APNU, AFC to contest LGE under one ticket

first_imgAfter months of uncertainty, the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) have finally decided to contest the Local Government Elections (LGE) under one ticket.This disclosure was made by AFC Chairman Minister Khemraj Ramjattan on Wednesday. This decision, he said, was made even as the parties are still trying to put certain mechanisms in place to ensure that they contest the elections with aPresident David Grangergood slate of candidates.“We have made a decision that we are going as a coalition. We have to trash out a number of issues preferably in relation to candidacy candidates, and number of other things,” he told the press, while noting that the AFC has noticed some unfortunate development in the Georgetown municipality.Ramjattan was referring to the attitude of APNU Councillors, including Town Clerk Royston King towards AFC members, which he claimed is “bothering us.” The AFC Chairman indicated that statements in this regard have been made and will be officially raised through communication with APNU officials.“A letter has gone to the President (David Granger) as leader of APNU and we are supposed to address that through our leaders, Raphael Trotman and him. I think there will be some development this week,” he explained. A meeting between the two could be held soon to iron out those issues.In mid-January, Trotman had announced the possibility of the party breaking awayAFC ChairmanKhemraj Ramjattanfrom the APNU for this year’s LGE. The AFC leader went as far as to reveal that there was a strong opinion of body within the party that the AFC should go alone, which may have been prompted over delays with reviewing the Cummingsburg Accord.The AFC has, of recent, come under fire for the perceived submissive role it played when it joined forces with APNU. In 2017 top leadership of the AFC had decided to revise its governing agreement with APNU.Days later, General Secretary of the People’s National Congress (PNC), the leading party in the APNU coalition, Amna Ally, said the APNU is prepared to contest the LGE without the AFC. However, the President had hinted that contesting LGE as a coalition would have been the best option.Meanwhile, despite several infightings among coalition members, especially at the level of the City Council, Ramjattan sought to defend both parties when he was asked to comment on the issue. He claimed that the relationship particularly at the Central Government level is cordial.“We have tremendously cordial relationship at that highest of level. I have a very good relationship with President Granger and his entire team and it’s not reflective of any kind of relationship at the bottom there as had happened in the municipality,” he explained to the media.The Minister admitted that the AFC’s opposition to the controversial parking meter project might have resulted in APNU controlling both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor positions. Only recently, the PNC dominated Council voted to replace AFC member Lionel Jaikarran as Deputy Mayor.Despite this move, Ramjattan said democracy must be respected. “It is a democratic decision and we have to learn to live with democratic decisions and indeed, I rather suspect that those who voted the way they did, didn’t like the principled positions of Sherod (Duncan) and Dr Jaikarran and so if they have the majority in that Council and they want the new guy – Peter – well they will have him,” he added.In trying to explain that the dynamics of Governments, whether coalition or not, he said everyone has some amount of issue. He advised therefore that decisions should never be taken on the basis on one’s emotion, and suggested that the infighting at the municipality is more of a personality issue.last_img