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PNCR executive member says lone AFC Regional Vice Chairman reflects political agreement with APNU

Dr. Karen Cummings.

People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) executive member, Dr. Karen Cummings on Wednesday said the allocation of one  Regional Vice Chairmanship position to the Alliance For Change (AFC) appears to be in keeping formula with A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).

Her remarks came against the background of concerns that the PNCR-led APNU broke its promise for AFC representatives to become the Vice Chairmen.

“It’s 70-30 and I mean we have won three regions and 70-30 is like one-third / two-thirds and so one-third of three is one and so at least they have Region seven- Bartica; I think they have the Vice Chair for that so at least 70-30, we still  maintain our 70-30 percent,” said Dr. Cummings in referring to the revised Cummingsburg Accord, a political agreement between the AFC and APNU.

Dr. Cummings says she is not aware of the details any agreements between APNU and AFC but she believes that the elections were fair.

The fall-out has since resulted in the resignation of  David Patterson from the position of General Secretary of the AFC, reportedly because APNU broke its promise to support the AFC’s nominees for Vice Chairs.

AFC’s Neilson Mc Kenzie’s hopes of becoming Vice Chairman for Region Four were dashed when APNU councillors voted for an APNU councillor. In Region 10, the AFC’s Norris King reportedly says he pulled out of the race after he was informed that APNU councillors will not support him, according to the privately-owned Stabroek News newspaper.

This means that PNCR-led APNU councillors are Chairmen and Vice Chairmen in Regions 4 and 10. However, in Region 7 , the AFC’s Kamala Persaud was supported for the Vice Chairmanship.

Over the past two years, there have been differences between APNU and the AFC, with prime ministerial candidate Khemraj Ramjattan having been downplayed for several weeks leading into the March 2, 2020 general elections. Campaign paraphernalia had only included references to presidential candidate David Granger.

Sources have also told News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM that of the 100,000 campaign jerseys, only 2,000 had reflected AFC.

Since losing the elections, APNU has not selected representatives from the  National Front Alliance and the Justice For All Party , saying that the smaller parties needed to win at least 7,000 votes. The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) has since pulled out of APNU over disagreements about the selection of that party’s representative among the APNU+AFC parliamentarians. Tabitha Sarabo-Halley has since resigned from the WPA chairmanship but has not given up her parliamentary seat.

Responding to claims that the PNCR has had a history of not treating its coalition partners properly dating back to the 1960s, Dr. Cummings said she had no time with devil’s advocates but her political organisation would only engage with willing partners. “This is a movement. We are moving forward so you come with us, we are going forward, you not with us, you stay at the back,” she said.