Dr David Hinds, an Executive Member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), one of the parties in the Coalition Government, says he was not surprised that the No Confidence motion was passed in the National Assembly two Fridays ago.
“…because I had been aware that the intra-Coalition dynamics were not being managed properly, that the Coalition had a one-seat majority and I felt that it did not pay enough attention to a cohesiveness within the Coalition,” he told News Room during an interview.
“I sensed a long time… that everyone did not feel a sense of ownership of the Coalition – and when you have a one-seat majority you want to make that everyone feels a sense of ownership.
“So in the absence of that, I felt that any given time, with a one-seat majority there was a possibility that something like this would have happened,” he stated.
He said some of the parties were simply left out of the decision-making process and that everything was centrally controlled by a select group.
For all of 2018, Hinds said there was just a single meeting of APNU, and in three and a half years, the WPA – one of the parties in the Coalition – was never invited to a meeting with the AFC.
“And, therefore for me, it is not so much about whether Mr Charrandas was a traitor, whether he took money – those are other issues people can deal with.
“But for me, the fundamental question has always been, how do you prevent one of your members, or two or three of your members, from peeling away out of dissatisfaction.”
When the No-Confidence motion was tabled, there was no meeting of the parties.
“A vote of No Confidence comes up – the first thing you do is that you call your constituent members.
“Let us discuss.
“What is our strategy?
“It is not one person sitting and saying ‘bring it on!’ That is now how you run a country,” he declared.
If the Coalition is serious about going forward, he said it would need to make some hard decisions.
“First of all, I think the Coalition has to publicly apologise to its supporters and the country at large for betraying their trust.
“Because I think the people of Guyana, the majority in the first place, voted not for a one-party government, not for a PNC or an AFC Government.
“They voted for something new, they voted for a Coalition of parties, they voted or a mini-power sharing, a mini shared governance, and I think we have not delivered on that,” he stated.
When it comes to policies, including addressing poverty, labour relations, the sugar industry and constitutional reform, the Coalition “fell down badly.”
“It should apologise to the nation for not using the mandate it was given to carry out some of the things that it promised in its manifesto,” Hinds stated.
Going forward, he said the leadership of Coalition needs to be broadened and “refreshed.”
Dr Hinds believes it would be difficult for the Coalition to win elections if these are held within the next three months, since there is dissatisfaction with the way the Government has performed from all quarters – the base of the Coalition, Afro-Guyanese voters, the Indo-Guyanese supporters the AFC brought in, as well as young and Independent voters.
And so, he said the first thing the Coalition should do is to “look people in their face and admit that you have messed up.”
“If you go back with the same leadership team that has messed up – in peoples’ estimation over the three and half years – then I think you make it much more difficult to win.”