FORMER APNU+AFC Linden Town Councillor, Lennox Gasper on Wednesday tendered his resignation from the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), almost five years after joining the party.
In his resignation letter to PNCR General-Secretary Amna Ally, Gasper cited the increase salaries for government ministers, lack of development in Linden under the Coalition, increased taxes and the Party’s role in attempting to rig the 2020 elections as some of the blatant ways the party has not lived up to the “good life” narrative that it promised the populace.
“I was convinced that the coalition of APNU+AFC was going to change the political culture of governance in the interest of transitioning the country to a new dispensation of accountability in development, with high hopes that all citizens would have been given a chance at the promised ‘good life’. Unfortunately, this was not to be,” Gasper said in his letter to Ally.
The PNCR is the largest member of the APNU coalition. Gasper had joined the party at a time when it was part of the APNU+AFC Coalition Government.
Gasper called out the PNCR for neglecting Linden, one of its primary support bases, in favour of other novice townships which were created under the Coalition during its 2015 – 2020 time in government.
“I was in high hopes that the Coalition would have implemented a rapid development rescue plan for Linden; this too was not to be. We in Linden pleaded for job creation and development for four long years, while we watched with envy as other newer towns were prioritised,” Gasper said.
Gasper had served on the Linden Town Council as a Councillor for the APNU+AFC from 2016. During his tenure, however, he’d had several clashes with then Mayor Carwyn Holland, a fellow APNU+AFC member on the Council.
Gasper was outspoken about the lack of development in the township, and claimed that the constituency he represented was being sidelined. At one point, he even walked out of a re-scheduled statutory meeting that was not held in keeping with proper protocols of the law.
“I became a councillor with a promise to serve my constituency, town and country, without fear or favour, affection or ill will, to the best of my ability, but, regretfully, I could not deliver on that promise as a result of constraints of control freakism imposed by the party, and the heartless non-provision of resources by the Government,” Gasper stated.
Gasper highlighted that notwithstanding the “disgraceful abandonment” of Linden, he still rallied on, and campaigned for the Coalition in the lead-up to the 2020 elections. However, the Coalition’s attempts to hold on to government by any means necessary after the elections caused him to lose faith in them.
“The party suffered a devastating defeat at those elections, fair and square, but chose instead to revert to its old Gestapo tactics of attempting to rig the results in its favour, dragging our hard-won democracy through the gutters for five long months,” Gasper asserted, adding:
“I am fully persuaded that the actions of the PNC-led coalition were born out of a selfish and unbridled lust for power, without any regard for the interests of Guyana and its citizens.”
Gasper is the latest in a number of party members to have publicly left the PNCR over the past five years, the most infamous of which was when then AFC parliamentarian Charandass Persaud courageously voted against the Government in a no-confidence motion before the National Assembly in December 2018.
In August 2019, longstanding members Dave Danny Senior, and his son, Dave Danny Junior, also announced their resignation from the party. The pair have since openly endorsed the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C).
Last year, long-time member, Gobin Harbhajan, as well as former Region Five Councillor, Abel Seetaram resigned from the AFC. Former Member of Parliament Reynard Ward, and Joel Edmond, the husband of APNU+AFC Member of Parliament, Geeta Chandan-Edmond, both resigned from the AFC last month.
Some of the member parties of the APNU Coalition have also resigned, including the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) and Justice For All Party (JFAP).