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APNU-AFC talks can consider rotating presidency

Even as negotiators for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) were Monday holding another round of talks on jointly contesting the upcoming general elections, they said that all options would be explored.

While the AFC denies that the possibility of a rotating presidency has been discussed to date, that party remains open to discussing various formulae to arrive at the best one to remove the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) from office for the first time in 22 years.

“This current progress is negotiations between two political parties, both of whom have shown their willingness to explore all options which will result in moving the country forward, thus we will examine all possible options,” AFC General Secretary and Lead Negotiator, David Patterson told Demerara Waves Online News.

Patterson declined to elaborate when asked specifically if rotation of candidates or the presidency is put on the table it will be discussed.

APNU’s Chief Negotiator, Carl Greenidge expressed surprise that Patterson was commenting on the talks despite an agreement not to do so.  “I find it surprising that Mr. Patters on could be refuting something I am not aware our people would have said or was authorized to say that so I don’t know whose comments are being refuted,” he said.

On the issue of a rotating presidency, Greenidge would only say that “Everything is still open on the matters that have come to the table,” he said.

Demerara Waves Online News has been told that AFC is demanding top posts in a pro-democracy alliance. That party’s leader, Khemraj Ramjattan has said that East Indian supporters do not have anything to fear if his party leads the alliance into the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections.

The AFC’s Chief Negotiator, however, bluntly denied that ethnicity was raised in the talks. “Neither AFC nor APNU has ever raised the issue of ethnicity in any discussions to date, the pro-democracy alliance is based on inclusion of the broadest section of the Guyanese society as possible, as such our discussions has been based on these principles,” he said.

The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), the major partner in APNU, has already endorsed David Granger as that partnership’s presidential candidate. APNU plans to launch its campaign on February 20, 2015.