Granger lays down strict criteria for selection of APNU/AFC MPs

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L-R: Joseph Harmon, David Granger, and Khemraj Ramjattan

Leader of A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC), David Granger, as Head of his list, has laid down ten criteria which he says would be the basis for members of his party to be chosen for Parliament.

It is understood that on Monday morning during a meeting with other part members, Granger stipulated that he wants fewer lawyers and more diversity in professional occupations in the National Assembly.

The 11th Parliament had featured a number of lawyers on the APNU/AFC side. They had included Moses Nagamootoo, Raphael Trotman, Khemraj Ramjattan and Joseph Harmon. But despite the proliferation of lawyers, APNU/AFC in Government constantly fell afoul of the Constitution after it lost the no-confidence vote in December 2018.

Another stipulation Granger reportedly made was the desire for more youths and women in the National Assembly. A frequent criticism the former President faced after winning the 2015 election was the number of elderly Ministers in his then Cabinet and as Heads of agencies.

On that note, Granger has reportedly informed his party that members who have extensive parliamentary experience should not expect to be selected. With 31 seats to fill, APNU/AFC will have its work cut out seeking to push more youth to the forefront of the party.

This is especially so since the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has already won praise for its youthful Cabinet, sworn in on Thursday last.

Other criteria include; members must represent a wider geographic spread and they must be very active in the party’s work at the level of the community. Granger also placed emphasis on representatives serving at the level of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) level before seeking to serve at the national level.

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has already initiated the process of appointing a new batch of parliamentarians to serve in the legislative branch of Government.

Last week, the Office of the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, dispatched letters to political parties, informing them of their requirement to identify their candidates to take up seats in the 65-seat National Assembly.

The CEO’s final elections report shows that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) secured 33 parliamentary seats while the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition won 31.

The joinder parties – A New and United Guyana (ANUG), Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), and The New Movement (TNM) – gained one seat. They have already selected LJP Leader Lenox Shuman as their parliamentary representative.

However, the Government and Opposition are yet to submit their selection of names to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) for the respective role of Members of Parliament to sit in the 12th Parliament of Guyana.