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APNU should lead pro-democracy alliance – Granger

AFC Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan

Chairman of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), David Granger on Friday strongly suggested that his parliamentary coalition should lead the broad-based pro-democracy alliance being proposed by the Alliance For Change (AFC).

Granger reasoned that the APNU should play the lead role because it commands larger political support than the AFC.

Noting that APNU has almost four times the AFC’s numbers in terms of political support, Granger hoped that that would be a consideration in determining the leadership of any coalition.

At the 2011 general and regional elections, APNU received 139,678 votes ( 26 seats in the National Assembly), AFC 35,333 (seven seats) and the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic 166,340 (32 seats).

Asked about the status of the engagement between APNU and AFC about the latter’s pro-democracy proposal, Granger said that beyond “talks about talks” between their General Secretaries, the parties have made no substantive progress towards the coalition touted by the AFC at its delegates’ conference early last month.

During the conference AFC leader Khemraj Ramjattan had said that the party hopes to lead such a coalition which would include A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), civil society, trade unions and individuals. Ramjattan has said that his party has the policies and people with integrity.

Asked about progress toward such a coalition, the Opposition Leader David said the parties are yet to meet to discuss the details of such a coalition. Furthermore, he said that the AFC is yet to submit its proposal for said coalition.

Granger further shared that beyond a meeting between APNU General Secretary Joseph Harmon and AFC General Secretary David Patterson, during which, he said, they had “talks about talks,” no plans have been made.

Ramjattan has, in the past, maintained that the AFC preferred not to combine forces with the APNU, whose largest constituent is the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR), which governed Guyana from 1964-1992. Ramjattan attributes the shift to the realization of the significant undertaking needed to unseat the current Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) government.

Meanwhile, though President Donald Ramotar is slated to name a date for General Elections this year, Granger also says APNU is yet to determine who the candidates for the coming elections will be.