PNCR disunity affecting opposition struggle against PPP, says WPA’s Ogunseye

Last Updated on Monday, 17 April 2023, 20:50 by Denis Chabrol

Congress Place, the headquarters of the People’s National Congress Reform.

The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) on Sunday night urged that there be a campaign of “tension” across Guyana to push for executive power sharing and an end to discrimination against Afro-Guyanese, but indicated that a lot depended on unity in the main opposition People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR).

“We in the WPA are amazed that after two and a half years, the PNC is unable to resolve its internal problems. It is not a matter for us in a certain way but it’s important because the PNC is an important political player in the country and is the most important political force in the opposition and to the extent they remain divided and weak, it creates the opportunity for Jagdeo , Ally and Nandlall and the wicked PPP leadership to do to us what they are doing,” he told an estimated 40 persons at the Plaisance Market Square.

PNCR Leader Aubrey Norton has not openly conceded that his party is plagued by disunity but Executive Member Coretta Mc Donald appealed for unity during a town hall meeting in the United States.

Mr Ogunseye said he would have liked to see former PNCR Leader David Granger and his associates recognise that the problems that they had been creating for their party were opportunities for  Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, President Irfaan Ali Attorney General Anil Nandlall and the wicked People’s Progressive Party (PPP) leadership to perpetrate certain acts. “It is driving their constituents which are mainly African people; it is driving us into the ground and he would have come out with a bold statement in response to the PPP declaration that they are going after Georgetown, they are going after Linden, they are going after New Amsterdam, they are going after Bartica…,” he said. He said Mr Granger and his colleagues should have come out with a statement that they were standing with Mr Norton.

“I don’t understand their politics. It doesn’t make sense,” he said.

In clear reference to Nomination Day, April 17, 2023, he said  the WPA was awaiting the PNCR’s position on Local Government Elections as that would determine the pace, rapidity and intensity of political engagement in Guyana. “What they do, whether we like it or not will have important consequences for the political engagement,” he said.

PNCR Executive Member Troy Garraway on Monday defended his party’ decision to contest the Local Government Elections, despite lingering concerns about the voters lists.  In Georgetown, the PNCR hopes to win four additional seats on June 12, even with what it regards a padded list. “We cannot allow the other parties to take control of our base, our strongholds. we cannot allow them to think that Guyana belongs to them. Secondly, we are contesting these elections and by doing so, we have our foot soldiers in the ground who are doing house-to-house,” he said. He added that, for example, in Albouystown, more than 42 names on the list were questionable and were being processed for court action. He said those discrepancies had not been brought to the attention of the Guyana Elections Commission.

While pointing out that the WPA does not tell other political parties what they must do, he said regardless of the PNCR’s position the WPA would be forging ahead with making June 12, 2023- Local Government polling day- a day of national resistance and “massive” African uprising. Mr Ogunseye reiterated that the call was not aimed at pitting Afro-Guyanese against Indo-Guyanese.

The WPA Executive member said that in the context of significant oil wealth, it was important to fast-track the settlement of political demands because upcoming elections would entrench Indian and non-African domination of Guyana’s economy.

He accused the PPP of bribing Guyanese in the name of democracy and said the only opportunity now was to take to the streets and press for meaningful constitutional reform. “We want tension in the political equation coming from the political opposition from today to the next elections…We want the country to be a hotbed of political mobilisation because we have to get a new governance  system or we bring Guyana to a halt,” he said.