No APNU+AFC talks today

Last Updated on Monday, 18 November 2019, 15:39 by Writer

AFC Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan (left) and Chairman of the People’s National Congress-dominated A Partnership for National Unity, David Granger.

After thumping its chest that it will pull out of the talks and contest the general elections alone if there is no agreement with A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) on Monday, the AFC has apparently asked for more time.

None of the top AFC executives responded to enquiries from the media about whether the negotiations with APNU for a revised political agreement named the Cummingsburg Accord would be held today.

Authorised AFC spokesman, David Patterson did not accept or return calls or respond to messages.

However, a senior party insider told News-Talk Radio Guyana that no discussions with APNU were held today and there was no idea when the two sides will return to the table.

Another source simply said the meeting was postponed, an indication that they will resume at a date yet to be decided.

One theory is that top APNU officials are upset at the AFC’s stated stance last Friday at a news conference if there was no agreement on Monday on the percentage of seats both parties will get after next March’s general elections.

A senior APNU official, who is familiar with the negotiations, appeared upset at the AFC ‘s public tone.

Well-known People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) member, Lurlene Nestor, in a letter in the state-owned Guyana Chronicle newspaper, questioned what she termed AFC’s “public political posturing and grandstanding”.

She questioned the seriousness of the coalition partner to engage in what she termed a public charade and enquired whether the AFC was engaged in “political positioning” instead of the interests of Guyanese.

Ms. Nestor, a former PNCR executive member and former parliamentarian, said the talks should have centered on the critical issue of what could be done to prevent a single parliamentarian from bringing down an elected government.

AFC backbencher, Charrandass Persaud, had sided with the opposition People’s Progressive Party to vote in favour of a no-confidence motion. “In my view, one of the most critical concerns of the coalition should have been centred on the question of a rogue MP. The devising of a system to ensure that a Member of Parliament cannot simply bring down a duly elected government by a single vote, is a very important matter. It is also an issue that is causing some nervousness among ordinary Guyanese who fear that the country can sink into a state of uncertainty by the single action of an MP,” Ms. Nestor stated.

The Caribbean Court of Justice subsequently ruled that the no-confidence motion was validly passed and that general elections ought to have been held within the constitutionally prescribed three months.