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AFC mulls pulling out of coalition with APNU- sources

Last Updated on Wednesday, 1 June 2022, 16:29 by Denis Chabrol

After the signing of the Cummingsburg Accord on February 14, 2015: David Granger of APNU and the AFC’s Moses Nagamootoo. (File picture)

The Alliance For Change (AFC) is poised to consider whether it would withdraw from the coalition with its larger partner, the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)-led coalition of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), officials said Wednesday.

AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan declined to go into details but said his party’s National Conference would be doing so as part of a routine examination of its relationship with other stakeholders including government, labour, business, diplomatic community and its coalition partner. “The discussion will have to be as to whether we are satisfied or not because the whole aspect of it is going to be discussed and I know for a fact that there are some people who are dissatisfied; people probably who did not get positions they ought to have gotten and so on and so those are the things that we’ll have to discuss there,” he said in a very brief comment.

Other AFC high-level sources told Demerara Waves that their party’s future would be a key agenda item for the 285 delegates and 50 observers who would be attending the National Conference on June 11.

Among the deep-seated concerns among several vocal AFC members that are trending in the direction of walking away from APNU are the marginalisation of Mr. Ramjattan from the 2020 general and regional elections campaign; APNU’s refusal of AFC’s offer of a voting day programme and the monitoring of Statements of Poll to arrive at a result within 24 to 48 hours, and the absence of consultation.
It was only on January 8, 2018 that then APNU+AFC Presidential candidate David Granger had ended months of speculation over whether he would have picked Mr. Ramjattan as his prime ministerial running mate 

Latest estimates show that most delegates favour breaking up the coalition, leaving behind only Mr. Ramjattan to interface with Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton who is also the Leader of the PNC and APNU Chairman.

The AFC sources said their party is concerned about the seeming autocratic style of the Opposition Leader who appears to be keen on consultation.

APNU and AFC were married on February 14, 2015 and went on to win the elections in the same year to remove the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) from office. Five years later in August 2020, the PPP was declared the winner of elections that stemmed from the no-confidence motion in December 2018.