The PNCR cannot be trusted
November 5, 2006
The phone literally rang off the hook this past week. My fans were calling to congratulate me again on yet another accurate prediction, this time about the agreement forged between the ruling PPP/C and its traditional nemesis and bitter arch rival the PNCR.
One caller said, “Peeper we should never have doubted you. Everything that you have predicted has come to pass. You predicted that the PNCR would contest the elections and they did; you predicted that the courts would rule on the constitutionality of Parliament and the court ruled in accordance with your prediction and yes, you predicted that eventually the PNCR and the PPP would combine against the Alliance for Change and this is exactly what has happened.”
The teaming up of the PPP and the PNCR which the caller referred to occurred this past week when the elections for Chairpersons and Vice Chairpersons of the 10 administrative regions of the country were held. According to reports in the press, the two parties had reached an agreement for those administrative regions where no party secured an absolute majority. Under that agreement, the PPP agreed to support the PNCR's nominee for chairperson, for example, of Region Four, the most populous region, where the PNCR got the most votes; and the PNCR agreed to support the PPP for the Vice Chairmanship.
However, according to the reports in the media, the PNCR reneged on the agreement and in Region 7 where the PPP got the most seats, but no absolute majority, the PNCR took the Chairmanship and sided with GAP/ROAR when it came to the position of Vice Chairmanship.
None of the two parties, the PNCR and the PPP, have reacted to those reports about a breach of the agreement and therefore we must wait for confirmation whether indeed there was any reneging on any agreement. What is significant is that the PPP has opted for an agreement with the PNCR when it could have instead sought to forge an alliance with the smaller parties to deny the PNCR the chairmanship of any of the administrative regions.
Ever since its formation, the PNC, later to become the PNCR, tormented the PPP both in and out of office. The PNC brought destruction to this country both in and out of office. From 1997 onwards that party has consistently humiliated the PPP administration through its protest actions. It has also in the process hurt this country's economy and reputation and brought about untold suffering in the land.
Having suffered its worst showing ever in elections in the August 28 polls, the PNCR needed a lifeline to avoid an implosion and also further erosion of its support. Here was the perfect opportunity for the PPP/C to finally rout its traditional nemesis and make the PNCR an opposition of no consequence to this nation. The PPP was presented with the perfect opportunity to weaken the PNCR. By siding with the smaller parties the PPP could have ensured that the only region where the PNCR control and dominate would have been Region 10.
However, instead of crushing the PNCR, the PPP did as the Peeper predicted all along. The PPP sided with the PNCR to shut out the Alliance for Change.
If in the process of doing so the PNCR reneged on its agreement with the PPP/C it would not be surprising. The PNCR has had a history of using the PPP. The PPP had insisted, following local government elections held in 1993, that there was an understanding between itself and the PNC for the position of mayor to be rotated between the three parties represented in the Georgetown City Council. However, no sooner had the PNC's turn expired, the PPP accused that party of refusing to honor the agreement reached.
Why then, given the history of the PPP's claim of PNC duplicity, would the PPP again have entered into agreement with the PNCR? As explained by this column, the PPP needs the PNCR and the PNCR needs the PPP to retain their relevance to the electorate. The two parties were once described as two sides of the same coin while another party once said that they fed off each other's support; without the other being present both will disappear.
Faced with the emergence of the Alliance for Change, the existence of these two parties was threatened. Given the credible showing of the AFC in its first outing, the writing was on the wall for both the PNCR and the PPP. And since survival is nature's first instinct, these two parties have decided that they would come together to negate this threat.
This is what the agreement between the PNCR and the PPP was all about. It was as the Peeper predicted. The PPP and the PNCR have come together to shut out the AFC from any position of influence within the ten administrative regions.
How ironic for the PNCR, which was presented once again with the opportunity to show its sincerity about shared governance, to opt for an agreement with the PPP that would allow these two parties to dominate the Chairmanship and Vice Chairmanship of the RDCs. Here was a wonderful opportunity for that party to show that it was genuinely interested in ensuring that all significant groups had power within the regional system. How can the PNCR ever be trusted?
As for the PPP, they will never learn. The PNCR will treat them as they have always treated them. With utter contempt!