Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Peter Wickham & Hartley Henry's interventions were designed to sideline Ramjattan-Eric Phillips
Eric Phillips: The AFC also needs to get its house in order before it attempts to forge a Combined Opposition. Khemraj Ramjattan has publicly stated in Guyana and Canada, that he will not be a part of a Combined Opposition. Raphael Trotman wants the AFC to be a part of a Combined Opposition and also badly wants to be the leader or the number two. This has led to a part of the AFC leadership creating purposeful and strategic (so they believe) interventions by the Peter Wickham CADRES Poll prior to the AFC’s last weekend meeting to decide on their rotation principle as well as the introduction of Henry Hartley from Barbados without Kemraj Ramjattan’s agreement.
These interventions were designed to strengthen Raphael’s hands and to create a momentum that would essentially sideline Khemraj. There is nothing sophisticated about this. It is pure hard core politics for Raphael to get his way and to lead the AFC into a Combined Opposition. Henry Hartley is a close associate of Peter Wickham (CADRES poll) and in essence was here to operationalize the poll to Raphael’s advantage. I myself take the poll with a large grain of salt as it lacks credibility in many areas but has enough truths in it to make it seem credible.
The AFC needs to look deep into its soul because the current treatment of Peter Ramsaroop is despicable no different than the treatment dished out to Gomattie Singh. Peter Ramsaroop has brought a large number of ideas to the AFC and unlike many politicians in Guyana, works hard, is experienced in many fields, commits his own capital and time to a better Guyana, and is team oriented. The maximum leaders seem to want no challengers regardless of the contribution made by others.
As I have said in the past, the rotation strategy of the AFC is undemocratic and authoritarian if only the three founder members are the ones to be rotated. This rotation is about acknowledging that Guyana is a racially divided society and not about enlightened leadership. It is a Westminster approach to the race problem in Guyana. The issue is that Westminster is a bad system for Guyana and any Westminster solution is just as bad. Let me also caution the AFC about denial and deception. I was invited by the AFC to a meeting with Henry Hartley. Yes, he is good at what he does. What worried me greatly was the idea raised by him and supported by the AFC leadership at that meeting that Guyana does not have a racial problem.