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Ethnicity a key factor for Citizenship Initiative coalescing with other small parties

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, 14:21 by Writer

Rondha-Ann Lam

The Citizenship Initiative (TCI) political party says it is still open to coalescing with two other small political parties—Change Guyana (CI), and A New and United Guyana (ANUG)—but TCI’s presidential candidate, Rondha-Ann Lam says “ethnicity” is among her party’s major concerns.

Lam says after her party told ANUG and Change Guyana that a common slate must reflect youth, gender inclusivity and most of all, ethnic diversity, ANUG’s presidential candidate, Ralph Ramkarran said he was not interested.

“It was the optics of ethnicity. For both Change Guyana and ANUG, the issue is not who is presidential candidate and who is prime ministerial candidate; please let me make that clear. The optics of that is critical. TCI is a multi-ethnic party,” she told a news conference.

Based on last weekend’s pronouncement by ANUG that it is still talking with TCI, Ms Lam says her party will once again talk with that party whose presidential candidate is veteran politician, Ramkarran. “It is our attempt to clarify if this position still holds as of early December and then if that position has changed, then we will re-engage in terms of that process,” she said.

Lam said her party was still in talks with the Robert Badal-led Change Guyana party but she said it was too early to say whether her party was leaning in his direction for a coalition. “We remain in talks with Mr Badal for a possible coalition and so to say you that we are going either which way is difficult at this moment because we need clarity on one situation,” she said.

With TCI saying it’s ready to release figures to show that it remains consistently at number three for Facebook interactions behind the People’s Progressive Party and A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change, Ms. Lam says she is willing to give up her presidential candidacy in a coalition of small parties.

“TCI is not built on egos; therefore, if a coalition, which is the best option for Guyana at this point, means that I have to be seconded to a junior position, I have no issues with that because, at the end of the day, it is not what is best for Rhonda-Ann Lam and my ego. At the end of the day it is what is better for the electorate in its quest to end these adversarial politics we find ourselves in and the kind of upheaval that we find ourselves in every five years so for me it’s not an ego thing,” she said in response to questions from News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM/Demerara Waves Online News.

Ms. Lam says The Citizenship Initiative has no objections to the Federal United Party (FED-UP) and so a coalition between ANUG and FED-UP can pave the way for a united slate.