The move by the Alliance for Change (AFC) to contest the Local Government Elections (LGE) alone will in no way impact the coalition
This is according to President David Granger, who is also the leader of the People’s National Congress (PNC).
He made this comment, as he usually does, at the sidelines of an event on Monday.
Asked directly by the media whether he was concerned by the development, the president replied in the negative, while also asserting that the coalition will still be a feasible option for 2020.
“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,” Granger added.
At a post-Cabinet press briefing also on Monday, Minister of State Joseph Harmon gave a bit more insight into what those core principles are. According to Harmon, these amounted to APNU’s expectations in order to go to the polls with the AFC.
“Representation, nomination, organisation, mobilisation and communication… each of these in the communication with the AFC, the APNU elaborated that these are the principles APNU would require for joint APNU/ AFC participation in Local Government Elections.”
In its statement, the AFC had said this separation applies only for the 2018 Local Government polls.
It further outlined that the AFC would soon determine which municipalities and constituencies it would strategically contest, as it does not envision contesting in each Neighbourhood Democratic Council and in every constituency of all municipalities, until subsequent election cycles
However, the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in responding to AFC’s move to go it alone asserted that it was ploy.
“… 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.