By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Even as Opposition Leader David Granger has given no clear indication of his likely response to the current undefined pro-democracy alliance proposal by the minority Parliamentary Opposition Party – the Alliance For Change (AFC) – he has expressed contentment that the Party has finally “realized that coalition did not mean becoming dead meat.”
Granger has so far only committed to meeting with the AFC to talk about the alliance which the Party hopes to lead into the next general and regional elections promised for 2015.
Granger has asked the AFC to provide the proposal so that it can be studied by members of the opposition coalition – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – which was formed prior to the 2011 general elections.
He clarified that “we have indicated our willingness to speak of the possibility of a coalition… we asked AFC to give us their proposal so that we can move ahead with talks… at this time, we don’t know what it involves.”
Granger was speaking at his end of year press conference on Friday, December 19. On Thursday, AFC General Secretary David Patterson said it is “still on the cards” despite the naysayers and detractors that emerged when the announcement was made two weeks ago.
The AFC GS was keen to point out that that the Party has received no rejection to the idea by the main opposition.
When questioned about the AFC’s refusal to join forces with the APNU in the past and now the change in position, Patterson said there is a big difference between the two proposals; pointing out that the APNU was a “big tent sort of arrangement” while the AFC’s proposal is driven by policy.
Granger also reminded of the coalition he formed three years ago which he says has established a reputation for careful scrutiny of the Executive in and out of Parliament and established a platform for national unity.
“I would like to know what they are calling for that has not been put forward by the APNU,” Granger said; adding that “there is something on the table already and I would like to know what else they are coming up with.”
He said too “I have an obligation as leader of the APNU to discuss with my partners any major proposals that will affect the character and integrity of APNU but I can’t go into talks without anything for my colleges to examine… we are waiting on the AFC.”
The Opposition Leader said he was “astonished” when he first heard of the proposal but was glad “they realized coalition did not mean becoming dead meat.”
“We have advocated for a government of national unity and feel it is necessary for democratic forces to unite in face of dictators… division is not an intelligent strategy if we want to get rid of the dictatorship… there should be unity.”
General Secretary of the governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Clement Rohee had rejected the proposal; stating that it is a “force ripe proposal” and that the “AFC is a force ripe Party.”
Rohee told a news conference on December 08 that the AFC is seeking to replace Granger with the proposal.
Ramjattan at the Party’s recent National Conference had indicated the Party’s willingness to join forces with the members of the PPP and APNU to lead a pro- democracy alliance.
Boasting of the AFC’s ability and leadership to offer Guyana a brighter future, Ramjattan said the Party firmly believes every citizen, group and political party that has something wholesome to offer to the efforts of a renewed Guyana must find a way to corporate and deliver to the people, a government of national unity.