By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) and Alliance For Change (AFC) revealed that the two parties will be contesting the upcoming General Elections under one umbrella, but the if the coalition forms government it would include three Vice Presidents and the Prime Minister would be in charge of the Cabinet.
This was revealed at a joint press conference on Saturday evening (February 14) at the Georgetown Club by the Presidential Candidate nominee for the coalition, retired Brigadier David Granger.
Granger said that the deal was struck after “weeks of intense high level negotiations” between the AFC and APNU.
“These discussions were not easy and both parties had to give up some of their demands and overcome decades of prejudices for us to have arrived at this most significant and momentous point of national renewal,” said Granger.
The agreement signed by the two parties is titled the Cummingsburg Accord. He told a room filled with journalists and other media operatives that the APNU will make up 60% of the Cabinet while the AFC will occupy the other 40%.
According to Granger, tt was agreed that the Presidency will be re – organised and will see the Head of State having responsibility for the appointment of Constitutional Agencies and Commissions with the required and agreed democratic mechanisms of consultation and appoint along with Foreign Affairs, International Relations and Non-Commercial Treaties.
Additionally, the President shall be responsible for National Security Policy, the Defence Board, the Joint Intelligence Committee and the Guyana Defence Force et al.
The President will delegate to the Prime Minister responsibilities for Domestic National Affairs and chairing Cabinet, recommending ministerial appointments and providing the organizational structures of Ministries for the approval of the President among others.
“In the construct of the new government APNU will be allocated one Vice President and AFC two Vice Presidents both of whom will be members of the Cabinet.”
The AFC will also be selecting the Prime Ministerial Candidate for the May 11 polls in the form of Moses Nagamootoo.
According to Granger, the Speaker of the House “will be mutually selected by both parties from independent members of civil society.”
Leader of the AFC Khemraj Ramjattan said that after much deliberation, the Party accepted the Prime Ministerial post given that its powers would be significantly increased since some of the Presidents duties would be delegated.
It was noted that the AFC is guaranteed twelve seats in the National Assembly after the elections. Additionally, the joint campaign will continue to have its meeting and these will recommence from as early as Sunday February, 2015 as the coalition looks to work out a possible, name, symbol and other details such as nominees for the Vice Presidents.