My PNC source was 1000 percent reliable so I did not need to check other sources. On Sunday, I was informed that long standing AFC activist who is legal advisor in the Ministry of the Presidency, Gita Chandan, is on the top-up list from the APNU and not AFC.
Ms. Chandan signed her form at the Office of the President. What is mysterious about the list of the two formations – APNU and AFC– is that except for very well-known names, the Guyanese voters do not know who were selected by which party.
Obviously, we know which section of the two formations, David Hinds, Cathy Hughes, George Norton, and Savitree Sharma came from.
Jaipaul Sharma resigned from the Justice For All Party (JFAP) to move to the PNC. He said the General-Secretary of JFAP, his mother, Savitree has replaced him. She then is on the list for the JFAP and not the PNC etc. But confusion still reigns in the list of both coalition members – APNU and AFC.
For example, Imran Khan was virtually out of the AFC after he had a volcanic confrontation with Khemraj Ramjattan that spilt over into the press. The accusations were formidable and disturbing. That was in June. Since then Khan was a complete no-show. But Khan is on the top-up list.
Moses Nagamootoo’s last attendance of an executive meeting was in February last year. The unit that runs the affairs of the AFC is the Management Committee (MC) that meets every week. Since February 2019, he has not attended any MC meetings.
Why February? Because it was after the executive meeting that month, Raphael Trotman told the Chronicle that the gathering had endorsed Nagamootoo as its PM candidate for 2020.
Ramjattan and his supporters in the AFC leadership came out swinging. AFC issued a press release denying that the February confabulation at the Georgetown Club supported Nagamootoo for continuation as PM.
In May last year, the final nail in the coffin in the relations between Nagamootoo and Trotman on the one hand, and Ramjattan on the other, was driven.
Trotman told the Guyana Times it would be counter-productive politics for the AFC to choose another AFC PM candidate. He said to do so signals dissatisfaction with the performance of the government. But Nagamootoo is on the top-up list.
I enquired of my AFC sources and was told that the names were selected from input by different leaders and Khan and Nagamootoo were insisted on by Trotman, not Ramjattan. Back to Chandan.
I called her for a comment but she said she will speak to me later. She hasn’t up to this time. I called her husband, Joel Edmond. Both Geeta and Joel are personal friends. I asked Joel if Geeta signed up on behalf APNU. These were his words, “Freddie, no comment” to which I retorted, “but Joel it has to be yes or no.” He again said, “No comment.”
I inquired why he was not on the list since he is regarded as the most high-profile Indian after Ramjattan in the AFC now that Nagamootoo is on his way out of the AFC.
Joel said, “Freddie no comment.” As our conversation ended the only other thing he said was that if I am writing, please refer to his wife as Mrs. Chandan-Edmond.
I called several of my AFC Region Five sources and got none of them on their cells. I decided to travel to Region Five because this story is explosive. I took my dog with me. I stopped at Mahaica for her to pee. What I found out is shocking. Joel Edmond was recommended for the top-up list by Region Five AFC, signed the forms, but was dropped last Thursday.
AFC Region Five personnel told me on inquiries they were told that it is policy not to have man and wife on the list whether top-up or regional. They said they rejected that because Imran Khan and his wife are on the list – one regional, the other top-up.
I then informed them that Mrs. Chandan-Edmond was submitted by APNU not AFC. The reaction was furious. I was told to give them Monday night to sort out things and call them on Tuesday morning. I did. They told me that party leaders simply told them that of the 85 names tabled to GECOM, AFC was only allowed 25 and some activists had to be left out.
They believed Edmond was victimised because of his wife and Region Five AFC voters will rebel. One of them said, “Freddie, we gon lose dis election yuh know.” I then called Joel again. This was all he said, “Freddie, I like and respect you but leave it alone, please. I’m kindly asking you.”
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