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APNU to resuscitate moves for Local Govt elections whether in or out of Executive

A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) plans to revive its thrust for local government elections immediately following what seems to be imminent general elections in 2015, whether or not it wins the Executive.

General elections in 2015, as opposed to next year when it is constitutionally required, became imminent after President Donald Ramotar announced last December that he will dissolve Parliament and hold new elections this year.

During separate interviews today APNU leader and Leader David Grangerand the coalition’s Shadow Local Government Minister Ronald Bulkhan said they do not envisage any opposition towards running off local government polls following the general elections asthey are expecting to unseat the current Executive, as well as secure the majority seating in the National Assembly.

While he would not say so explicitly, Granger’s optimismseems hinged on APNU’s cooperation with the Alliance for Change (AFC). “I don’t want to prejudice the negotiations but that it is the intention of the APNU; to build as broad a coalition as possible with the aim of removing the PPP.” Asked how likely it is that the APNU and the AFC will go to the polls together he said “it is possible, it is desirable and possible.”

Bulkhan, on the other hand said “we are assuming that we will be holding executive office so then it’s just a matter of political will to ensure that GECOM takes the necessary steps toward holding the elections.”

Bulkhan also said that the coalition’s confidence has been bolstered by the PPP’s waning support. “We have travelled and have gone to all ten regions of Guyana since the election of 2011 and have ascertained that the PPP’s support base is actively deserting them,” he said.

But, in the event that the current Government returns as the executive Granger said “I do believe that there will be intensified public pressure (to push for local government elections.)” But, when asked what measures will be undertaken he did not say anything beyond there will be “lawful means.”

When the same scenario was put to Bulkhan he said “I don’t think we will allow them to bring that same dictatorial approach, they will not be allowed any breathing space.” But when pressed for specific measures he said “I think you are asking hypothetical questions to which you know that I am evidently not in a position to answer.”