EDITORIAL – Had Charandass Persaud sided with the APNU+AFC and voted against the no-confidence motion, … the government would have still collapsed … Because there were two other APNU+AFC Parliamentarians that would have most likely support the opposition and vote yes.
In other words, the no-confident motion was supposedly bound to pass in any case; – as long as any one of the three disgruntled APNU+AFC Parliamentarians had gone along with their “conscience”, as they may want to call it.
But since Mr Persaud’s name was early up in the voting order and his vote was already cast in favour of the motion, I will want to assume that the other two potential defectors decided not to expose themselves, as the immediate collapse of the government was already in order.
So as much as the APNU+AFC may be fuming about Charandass Persaud, they should realize that there are others in their camp that would have sealed their fate, even if Persaud had changed his vote to a ‘no”.
You might be asking how do I know that.
If so, let us rewind the trail up to about twelve hours before the vote. Because prior to that fateful sitting, something interested happened within the offices of the Guyana Guardian.
As usual, we received one credible tip, four emails and one phone call, all of which followed on the heels of two messages that were sent to this publication since the night before.
We were indirectly informed that three defections are expected, and at least two potential APNU+AFC Parliamentarians were concerned about their safety if they voted in support of the no-confident motion.
I am not sure if they had sent the same thing to any other media house, but we were pressed to publish an article to expose the fact that they were all threatened by four named members of the current government, and that they were expected to assemble at one point for a final briefing before heading into parliament.
As a news outfit, we receive tips every day from the public. But subsequent to the information we initially received on the no-confidence motion, a woman purporting to be the relative of a parliamentarian sent an email and then call me expressing fears over the safety of her husband, whom she identified as a parliamentarian.
She reads the Guyana Guardian every single day (she claims), and felt that since we evidently have a larger digital reach than practically any other online news publication in Guyana, and seems politically detached, she felt we can highlight her concerns.
So, after doing some minor investigations and somewhat trusting my sources, I penned an article with the headline “3 APNU+AFC Parliamentarians Wants to Defect – Is Concerned About Their Safety”.
The article was scheduled to be published at 1pm; – a mere one hour before the no-confidence debate was slated to start.
But because of the sensitive nature of the article and some uncertainties, I deiced to consult with another Editor, one staff writers, and a Management Executive of the Guardian all of whom immediately objected to its publication.
As far as they were concerned, the article seems mischievous and can create unnecessary panic. They insist on me naming the sources and the possible objectives of those sources, but I refuse to provide that information.
In the end, and after much argument, a majority voted against the article. As such it was never published.
After all, there is no other evidence to available to substantiate the claims made by all of the informants, since they were also reluctant to provide the name s of the three potential defectors to this publication, even though assurances of confidentiality were expressed.
Moreover, the government has long argued (in any case) that they have no reason to threaten any member on their side of the bench, since they are optimistic about receiving their support.
So it seems like the article may be wrong.
But for whatever reason, everyone seems to have forgotten that the opposition PPP/C has been singing a different tune, with claims that they have the support of a small grouping of government MP’s with whom they have spoken, and that those MP’s were being threatened.
I hold no political allegiance to any party in this country, but personally did not think that the opposition was lying when they said that MP’s were being threatened.
So when the debate began a few minutes after the cancelled publication of the article, I had no other choice than to monitor the parliamentary proceedings, like everyone else.
Hours later, I was almost not so surprised when Charandass Persaud, the third APNU+AFC Parliamentarian to vote, said yes to the motion.
I had also expected the other two to also defect. But in my opinion, and as I had said earlier, if the damage was already done, I am guessing that the two others saw no need to expose themselves, at least for now.
And even though we subsequently learnt who the other two defectors would have most likely been, I am now thinking that sometimes, it is always best to let sleeping dogs lie.
All of that aside, the damage has already been done. The APNU+ATC government has collapsed.
But if that article in question was published, it would have been perfectly on point.