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AFC’s Nagamootoo dodges question on joining APNU if coalition talks collapse

Moses Nagamootoo addressing his party’s Conference in November 2014.

Vice Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Moses Nagamootoo on Thursday skirted questions about whether he would consider joining A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) if pre-election talks between the two political movements collapse.

“I wouldn’t answer because you are speculative.  You are inviting me into a non-sequitur (illogical)- what I do if it fails,” he told a news conference. Tipped to be the AFC’s presidential candidate, he deemed the question of him leaving the AFC to campaign with APNU “very speculative.”

APNU has already announced that it would be launching its campaign on February 20, a clear sign that that parliamentary alliance is prepared to opt out of the talks if there is no agreement with the AFC on key areas including the allocation of top posts.

Nagamootoo, 67, who always prides himself as builder of national unity and reconciliation, instead opted to say what he would do if talks for his party’s pro-democracy alliance with APNU do not bear fruit to contest the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections.

“A patriot does not give up on striving for national goals, national unity being the primary of these goals. You may have setbacks in a long journey,” he said.

The former long-serving Executive and Central Committee member of the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) said the fact that national unity has eluded Guyana for the past 60 years was no reason to give up, but rather it should be an impetus for Guyanese to work harder towards such a goal. “…Press on with all democratic and progressive and patriotic forces which will want to see this country go forward and not being mired in this backward and decrepit and moribund PPP minority rule,” he said.

Nagamootoo resigned from the PPP in 2011 over issues of corruption and human rights, and then moved on to become AFC Vice Chairman.

Bound by a non-disclosure agreement with APNU on the talks, the AFC opted to give a very broad update, saying that it has delivered a detailed Memorandum of Understanding to APNU for consideration. That document, according to the AFC, broadly covers important areas for improved governance of Guyana, matters of urgent and comprehensive constitution reform, reorganization and improvement of both the offices of the President and Prime Minister, possible size of a pro-democracy alliance cabinet, priority sets of developmental policies and timeframe for delivery by such a joint administration, and the political structure and possible campaign methodology and modality for a joint campaign.

The AFC added that the negotiating  teams  have  held  several  formal  working sessions  to  date,  in keeping  with  the  timeframe  publicly  committed  to  at  the  beginning  of  this process,.

The AFC plans to report fully to its National Executive Committee on February 14, 2015 it’s recommended course of action for the upcoming polls.