October 27, 2011 

Harris At Large! 


Election Campaigning is raging across the countries of Guyana and Saint Lucia and the Nationals of both countries are caught up in the heightened political fever of the moment. In Guyana 31 parties were considering to do battle against the incumbent – PPP/Civic, in the end 7 parties presented their list of candidates on Nomination Day – October 27, 2011. Elections were last held in Guyana on the 28th of August 2006. The officials at Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) the agency responsible for supervising the election process must be relieved due to the reduction in the number of parties. 

The parties contesting the upcoming elections are as follows: The incumbent People’s Progressive Party/Civic; the opposition coalition headed by the PNC now A Partnership for National Unity (APNU); Alliance For Change (AFC); The United Force (TUF); Horizon and Star; East Berbice Development Association (EBDA), and the Fundamental Structure Group (FSG). There are only three parties that will start and finish the race, namely in alphabetical order AFC, APNU and PPP/Civic; the others will not pass the finishing line. 

I continue to ask the question – who came up with the grand idea to drop the name of the leading opposition party – the People’s Nation Congress (PNC) which existed for several decades in favour of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)? The party in 2006 fought the elections under the banner of the PNC/Reform. Why change now? What is the party faithful saying about this despicable act? How can a formidable political party sacrifice its name to others that have never been a challenge to the ruling PPP/Civic party? In the end it is the Alliance for Change (AFC) that is having the last laugh. In the early days of APNU, everyone who supported the grouping insisted that the AFC should join the grouping but its Leadership, overwhelmingly supported by the membership decided not to give up their identity. Today the AFC is the Momentum Party. I can’t wait to join the campaign. A change has got to come! 

The AFC is in with a chance; whatever the results, the AFC will be the game changer in the politics of Guyana in the future. Constitutional Reform must take place in Guyana. It cannot be business as usual, it is time that the wishes of the late President Cheddi Jagan in respect of Constitutional Reform be honoured. Guyana cannot continue on the path it is currently headed. It is time for change. The upcoming 2011 elections will produce a result that will change the political landscape in Guyana for the better. The writing is on the wall. 

It is important for all Guyanese who seek change to be vigilant at election time to ensure that the elections are free and fair. With the number of political parties greatly reduced, it should be easier to manage the polling stations and political activists whose parties are not directly involved in the elections should volunteer to assist participating parties as polling clerks and observers to ensure that the process is not manipulated unfairly in favour of any of the contesting parties. It was interesting to note The PPP/C held its “Grand Victory Rally” at Stewartville not after, but before the 2006 elections. Could that level of confidence be repeated this time? The records show that there were many unanswered questions after the 2006 elections. 

The Guyanese Diaspora has been very supportive of the major parties but it is significant that there has been a major shift in support from the PPP/Civic and APNU to the AFC. It is very much the same in Guyana with high profile political personalities embracing the AFC, leaving parties that they have been associated with for decades. This is all positive for the AFC. You can visit for the latest action. 

While in Guyana, elections are scheduled for the 28th of November, 2011, the date for elections in Saint Lucia is yet to be announced. Will it be 2011 or 2012? In the meantime, the talk shows are on a high and the politicians are seriously engaging the electorate. The parties and independent candidate are taking no chances; they are already assembling at the starting line.

 Remember always to Keep the Faith, God is in Charge, Dream Big and expect Daily Miracles!

 Edward Harris

Freelance Journalist, Realtor, Business & PR Consultant


Websites:  St. Lucia – Agent ECREDMC

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