News Americas, BRONX, NY, Weds. Nov. 23, 2011: There comes a time in the life of every individual when one is called upon to take a stand and the choice made decides whether that person is resolved to shed the confines of the familiar but inhibiting and reach out for change, new and perhaps a bit discomfiting but certainly exhilarating and imbued with tremendous possibilities.
November 28th marks one such defining moment for Guyanese; a moment when, for the first time ever, the viable choices are not based on the emotionalism of race and group loyalty.
While this is the second time that AFC will be contesting the elections, it is the first time that the AFC presents a potent alternative to the PPP and the PNC. Between the 2006 elections and the 2011 elections the AFC has solidified itself as the only multiracial political party in Guyana; one that reflects Guyana’s racial mix in a profound and integral manner rather at a level of tokenism. Also in the intervening years the AFC has become immeasurably more responsive to the Guyanese people in a manner that none of the other parties have been able to display.
In its responsiveness the AFC has listened to, given due consideration and extensive inclusion to ideas and suggestions mooted by Guyanese from all walks of life both at home and in the Diaspora. And this responsiveness has been paralleled by a level of inclusiveness that results in the AFC becoming not only truly multi-racial but also reflective of Guyanese variegated richness – age, gender, status, class. In effect the AFC has become truly embracing and reflective of Guyanese society that all can connect with and see themselves reflected in this truly unique organization.
In keeping with its responsiveness and inclusiveness the AFC has indicated a willingness to harness the skills and resources of the Guyanese world on a basis of merit rather than ethnic identification or party/group loyalty. For while the AFC does not claim to have all the answers or to be infallible, the AFC knows that the collective wisdom of the Guyanese people does hold all the answers. And so its framework for development forms the base upon which this wisdom will be harnessed to firstly move Guyana out of the current morass and then take forward towards its true destiny – one of material comfort, personal and property security and freedom to exercise, free from fear, rights and corresponding responsibilities within the confines of the law.
Another unique hallmark of the AFC is its campaign sans mud-slinging, character assassination, distortions, half-truths and unfounded accusations. This campaign is manned by an AFC leadership that reflects the various generations of Guyanese. We’ve seen them grow and evolve into individuals of integrity, honesty and fearlessness. We know that they will and will not do even before they get into government. And thus we know that we need to give them a chance to bring about ardently needed change.
Guyanese whether at home or abroad know and can speak of too many similar experiences under both the PNC and the PPP, among them: fear and insecurity, robbery and violence, bribery and corruption, ethnic bias and prejudice, material want and lack of opportunities for advancement, abuse of power and arrogance, neglect of too many communities, exploitation and abuse of women and children, shortage of recreational and social opportunities, and a lack of response and consultation on the part of those in power. As one of the few principled and honest politicians, Moses Nagamootoo puts its, those in power are living Cadillac lifestyles in a donkey cart economy.
Now we must put ethnic loyalty aside, do not cave in to fear and instead, join in the movement to bring change to Guyana. We all know that had Dr. Jagan been alive today he would never have allowed the degeneration of Guyana under the PPP. Nor, of that matter, would Forbes Burnham have fostered some of the practices and pathologies that exist today. So it’s time for us to become forward-looking, free of bribery, corruption and nepotism where wages will ensure material comfort and emotional well being.
For all these reasons I endorse the AFC. And I call on my Guyanese brothers and sisters at home to vote issues instead of race, put Guyana first and vote for a new dawn; in effect vote for change: vote AFC. Also I call upon all Guyanese in the Diaspora to show your support for change by logging on to the AFC website (www.afcguyana.com) and making your contribution, by encouraging others in the Diaspora to do so and by calling your friends and relatives in Guyana and persuading them to vote AFC on November 28th.
Do remember that both the PNC and the PPP have had their chances and all they have done is to take Guyana backwards into a fear filled society characterized by corruption, bribery and nepotism, where wages are woefully inadequate and each day is a struggle for material and emotional wellbeing. Then together, let us all hold the AFC to its promises or vote it out in 2016 if it does not keep those promises.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Annan Boodram is a New-York based journalist and former publisher.