Last Updated on Thursday, 19 February 2015, 0:58 by GxMediaA two-horse race at the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections is expected to see the incumbent People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) returning to office for a sixth straight term, according to government’s Chief Spokesman, Dr. Roger Luncheon.
Luncheon, who is also an Executive Committee member of the PPP, welcomed the coalition between the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)-dominated A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC).
“I am a bit pleased in a sense that the electoral challenges have been reduced and this is, off course, on the assumption of what is today will be on the appointed day- May 11th– that there will be two contestants,” he said.
Luncheon said even if other parties enter the race, they would “not add up to a whole one,” and so he was convinced that the PPP-Civic would be chosen over the coalition. “I can’t believe that the merits of either or would not redound to the benefit of the incumbent,” he said.
While the coalition has expressed immense optimism about combining their support garnered in the 2011 election to unseat the PPPC, Political Analyst Dr. Henry Jeffrey does not believe that the David Granger-led coalition would win. Reiterating his preference for a Moses Nagamootoo-led combination that would have targeted the traditional East Indian-base of the PPPC, Jeffrey forecasts that those who voted AFC in 2011 would either stay home or return to the PPPC or vote for the coalition because there would be no longer any “middle-ground party”. The PPP more than three years ago lost their parliamentary majority for the first time in post-Independence Guyana, winning 32 of the 65 seats, leaving APNU with 26 and the AFC seven.
However, Political Commentator, Christopher Ram has countered Jeffrey’s views by arguing that Guyanese across the divide are so fed up with the PPPC’s governance, especially corruption, that the incumbent would be voted out of office for the first time in 22 years.
PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee earlier this week stopped short of suggesting that Guyanese ethnic voting patterns would prevail in the upcoming polls to his party’s advantage. “Experience has shown that instead of the people warming to that kind of notion they instead backed from it away and continued with certain voting patterns. Let’s wait and see what will happen here. I am not predicting that will happen but voters are voters. They are quite intelligent and smart people,” he has said.
His party’s campaign strategy has already begun to emerge- that the AFC lied to it supporters that ot would never coalesce with either APNU or PPPC, the combined opposition blocked funding for several major transformative infrastructural projects like the Specialty Hospital and the Amaila Falls Hydropower plant and that youths have, unlike the past, been able to own their own homes and vehicles.