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AFC, APNU talks on local govt elections collapsed over key demands; PPP says AFC’s decision is a “clumsy” ploy

Last Updated on Monday, 6 August 2018, 10:25 by Denis Chabrol

Talks on jointly contesting the upcoming local government elections collapsed over the percentage allocation of seats and the time-frame for submitting nominees, a top Alliance For Change ((AFC) official says.

President David Granger, for his part, also confirmed there was a disagreement on undisclosed principles.

“We did exchange certain memoranda and the APNU had drafted its own core principles and we submitted those principles to the AFC for their consideration

I don’t know about the internal decision-making in the AFC but we respect the decision  and AFC I think respects the decision within the APNU,” Granger told reporters Monday morning.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the AFC official said APNU preferred did not want to agree to a 60-40 percentage allocation of candidates for local government elections scheduled for November 12, 2018.
“Also, the AFC  source said APNU wanted all candidates to campaign on the ground before deciding on the eve of nomination day who will actually be nominated.
We asked for a certain percentage and, of course, it was said that that only applies to general election and it is better that we go and name the people at an appropriate time just before nomination dat after seeing how candidates perform in the campaign trail and our supporters and members and other leaders of the party said we might as well go and show how popular we are or how unpopular we are at this election,” the senior AFC official told Demerara Waves Online News.
The issue of percentage allocation had been a major area of concern in the 2016 local government elections.  The AFC had wanted 40 percent of the candidates in keeping with the Cummingsburg political agreement with APNU for the 2015 general elections.
The AFC official said his party contesting the local polls in some neighbourhood councils and towns would be a dress rehearsal for the 2020 general elections should the two political organisations again fail to contest those elections separately. At the same time, that AFC party official, who is a member of parliament, reiterated that his party was committed to the coalition politics.
“It is not that we are breaking up the coalition. We, as a coalition, will have to be as a coalition to do battle with the PPL at a General election,” the ARC official said.
President Granger also Monday morning reiterated that despite the AFC’s decision for local elections, the two remained committed to a national coalition.
“It is my view that both the AFC and APNU remain committed to coalition politics and this, in no way, will damage the prospects of our two parties going into the general and regional elections. This is entirely a local matter, entirely a party political matter but we do not feel there is any danger that the coalition is in jeopardy,” Granger said
Meanwhile, the opposition People’s Progressive Party slammed the AFC’s move as a “clumsy” attempt to go contest the local elections in some PPP strongholds.

“The trickery is that they will come into certain PPP strongholds in which APNU will not contest, as a Trojan horse, pretending to be independent of the APNU in order to garner some sympathy votes in these areas.   

That they think they can pull off such clumsy stunts is illustrative of the lack of respect which they have for the intelligence of the Guyanese electorate,” the PPP said.

That parliamentary opposition party urged Guyanese “not to allow themselves to be used by this moribund cabal of untrustworthy politicians, grasping at the last straw for their survival.”

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