‘The AFC is consumed into the warm embrace or the kiss of death of the PNC which is the major part of APNU’ – Rohee
The Alliance For Change (AFC) may be no Police of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), but it certainly is its prisoner. This is according to People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary, Clement Rohee, who is refusing to succumb to the idea that all is well within the coalition camp. Rohee indicated that the AFC is setting itself up for a major downfall where there will be no escape, other than political death.
Political observers and other commentators have deduced that the AFC–arm has been shafted by the People’s National Congress (PNC)–led APNU following the coalition’s assumption to Executive Office and that a major conflict has been brewing between the two parties over a number of stark disagreements on several issues.
But Business and Tourism Minister, Dominic Gaskin, during a recent news conference sought to assure the party’s supporters that the relationship between the AFC and APNU is not fractured as is being assumed by sections of society. At the time he was speaking in the capacity of the AFC Treasurer at the Party’s bi-weekly press conference held at its Kitty Headquarters. “I think we have a good working relationship with our coalition partners,” he stated in response to questions about the speculations of a rift between the two parties.
However, during a news conference on Monday, Rohee ridiculed his response as he outlined several instances which prove that the AFC is powerless. “Everyone is seeing the reality where the AFC, they went to the PNC Congress and they made a lot of statements there which shows they are now being consumed into the warm embrace or the kiss of death of the PNC which is the major part of the APNU,” he expressed. He pointed out also that the AFC’s attempts to “clip the wings” of Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, was an abysmal failure which eventually backfired. “Instead of them clipping the wings on Mr Joe Harmon or ‘Joeshanlin’, their wings were clipped instead,” Rohee stated.
Earlier this year, AFC Vice-chairperson and the country’s Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, publicly expressed his desire to have the powers entitled to Harmon be reduced. Rohee also highlighted that the Cummingsburg Accord has many breaches which disadvantages the AFC. Previously, the PPP had observed that Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, the AFC Leader, had a significant portion of his ministerial powers transferred to PNC’s Winston Felix, now the Citizenship Minister. It was also observed that the AFC’s nominees to the Procurement Commission, Dr Anand Goolsarran and Christopher Ram, have been rejected by APNU in the Public Accounts Committee.
Rohee went on to criticise the Business Minister’s claims that the economy is performing excellently when he called on all Guyanese to gear up for increased economic growth.
“Where is the growth to come from when the productive sector is being stifled; the manufacturing sector is in a slump; the public service is demoralised; the global economic environment remains hostile and non-responsive; private sector investments remain frozen; foreign direct investment is now a thing of the past; the private sector/business community is battered, ostracised, neglected, pressured and heavily taxed compounded by untenable industrial relations; and social and political democracy are consistently trampled upon,” the PPP General Secretary announced. In this regard, he noted that with government coming under pressure from the majority of stakeholders, it is a clear demonstration of the administration’s ineptitude.