One of the most critical mistakes the APNU+AFC faction made upon winning the 2015 General and Regional Elections was underestimating the political prowess of Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo in returning his party to office says former Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Nigel Hughes.
During a recent interview with Guyanese activist Rickford Burke, Hughes pointed out that Jagdeo had transformed into a campaigning machine from the time his party lost the elections while the coalition got comfortable in its new place of power. The lawyer stressed that Jagdeo knew that he had to return to restore confidence in the PPP’s support base–and that he did.
Hughes said, “…He realized that his base had abandoned him whether they (PPP) had become too arrogant, whether they have been in there too long, and he went straight to work from day one. That didn’t happen on the other side… I don’t think that that level of dedication and work went in (on the part of the APNU+AFC).”
As a result, Hughes alluded to the fact that the government was unable to replicate the same victory it got five years ago in the 2020 elections. In this regard he saidd, “…If you don’t put in the work, you can’t get the results.”
Further to this, the former AFC Chairman hinted that the coalition may have wittingly or unwittingly, underestimated Jagdeo’s No-Confidence Motion that was passed on December 21, 2019.
“You got to be a real (thoughtless person) to believe that a person like Jagdeo with his political skill is going to bring a vote of No Confidence and you don’t think that there is a chance that he is going to win. And you don’t start doing your own internal work,” the lawyer added.
Hughes said that another mistake the coalition made was failing to return to its supporters after winning the elections and thanking them personally for their sacrifices. He said that indeed, the citizenry expected a different way of doing business but “we have reverted to exactly the same way we conduct politics as we did in the 60’s – pure race.”