The unexpected events of December 21st have left us shocked and hurt. It is clear the manner in which the monstrous plot was unleashed was intended to cause maximum damage to the Government.
For the AFC, this is a double blow because the Government is now threatened, and the attack came from within the ranks of the AFC. This attack was well planned, timed and executed. So let us not believe that what happened was conceived and executed in a few days or weeks. We dropped the ball by not treating this seriously enough, and by failing to recognise that one of our own could vote in favour of the Motion.
As the Leader of the party, I have to shoulder the responsibility for some of these outcomes and for moving things forward, but in doing so, do not accept that I am responsible for what happened because of my response to statements made by Volda Lawrence. It is in my personality to always see the good in people and to accept that good people can say, and do silly and hurtful things. During my political career I have defended Khemraj Ramjattan, our Chairman, when he was a member of the PPP, and called on the PNC to apologise for aspects of its administration, and more recently, released Mr. Rohee from the restriction of speaking in the National Assembly, to name a few. All of these defences of people from other parties saw me viciously attacked, and I remind myself that I look for the good in people and not demonize them for mistakes made when I know them differently.
So where do we go from here?
This no-confidence motion has been a wake-up call for us long before it was even voted on. The vote has made the concerns of the people even more acute. The AFC and Government have recognized this as a significant political indicator and it will not be business as usual. We have made a commitment to listen, to accept that we have erred, and seek to change; whilst providing leadership.
The "No Confidence Motion" was passed with 33 Members of Parliament supporting it, however, there is a strong and compelling argument that it requires 34 votes to see the resignation of the Government.
There is also a strong argument that in order to bring a successful “No Confidence Motion” the lists proposing the motion must first have an electoral majority of its own and not depend on anyone crossing the floor, as this practice is not allowed in our parlimentary rules.
It is for the Speaker or the High Court, ultimately, to decide. It would be irresponsible of the AFC to ignore or deny these views when the "consequences" of the vote, as the Speaker described them, are being considered.
The next few days and weeks are going to be testing for the citizens, and members of the AFC. I have taken full responsibility to lead our efforts to regroup and rebuild. Let us join hands. We have to remain strong. Securing ourselves from any further slippage. This party has matured and grown stronger with each year since its formation in 2005 and survived several destabilising episodes. I have no doubt that we will get past this one, once we remain committed to each other, draw on our strengths, and work to address the valid concerns of our members and supporters.
Leader | Alliance For Change