Feb 21, 2021 News
– says party has “lost its way”
Kaieteur News – The Alliance For Change (AFC) yesterday lost its fifth member to resignation since the change of government last August, this one being Joel Edmond, a two-year executive of the coalition-aligned party.
Edmond publicly came out yesterday to announce his resignation, which he said was of “immediate effect.” Kaieteur News subsequently reached out to Edmond and asked him what prompted his withdrawal from the AFC. He told this publication that following the protracted March 2020 General and Regional Elections, the AFC further “lost its way.” He said that after the loss, he had expected the party to regroup, recommence projects and “get back to the basics.”
“But nothing was done,” Edmond said to this publication.
“This has been brewing for some time, even after the 2015 elections,” Edmond stated, “The AFC has somehow lost their focus, and it worsened after the  elections.”
When asked why he waited so long to resign if he had noticed the party’s decline some six years ago, Edmond indicated that he was “hopeful that the AFC would have made a comeback.”
“But everyone is basically scattered, and I thought that the loss of the elections would have been an eye-opener for them,” he noted.
Edmond, who is an attorney-at-law stated that his resignation from the AFC does not signal the end of his political career. When Kaieteur News asked him whether he holds any intentions to join another political party, he declined to share a comment.
Just last week, Former AFC Member of Parliament, Reynard Ward, had tendered his resignation from the party over its “broken, abusive and one-sided relationship,” which AFC Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan, and referred to the party’s ties with the larger A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).
Ward had served in Parliament from April 2019 to the end of the administration’s last term, as a replacement MP, after court battles following the December 21, 2018 No-Confidence Motion determined it unlawful for some Coalition dual-citizen MPs to sit in the House.
Leader of the AFC, Khemraj Ramjattan, at a press conference last week, noted his disappointment with Ward’s decision to exit the party, and had said “You will have people coming off for a variety of reasons,” and “I rather suspect that there might be other reasons why he came off, but all the best to him in the future.”
The APNU+AFC Coalition relationship has been strained, following a contentious five-month electoral saga, characterized by widespread accusations of electoral fraud. The Coalition most notably attempted to have the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) declare results, which would have granted it a second term, but were exposed as fraudulent.
Ward’s resignation from AFC is not the first since the APNU+AFC was unseated by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) in August last year. Former Region Five Councillor, Abel Seetaram, left the party in October last, and noted in a letter to Ramjattan that he was disgruntled with the AFC’s relationship with the APNU, particularly its largest constituent, the PNC/R.
Similarly, Ward, in a resignation letter addressed to the party’s General Secretary, said that his best time in the AFC was when it was the “public’s Pitbull and not as the PNC’s puppet.”
“However, sadly,” he added, “post 2015, the implementation of the vision was tunneled. The vision for the new Guyana girdled with wishes and dreams of the 1970’s and 1980’s hopefuls. This started the deterioration of the hope and trust of party supporters and that of the people, even those who did not voted for us but supported what we aimed to achieve.”
In his resignation letter, Ward told Patterson, “The AFC that consumed me, my then young friends, like-minded associates (intellectuals, professionals and others), family and even other party supporters was a political force to reckon with. The party was full of energy, hope and diversity. It was what the new Guyana wanted; it was what the majority of youths wanted; it was what the diaspora wanted.”
The AFC, Ward said, has towed the line with APNU despite the “abusive” relationship, hoping for better, but that “Unfortunately, there seems to be no hope for a better tomorrow with the current players even with a reshuffle.”
Notably, there are reports from other sections of the media that another AFC member, Vladimir Glasgow, an executive member of the party’s Linden, Region 10 Branch, had tendered his resignation late last year. According to those reports, Glasgow had said, like Edmond, that the AFC has lost its way and has become “consumed” by the People’s National Congress (PNC). Former executive, Leonard Craig, is also reported to have resigned from the party since last year.
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