Saturday, August 14, 2010

WPA strategy meeting was sheer confusion

Dr Randy Persaud: CONFUSION was rife at the WPA “Groundings” on Wednesday last at Rodney House. Major disagreements surfaced among the WPA, AFC, and PNCR. According to press reports the meeting was poorly attended and was deeply contentious.
Michael Carrington of the AFC Executive opened the door for collaboration with the PNCR but set the condition that Mr. Corbin must be out of his own party leadership! The AFC has repeatedly stated that it does not want any relationship with the PNCR and has also repeatedly accused the PNCR of relying too much on its ‘bank’ of guaranteed ethnic votes.
WPA Executive member, David Hinds chastised the AFC for its “flawed decision”. Hinds was clear that the main aim of opposition forces is to ‘…remove this government [PPP/C] from power” (Stabroek News, 8.12, 2010).
Professor Clive Thomas of the WPA also strongly criticised the AFC, calling the party’s decision regarding the PNCR as “naive and premature” (SN 8.12.10). Thomas also accused the AFC of simply being interested in becoming the main opposition party. One can extrapolate from Thomas’ position he has concluded that the AFC does not grasp the big issues in Guyana.
In what amounted to suggestions to sow seeds of disunity within the PPP/C, Professor Thomas also chastised the AFC for not playing up a possible third term for President Bharrat Jagdeo. Apparently Prof. Thomas did not see a recent press release from the AFC which specifically maliciously stated that the AFC believes the president will run for a third term.
One main source of confusion, if not worse, is that the WPA is caught in a cross-fire between the PNCR and the AFC. The WPA apparently wants the PNCR to be included, but the AFC does not. What is strange here is that the AFC and the WPA are in the driver’s seat despite the fact that the former has only a few seats in parliament and the latter has none. The PNCR has shown signs of impatience with being lectured by these two small parties. Is it not rude that a small party like the AFC should demand the ousting of Mr. Corbin?
Some aspects of the post meeting commentary are off the charts. Frederick Kissoon, who previously supported the AFC has now come out and said he “…hasn’t been impressed with the contents of the AFC’s praxis…a collective group” (KN 8.13.10). Kissoon criticised Joey Jagan, and also differed with Hinds and Thomas who were both seated at the head table.
It appears that the meeting did not achieve its basic objectives. In the meantime PPP General Secretary has stated that his party is willing to collaborate with parties that it can trust.

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