“Lopsided” agreement benefitted some parties than others – WPA’s Hinds on Cummingsburg Accord

WPA Executive Dr David Hinds
Dr David Hinds

The Working People’s Alliance (WPA), a member of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), has described the Cummingsburg Accord— the sweetheart deal which binds APNU and Alliance for Change (AFC) — as a “lopsided” agreement, since it benefitted some parties more than others.

The WPA is one of five parties which came together in 2011 and formed A Partnership for National Unity.

WPA Executive Member Dr David Hinds told media operatives recently that the agreement was clearly disproportional and they are hoping also to have the APNU’s charter reassessed.

His remarks come on the heels of the Cummingsburg Accord being set to be reviewed in the near future. Hinds indicated that their supporters are of the opinion that the minority party in the coalition, the Alliance for Change (AFC) received more than what was deserving.

“We feel that there should be much more participation by all parties within the coalition. Some of our supporters are saying that the AFC got more than they deserved in the last election and parties like the WPA got less than they deserved.

We would imagine that when they sit down to iron those things out, they would come to some conclusion that would be fair to all the parties,” Hinds affirmed.

The Cummingsburg Accord expires on February 14, 2020. However, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had positioned last year that it was being undermined by the APNU/PNC. In fact, he mentioned moves made by President Granger to lessen the responsibility of AFC ministers.

AFC Executive, Cathy Hughes, was first appointed as Tourism Minister in 2015 when the coalition Government first took office. Her stint as Tourism Minister was short-lived, and she was reassigned to a relatively unknown ministry which has fewer responsibilities – the Public Telecommunications Ministry. The Tourism Ministry was then assigned under another AFC executive and son-in-law of the President, Dominic Gaskin, who was in charge of the Business Ministry— a lesser known ministry also.

Jagdeo had also highlighted that the move taken by President Granger to strip Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman of his responsibility for the oil and gas sector.  Responsibility for the environment was first taken away from Trotman when a decision was made to establish the Department of Environment that is now housed in the Ministry of the Presidency.