The Alliance For Change (AFC) said the results from Monday’s Local Government Elections (LGE) proves that the party is needed as a partner in the existing coalition Government to retain Government at the 2020 polls.
This year, the AFC broke from coalition partner, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) to contest the LGE. Apart from holding its own in some Municipalities; the AFC couldn’t secure a major victory.
“The voter turnout was very low. What we saw was a large number of persons over 40 voting,” said the AFC’s Region Four Chairman, Michael Leonard.
He added, “We found a lot of youths staying away from Local Government. That is what I saw with my own eyes. But we had a lot of party stalwarts voting. I am not disappointed and thinking that we did badly. I am thinking there is a lot of voter apathy. There is a lot of disinterest by persons in relating to voting in general.”
There are claims that the AFC made some inroads into the Linden Municipality, which is traditionally voted heavily for APNU.
“The APNU/AFC contested the last time in 2016 as a Coalition. They were obviously riding the success of 2015. There was no true test to see what the constituency of the AFC versus the APNU is. This time we ran alone and we started very late for obvious reasons but I think we did relatively well,” Leonard pointed out.
Since joining forces with the APNU, there has been a lot of debate on whether the AFC can cut away at the support base of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and then used that as a bargaining chip for a larger stake in the coalition.
“It is very clear from the results across the country that the APNU by themselves cannot defeat the PPP so it seems as though the coalition is necessary. And we have said before that we believe in Coalition politics so I don’t see anything changing,” Leonard stated.
He said that the party has not weakened its position going into the 2020 general Elections as it relates to negotiations with the APNU on the Cummingsburg Accord, the agreement that brought the two sides together in 2015 to share Cabinet positions and other key Government positions.
He said that the LGE results showed the AFC where it stands.
“If what puts you over the threshold to get the Presidency or to get the majority is one vote then it’s one vote. Every vote counts. Every seat counts,” Leonard indicated about defeating the PPP in 2020.
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