AFC to review its role at Local Government in Cummingsburg Accord

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While the Alliance For Change (AFC) and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) have been experiencing a good marriage at the level of Cabinet, at the lower level, it has not been so. This was expressed by former General Secretary of the Party, David Patterson at the opening of the party’s 5th Biennial conference on Saturday.

The Cummingsburg Accord which brought together the AFC and APNU on Valentine’s Day (February 14) 2015 will celebrate 2 years in coming weeks.

Patterson, while expressing commitment to the coalition, disclosed that “not every element of the Cummingsburg Accord has functioned as the framers intended and a number of issues have arisen that needs to be addressed in an effort to enhance its effectiveness.”

One of the issues highlighted is a weakness in the document itself which is “the silence on the coalition would treat with the Local Government Elections (LGE).” According to Patterson, the coalition partners were unable to, despite some effort, reach an equitable political arrangement which led to the less than satisfactory outcomes for those elections.

He noted that the “day to day administration of the accord, is much less than desirable, the interface between the coalition partners at all levels have not been the best. Although at the cabinet and ministerial levels, the working relation has been excellent, at the lower level, it has not been so…better must be done at the party and community levels.”

LGE was hosted in March 2016 after more than 20 years. APNU+AFC contested the elections as a joint party.

Following the elections, AFC raised concerns in relation to the “unfair” allocation of seats in Georgetown and other parts of the country. The party members and supporters accused its partner, APNU of “hogging” the seats in municipalities that the coalition won the elections. APNU ended up with 22 of the 25 seats available to the governing coalition in the capital city.

The Cummingsburg Accord has an initial life span of 36 months which will come to an end in February of 2018. Based on the experiences during these 36 months, the party will analyse and pave the way forward.

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