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AFC gives Granger deadline to hold talks on Local Govt elections

The headquarters of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Railway Road, Kitty.

The Alliance For Change (AFC)  Tuesday night decided to give President David Granger a two-week ultimatum to discuss Local Government Elections or the party would definitely contest alone, top party officials said.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) expressed concern that Granger’s letter was delivered on the eve of its meeting that was held at the Georgetown Club. “It was quite insufficient and the content and timing did not say much, it did not come with any sense of urgency” a party source said.

The AFC is expected to dispatch that letter to Granger at least by Wednesday. The party later said in a statement that AFC Leader, Raphael Trotman reported to the meeting that last evening (April 30) he received a response to the AFC letter dated February 26th which was sent to Leader of A Partnership For National Unity (APNU), President David Granger.

“The AFC letter outlined a number of matters, including the issue of the approach to Local Government Elections and the response from His Excellency proposed a certain course of action,” the party said in a statement. ”

The NEC deliberated on this matter and mandated the Leader to respond to His Excellency in a prescribed manner. This will be done in the coming days and following the dispatch of that communication, the AFC will make a more detailed statement on the issue,” the party added.

Demerara Waves Online News was told that a suggestion was made that the General Secretaries of the AFC and APNU should meet and hammer out the issues, but the AFC prefers to have full delegations on both sides.

A party insider said the tone of Tuesday’s meeting was of such that some concerns were raised about whether the party should remain in the governing coalition. The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) has also flagged that as an option that should be considered because of repeated concerns about the way it is being treated by the People’s National Congress Reform-dominated APNU.

However, a source said if Granger’s APNU refuses to meet in two weeks to discuss a number of issues such as proportional representation on town and neighbourhood councils and the financing of the Local Government Elections, the AFC would be forced to contest those polls alone.

“Failure to have these talks may result in the party going to the polls alone. This will be the camel-breaking straw for relations between the AFC and APNU as far as local government elections are concerned,” the source said.

In February, 2018, the AFC had mandated its leader, Raphael Trotman to write Granger, “stating the party’s position on these issues of concern”with a deadline of April 30, 2018- the same day that Granger responded to the letter.

The AFC had felt that it had been unnecessarily disadvantaged in the 2016 Local Government Elections as far as the allocation of candidates was concerned, although the February 2015 AFC-APNU political agreement had only catered for general elections.