Over the years, and especially in the lead up to the 2020 general elections, political commentators have talked about the need for a “third party” or “third force” in Guyanese politics. However, what they fail to understand is that forming a political party to compete for votes with the PPP and APNU+AFC is a complete waste of time if that “third party” simply mimics the existing two parties, promoting neo-liberal economics and managing the captured state for external players. This highlights the illusion of so-called liberal democracy. Whether we have two parties or one hundred parties makes little difference, if all they are doing is competing to see who can best manage the existing dysfunctional neo-colonial arrangement that imprisons us. In such a “multi-party” scenario, when we go to the polls we are not able to vote for a different system – we are not able to vote for an end to neo-colonialism and the neo-liberal agenda that is strangling us. No, we are simply voting for a different manager of the same old tired system which is why, no matter who is elected, we see little or no change.
An authentic “Third Force” on Guyana’s political landscape would mean a political formation that rejects the materialist and anti-spiritual ideologies of neo-liberal capitalism and Marxism. The establishment of a ‘Third Force’ requires a formation with the political courage to advocate a different ideological position than the one that exists and dominates the political landscape currently. Any party advocating the same ideology as the existing political parties cannot be described as a “third force”. An authentic “third force” would unapologetically advocate for the poor and marginalized sectors of our society, rather than being an instrument of big business and imperial interests. That is why Organization for the Victory of the People (OVP) can be said to be a genuine third force. Our ideology is different from all other existing political formations. We are a revolutionary democratic formation, born out of the fight for the rights of African people, and evolved into a force that advocates and fights for the human rights and dignity of all of Guyana’s oppressed and exploited masses, irrespective of their race.
The PNCR, historically, has always enjoyed the African vote, but did nothing of significance to empower Africans, except to a certain extent during the period under Forbes Burnham. The liberation of African Guyanese can never be realized under the middle-class Anglophiles that currently constitute the leadership of the PNCR. They are not up to the task of initiating radical and revolutionary transformation that would put political and economic power in the hands of the people. Likewise, the PPP, historically, has always enjoyed the Indian vote, while in fact, after decades of political power they only ever empowered a minority of wealthy Indians, while the vast majority of Indians remain in poverty.
Come 2020, Guyanese, especially the youth, irrespective of their race, need to take a bold step for real liberation and identify with the Panther. This would give a rude awakening to all those political formations who have taken the Guyanese people for granted for so long. If we were to have the opportunity to govern Guyana, we pledge to uplift not only Africans, but all oppressed and marginalized Guyanese regardless of race. Every Guyanese must prosper under the banner of the Panther because our ideology demands nothing less. When we achieve a Guyana based on justice for all, we will have truly established a “third force” – a genuine alternative to the two or one hundred parties that advocate an ideology that can, by its very definition, never deliver justice.
Gerald A. Perreira