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ANUG and FED-UP coalesce; Change Guyana, Citizenship Initiative still in talks

Timothy Jonas

Two of Guyana’s small political parties, A New and United Guyana (ANUG) and Federal United Party (FED-UP) are coalescing to contest the March 2, 2020 general elections, according to FED-UP executive member Chandra Sohan.

Sohan told News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM/Demerara Waves Online News that voters would have to look for the name, ANUG+FED-UP on the ballot paper. He added that the symbol would include a map on ANUG’s cellular phone along with a circle and the six races.

Sohan also disclosed that ANUG’s Ralph Ramkarran will be ANUG+FED-UP’s presidential candidate, but he declined to say who would be the prime ministerial candidate to be drawn from FED-UP. Ramkarran is a former long-serving executive member of the People’s Progressive Party and a former House Speaker.

The ANUG+FED-UP, according to Sohan, would be contesting eight of the 10 geographical constituencies.

Former Magistrate, Chandra Sohan.

Sohan said FED-UP’s decision to coalesce with ANUG is based on a shared vision. “We believe that ANUG and the Federal United Party have many things in common and because of that we have been able to work out an arrangement where we believe the objective is to change the system of this country and for that reason, with one common objective we will go forward,” he said.

He said ANUG+FED-UP would be contesting eight of the 10 regions, but he declined to say which are the two it would not be contesting. “Our numbers are not confirmed as we speak as regards the other two,” said Sohan, a former magistrate.

ANUG General Secretary, Timothy Jonas reiterated that the other small political parties are being dishonest by saying they would be winning the next general elections. “We have done what we need to do. Our paperwork is in order and we will very much be there tomorrow (Friday),” Jonas told News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM/Demerara Waves Online News.

Jonas said if there is a minority government, ANUG+FED-UP could use its leverage to pass key legislation to “reorganise” state-owned enterprises and bodies such as the Central Housing and Planning Authority, Environmental Protection Agency and the proposed petroleum commission. “We can reorganise those structures so that there is true inclusivity in the decision-making process,” said Jonas a practicing lawyer.

FED-UP, he said, contains the ingredients of rejecting race politics and monopoly by the opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic and the People’s National Congress Reform-led coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) “which have demonstrably failed us and their policies for an inclusive system of governance that allows for all Guyanese to be represented rather than a winner-take-all system where only half Guyanese is represented and the other half is excluded.”

Meanwhile, the Change Guyana party’s prime ministerial candidate Nigel Hinds says his party will certainly make the ballot by contesting in at least six regions. However Change Guyana and The Citizenship Initiative are still in talks with the possibility of coalescing before Nomination Day on Friday.