Nov 16, 2019 News
The Alliance For Change (AFC) will not hesitate to contest solo in the upcoming General and Regional Elections.
The party has been locked in a power struggle with the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) over the distribution of posts in a possible new APNU/AFC government after the March 2, 2020 elections.
Both parties have kept the details of those negotiations under lock and key, except for the AFC exposing a disagreement, over who gets to choose the prime ministerial candidate was a major point of contention.
Many had thought that the specific issue APNU had was with the AFC’s choice for the candidacy, Khemraj Ramjattan. But President David Granger explained that his position was that the President has the sole constitutional right to appoint the Prime Minister.
The AFC had made it clear that its right to select the Prime Ministerial candidate was a non-negotiable tenet of the first installation of the Cummingsburg Accord, and that its position on the revision of the Accord would be no different.
During a press conference yesterday, AFC Treasurer, Dominic Gaskin, would not confirm media reports that the two sides have already settled on Ramjattan as the candidate.
It was only offered that the only matter that needs to be sorted out at this juncture is the formula for the distribution of ministerial parliamentary and local government posts between AFC and the APNU.
Asked whether the party is willing to budge on the 60/40 allocation of seats agreed to for the previous election, Gaskin said that it would be open to making concessions if that meant that there would be a concession to them in another regard.
“Once something is on the table, were we to deviate from that formula, the question would be what we are getting in return or what are we giving in return,” Gaskin said.
AFC Deputy General Secretary, Leonard Craig, said that that party would not only be ready to contest alone, but that it would do so in all ten administrative regions if needs be.
Even then, they maintained that a coalition is preferred.
They said that the party has already hammered out its manifesto, independent from the APNU, and if the final meeting slated for Monday with the APNU does not yield favourable results, the party is going to make its way into the election alone.
Deadlines have been pushed back before, but Gaskin said that this Monday, November 18, will be the final deadline.
GASKIN BOWS OUT OF POLITICS
And former Business Minister, Dominic Gaskin, has made it clear that he will not be on the coalition’s list of candidates contesting the upcoming General and Regional Elections.
The AFC Treasurer said this as he was fielding questions on the party’s preparedness for the election.
Gaskin was forced to resign from his ministerial post earlier this year, after the No Confidence Motion of December 21, 2018 led to a revelation to the public a law prohibiting dual citizens from holding Parliamentarian office.
After his resignation, Gaskin was reappointed to the Ministry of Business, this time as Director of Manufacturing and Marketing. Haimraj Rajkumar assumed the Ministerial post.
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