President David Granger on Tuesday asserted that while the A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) and it’s members are committed to coalition politics, certain modalities still have to be worked out before they face the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE) together.
“I am happy to say that all six partners are committed to coalition politics. We expect that this is the face we will present to the electorate at [LGE] later this year- that is our objective and so it is just a matter of working out the modalities,” he told media operatives following an event at State House today.
According to Granger, the consultations process with the other partners have commenced, with the exception of the AFC.
“I have to consult with five other parties and that consultation process has started and we have not engaged the AFC as yet, but we are aware of the comments made in the media about working together for Local Government Elections and we are still consulting with our partners to ensure that we come up with a way forward,” he posited.
Last week, after months of uncertainty, the Alliance For Change (AFC) expressed willingness to contest the Local Government Elections with APNU.
This disclosure was made by Public Security Minister and AFC Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan.
He had noted that the decision was made even as the parties are still trying to put certain mechanisms in place to ensure that they contest the elections with a good slate of candidates.
“We have made a decision that we are going as a coalition. We have to trash out a number of issues preferably in relation to candidacy candidates, and number of other things,” he had said. “A letter has gone to the President (David Granger) as leader of APNU and we are supposed to address that through our leaders, Raphael Trotman and him.”
When questioned today if he received the letter from the AFC, the President responded that he received “a letter.”
The party’s decision to contest LGE under one ticket comes after its leader Raphael Trotman earlier this year indicated to the media that there is a possibility the AFC may enter the upcoming LGE alone.
Trotman had said that “there is a strong opinion of body that we should go alone.”
Days later, General Secretary of the People’s National Congress (PNC), the leading party in the APNU coalition, Amna Ally, said the APNU is prepared to contest the LGE without the AFC.
However, the President had hinted that contesting LGE as a coalition would have been the best option.
The AFC has, of recent, come under fire for the perceived submissive role it played when it joined forces with APNU.
In 2017 the top leadership of the AFC had decided to revise its governing agreement, the Cummingsburg Accord, with APNU. However, almost five months into 2018 that is yet to be addressed.
There have been reports that the AFC was not too comfortable with the current Cummingsburg Accord which sets out how the two coalition partners would divide up the Government Ministries.
At the AFC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in February of this year it was acknowledged that “there are areas in the relationship that are working well and others that need to be examined, clearly defined and strengthened.”