Jul 11, 2019  Features / ColumnistsFreddie Kissoon

The WPA held a community meeting in Buxton and declared its support for the reelection of APNU+AFC. In email discussions with two priceless former WPA heroes – Andaiye and Moses Bhagwan – both of them felt that WPA should have distanced itself from what takes place for governance under the present leadership of APNU+AFC.
Andaiye has passed on. So that leaves Moses and so many others who were once in the WPA’s leadership. Then there is a group named, WPA Overseas Associates (WPAOA) with persons like Dr. Alissa Trotz; Keith Branch, former secretary to Bishop George in the seventies, Eusi Kwayana, etc.
Neither Andaiye nor Moses made their feelings public. But the WPAOA has. It feels that the WPA’s programme should be accepted as part of policy-making and if there is no guarantee of that, the WPA should leave the coalition. WPAOA made that pronouncement more than three months ago. So is there a unified position in the domestic and foreign communities of WPA supporters that the party is going back into elections with the PNC?
I don’t know what was said at the Buxton meeting; the mainstream media did not carry it, so I don’t know if the speakers mentioned the position of WPAOA. But if any party enters a coalition government, it can only survive as a biological organism if it retains its identity and has many of its agenda items translated into policy. This did not happen with the Lib Dem party in the UK. It is a centre-of left party that went into government with the right-wing conservative party and got terrible rejected by the electorate at the next election.
At the time of writing, the infamous Coalition in Italy may fall apart, because each party is demanding implementation of its agenda. In Israel, coalition partners ensure their identities are retained and they fight hard to get their agenda passed. This is where the AFC went the way of the Lib-Dem party. After two years in government, there was no coalition administration, but a typical one-party majority, with the AFC completely sacrificing its identity for power. This loss of its face has caused the demise of the AFC.
I am in two minds to decide if the AFC on its own in the upcoming poll would get a seat. However, I do know it would not get more than one. This is what happens when units in a coalition abandon their identity and agenda in power arrangements. As observed above, I do not know what the format of the Buxton meeting was, so I would not know if the villagers asked questions, but the WPA has to face three very important queries.

What policies and programmes that were in the bosom of the WPA were accepted and implemented since May 2015. Secondly, if as a coalition party, you are contesting another election, have you laid out an agenda with your major partner, and have any items on the agenda been signed and sealed and will become reality?
Thirdly, the WPA did not sign a written power-sharing document when APNU was born. The AFC did just that when it agreed to a coalition to contest the 2015 poll. It is known as the Cummingsburg Accord. It delineates the parameters of state power.
For four years, including as recent as last Sunday in the David Hinds column in this newspaper, it has been regurgitated over and over that the WPA was sidelined after the 2015 election victory. So in 2019 you are staying in a coalition and there is still no legally binding document. Why if you were treated badly in 2015, are you going to walk that self-destructive path again in 2019?
I feel that since the colossal disappointment with the performance of the APNU+AFC since 2015, citizens are more conscious of the faults of politicians, so they are not going to be easily swayed. The WPA, PNC and AFC can fool themselves that since they were nicely received by the people in the villages they went to, they are appreciated.
Cabinet ministers have to be really stupid to think that the response they received in those countless Cabinet outreaches will translate into votes. Going to a village and fooling people (remember the change of no jail term for possession of 30 grams, yet the law remains and you will get jailed if the police arrest you today with 30 grams and you are found guilty) while they listen attentively, is a different world when your opposition has large numbers in front of them and they are exposing your failures.