President defends large party participation at LGE during campaign launch

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President David Granger

Officially launching its campaign, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) on Friday defended itself against questions about its involvement at the Local Government Elections (LGE) coming potentially at the expense of independents and smaller groups.

At a press conference at congress place, the question was posed why large parties like APNU are contesting in certain places instead of leaving it to smaller parties or individuals.

But APNU Chairman David Granger was adamant that their party involvement does not weaken but rather strengthens democracy.

“In conducting countrywide elections, you need an organisation and that organisation strengthens rather than weakens democracy and organisation is one of the principles that we name down in our discussions with other parties that there must be an organisation that people shouldn’t feel free to come on board. Because the voters themselves want to know that year after year they would be able to contact the person that they would’ve elected. So we adhere to the idea of organisation but we encourage people to who do not belong to the APNU but who share our ideals to come and work with us and campaign” Granger said.

Granger also noted that individual candidates must have the capacity to go door to door and campaign actively.

He noted that organisations are therefore necessary because Local Government Elections is “hard work.”

Meanwhile, APNU General Secretary Amna Ally informed the media that the party would be contesting in 76 out of 80 Local Authority Areas.

Nomination day, which will see the introduction of the party candidates, will be on September 21.

“We have begun our preparation some time ago but we are intensifying this as you see we have our campaign managers here and today we are intensifying our preparations making sure that our legal requirements are in place” Ally explained.

The elections are slated to be contested on Monday, November 12. It is understood that approximately 62 symbols have been submitted to GECOM.

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