Aug 04, 2020 News Comments Off on Coalition seats will be split 70/30 – Ramjattan
By Shikema Dey
With the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition shifting from government to opposition, Leader of the AFC, Khemraj Ramjattan has said that parliamentary seating allocation will be as per the revised Cummingsburg Accord where they would receive 30%.
Ramjattan appeared on Kaieteur Radio’s Room 592 last evening and responded to questions on how their party envisions their transition into opposition. While he noted that the Coalition is yet to meet officially to decide on who would fill the slot of Opposition Leader, he said that they have been engaging in discussions via WhatsApp.
On the question of how the parliamentary seats would be shared, Ramjattan touched on the revised Cummingsburg Accord Agreement signed back in 2019, which would see his Party receiving just 30% of the seats.
“We had an arrangement in the Cummingsburg Accord, 70/ 30 percent, and that arrangement still holds,” the former Public Security Minister said.
Back in 2019, APNU and AFC were engaged in a battle during the revision of the Accord before the 2020 Elections. This was after the AFC felt that did they not receive exactly what they bargained for, three years into government.
“There is broad agreement between the two parties that the existing Accord can be amended for better alignment with the Constitution and can accommodate additional guiding principles that may previously have been omitted,” the AFC had said in a statement.
In the first deal, the AFC agreed to divide the parliamentary seats 60% to 40% but in the end, the AFC bowed out, accepting 30% of seats – a 10% decrease from the initial arrangement.
If the Coalition had emerged victorious in the 2020 Elections, the AFC would have held the Prime Ministerial post in addition to the Ministries of Natural Resources, Public Security, Public Infrastructure and Public Telecommunication and 10 seats in the National Assembly. The Ministry of Agriculture which it had responsibility for would go to APNU, along with Tourism.
The former Security Minister, while he had deemed the percentage a “come down”, had told reporters that he was in no way “bullied” to accept this smaller share.
Ramjattan said, “I was not bullied nor did I bully.”
When asked why he agreed to such a deal, he had said, “Because I want the coalition arrangement there. I would not argue or get into that…We appreciate an Accord has been met…As to why we agreed to lots of agreements, a lot of things could be said but we believe that together we can win these elections and an agreement had to be reached.”
Explaining further, he stated, “I don’t feel dejected at all. I wanted an accord because I feel we can win together with an accord. We were not bullied…I was just negotiating…and at the end of the day, whatever is realised is the best.”
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