AFC says it wants to prove itself by going solo for LGE

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The AFC Executives during a press briefing held on Wednesday

The Alliance for Change (AFC) has opted to contest the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE) this year to prove itself to the public and its members.

This is according to the party’s executives on Wednesday during a press conference with media operatives, after they were probed on their solo stance.

It was also disclosed by the AFC that they have no intentions to “kick” the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)- the larger arm within the Coalition Administration party-to the curb.

Leader of the AFC, Raphael Trotman also denied assertions that his party has been rejected by the APNU.

On Sunday last, the AFC announced that they will be contesting the Local Government Elections on November 12 separate from APNU.

This decision was reached following the inconclusive negotiations with APNU, the party had stated, while maintaining that this decision only applies for the 2018 LGE and does not affect the APNU+AFC Coalition Government, nor does it, change the AFC’s position on coalition politics at the national level.

On Monday last, President David Granger and Leader of the PNC had said that this move will have no impact on the coalition.

Probed as to whether he was concerned by the development, Granger responded in the negative, while also asserting that the coalition will still be a feasible option for 2020 general elections.

“We did exchange some memorandum, and the APNU had drafted its own core principles, and we submitted those principles to the AFC for consideration. It’s an internal decision within the AFC, and we respect that decision; and the AFC, I think, respects the decision within the APNU…“It is my view that both the AFC and APNU remain committed to coalition politics, and this will in no way damage the prospects of our two parties moving to the general and regional elections. This is entirely a local matter… a party political matter. But we do not feel that the coalition is in jeopardy,” he noted.

However, since the announcement, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has called out the move by the AFC to split as nothing more than a ploy to fool Guyanese.

“… the intent can be gleaned from its public statement in which it indicated that it will not contest in all of the Local Authority areas. The trickery is that they will come into certain PPP strongholds in which APNU will not contest, as a Trojan horse, pretending to be independent of the APNU in order to garner some sympathy votes in these areas,” the Opposition asserted in a release of its own.

The PPP also stated that since the AFC’s coalition with the APNU in 2015, the AFC has adopted inconsistent, flip-flopping and deceptive political postures as it struggles to survive as a relevant political force.

Moreover, Working People’s Alliance (WPA) Executive and political analysts Dr David Hinds feels the AFC’s move will prove more than ever how the party stands in the view of citizens across communities countrywide.

WPA Executive Dr David Hinds

Dr Hinds told this media group on Tuesday that he was not surprised by the AFC’s decision to enter the elections on its own. According to him, the only other choice the AFC had was to not contest the LGE at all; and that, to him, would have been an admission of defeat by the party.

“In effect, the APNU (A Partnership for National Unity) got what it wanted. It forced the AFC to go out and prove its electoral worth in circumstances that are not favourable to the latter. The not-so-veiled message to the AFC was clear: ‘Contest on your own, or contest with us on APNU terms’,” he opined.

The outspoken political analyst said he feels it all came down to leverage, where the AFC did not have any bargaining power. Unlike in 2015, when the AFC was able to use its performance at the 2011 election to strike a hard bargain in the Cummingsburg Accord, this time around, it did not have that asset, Dr Hinds posited.

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