(Originally published in the Kaieteur News on 03 Nov 2005)
Dear Sweet and Sensitive Freddie, there seem to be two highly anticipated expectations that have yet to be manifested by the new Alliance For Change and since you have decided to throw your support behind the new group, I thought it appropriate to ask your feelings about these two non-events.
You may have already touched on these issues, but if you would be so kind, I’d like to know how you really feel about these concerns that so many in Guyana find problematic. I would like to know how you – a person many (including me) consider to be a moral champion in Guyana - feel about the AFC now.
Dear Friend, I told you I would watch you closely, and as such I do not intend to allow important matters like these to be overlooked. I know how passionate your emotions can be some times, but I do hope your response is ever bit the academic and intellectual dissertation as your many previous causes.
It would be a shame for you to give less than 100 percent to a cause that has cost you the price of a long-admired independent voice. Further, I have faith that your response will reflect the honesty and sincerity that we have all come to expect from you.
I am convinced you would never attempt such deceit, but I must say I believe it would be tasteless for you to insult my intelligence with an attempted political diversion or to dance around the issue. I’m hoping you have not fallen so far into the political ensnarement that you would resort to these shameless tactics in lieu of substantial and open answers.
Let’s get on with the issues at hand, shall we Friend? The first unrealised expectation anticipated by many, of course, was that Ramjattan, Trotman and Holder would all step down from their seats in Parliament. I have already written on this issue and made my stance known.
However, now that the official launch has come and gone and the leaders of the AFC have chosen to jut a rebellious chin toward their former parties, the Constitution and many citizens – I’d like to elaborate a bit.
At this point it would seem that this new group of leaders is acting like they are exempt from the expectations and rules that govern the rest of Guyana. In fact, they are acting very much like the PPP and PNC. I must say that I am grossly disappointed because I too would like to see a new group rise up for the good of the country – though I choose not to support any one particular party.
Therefore, I simply do not understand their desire to hold on to these seats so vehemently when doing so causes them to be viewed with contempt – something most new parties would seek to avoid at all costs.
This defiant act is harmful in many ways. At face value, it appears they are either unwilling to fully relinquish the ties with their former parties or they are power hungry and do not wish to surrender the influence that accompanies the seats they occupy.
I simply cannot find another logical explanation for this decision. Would you mind helping me to reason this out, Freddie? It seems to me that if they hold onto their seats, they are therefore obligated, to one degree or another, to their former parties and the agenda attached to those parties. If this is so, how can the people trust them to seek the best interest of the country over the interest of the party?
I cannot buy into the whole bit about remaining “gainfully occupied with the people’s business” bit since it is the people who want them to resign their seats. Every newspaper in Guyana has published numerous letters to the Editor from AFC supporters and non-supporters alike calling for their resignations. Shouldn’t the AFC leadership take these requests into account?
The refusal of these leaders to resign their seats gives the appearance of the same old rancid politics as usual – and you and I (and the rest of the country) know it is change and integrity that is needed to help Guyana progress, not more suspicious activity.
The second, and less obvious, concern is the apparent disregard for others who are working toward the same goal of change. It is more than obvious that if any group really wants to bring change to Guyana, two things are needed: 1) A strong multi-racial force of seasoned leaders, the more the better and, 2) A united front. There can be no egos, no demanding and childish behaviour and NO agenda other than the best interest of Guyana.
Way back at the beginning of last May, Paul Hardy, a man I view with much respect, opened his arms and his party to Trotman. Shoot, he was even willing to give Trotman the leadership position. Yet Hardy is not included in the AFC. Likewise, Ravi Dev extended a hand of friendship to the AFC and it was not even acknowledged.
A new coalition-type group, which we know very little about, the GTF (in which Hardy and Dev are both active) announced at its launch that it would like to work with the AFC. This gesture was not reciprocated at the launching of the AFC.
It was as if the AFC snubbed the very ones they need most right now – including Joey Jagan. There wasn’t even so much as an acknowledgment of their attendance at the launch. In my very humble opinion, this line of action could prove to be detrimental to all attempts at a successful “Third Force” run for government next year.
What did you think about this strange phenomenon, Freddie? Did you think it was proper and wise for the AFC to give a cold shoulder to these other leaders who should play a vital role in the future of Guyana? Do you think the AFC has a better chance in the next election without these other leaders and therefore support the AFC’s decision to rebuff these offers for a cooperative effort?
In other words Freddie, tell me what you really think about the AFC now. Are they heading down a good road or are they burning their bridges a bit too early? I do hope you still have the backbone to speak your mind on political matters such as these. It would be a shame to lose your independence and your courage all in one month.
Read Freddie's First Response
Read Freddie's Second Response