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AFC banking on Oil Industry improve living standards & relationship with APNU

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The Alliance For Change (AFC) is hoping that with the development of the oil sector, the coalition will be better able to meet the expectations of its supporters and also build a better relationship with its coalition partner, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).

During a Press Conference on Thursday (February 02, 2017), Chairman of the AFC, Khemraj Ramjattan told media operatives that the coalition has experienced disputes over the past months in office, some as a result of failure to meet expectations.

“Being in Opposition is one thing but being in Government and knowing the political, financial and economic realities, then sometimes create the difficulties of expectations not being met. I think we have to, in a sense tell our people to behave, our members, our supporters to behave more maturely…in the engagement moving forward, will be the efforts of the new leadership will be in a sense, reopen a number of things that will ensure expectations are better met” Ramjattan said.

One of the many expectations he highlighted is the creation of jobs which he says often times cause “petty jealousness” as supporters begin to express concerns about what the government is not doing.

However, he believes that with the development of the oil industry, he believes that “those difficulties and challenges and constraints that we presently have in this relationship will all be met”.

He added that “I believe the way we are handling the economy as of today and the fact that we are having under natural resources, the oil sector that is coming on stream, that there is an extraordinarily brighter and economic reality that we are going to arrive at and that is going to in a sense, end a lot of the difficulties that we have.”

American Oil giant Exxon Mobil has discovered a significant amount of oil and gas offshore Guyana and is expected to begin production in 2020. The Company has already commenced several works inclusive of consultations at the local level.

The APNU+AFC coalition was formed on February 14, 2015, ahead of the Regional and General Elections with the signing of a Cummingsburg Accord. The Accord has a lifespan of 36 months and comes to an end in 2018.

Another area requiring improvement is the need for more collaboration at the local government level.

During the party’s 5th Biennial conference on Saturday last, former General Secretary of the Party, David 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.” He stated that “the silence on the coalition would treat with the Local Government Elections (LGE)” is one of the issues needing much attention.

It is expected that this will be reviewed next year, ahead of the 2019 LGE.

At Thursday’s press conference, Leader of the AFC, Raphael Trotman said the party will realign itself strategically within the coalition to ensure that it remains “relevant, respected, appreciated and of course united to take the coalition forward.”

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