from the AFC.
Then Nagamootoo at a rally in Bartica donned a shirt with the PNC colours and spoke on the same platform in which Joe Harmon expressed sentiments for Nagamootoo continuing as PM.
Volda Lawrence publicly said there has been no discussion about the PM candidacy within the PNC to which Patterson reacted saying that the issue is not up for discussion. He said the PM slot is allotted to the AFC and the AFC has chosen its person.
Amidst the swirling NCV controversy, AFC leaders are playing up to the PNC by saying sycophantic things. For example, Nagamootoo is warning that the youths will not accept it if there is no house-to-house registration. Ramjattan concludes that the CCJ decision does not prevent the House from sitting.
So what is the reason for the sycophancy of the AFC leaders? They know that the AFC is dead and in their own individual way, they know that the little power they acquired in May 2015 is for the PNC to decide how to share it out in 2019. Therefore, they are jostling each other on the doorstep of the PNC.