AFC-Canada denies decision to leave party was done at ‘backroom’ meeting
Secretary of the Canadian Chapter of the Alliance For Change (AFC) Laurence Williams has denied claims by the party’s ‘elder statesman’ Moses Nagamootoo that “many” people are against the decision of the Chapter to leave the AFC.
Williams told News Room that only five members of the group were absent when the body met recently in Toronto to decide its future with the AFC, which formed a coalition with the larger coalition of parties – APNU – to win the 2015 general elections.
The Chapter ultimately decided to pull out from the AFC over several issues, including the Party’s endorsement of President David Granger’s unilateral appointment of Justice James Patterson as the chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission.
Nagamootoo, who serves as Prime Minister, claimed that the decision by AFC-Canada to exit the Party was made by only a few dissatisfied members.
“It was a backroom, side door meeting. People who are strong supporters of the AFC… weren’t invited for the meeting. I understand that they were called and told ‘let’s come for a gyaff, a sip and chat’,” Nagamootoo told News Room on Thursday (November 02, 2017) in an interview on the corridors of Parliament Building.
But Williams disputed that. He said: “It’s only one person contacting him (Nagamootoo).” He said that person is the who stayed away from the meeting.” He explained that the other four persons who were absent have not attended a meeting in years nor have they contributed to the group.
Williams explained that more than 20 persons were present at the time of the meeting and all voted in favour of the leaving the AFC pending the resolution of certain issues.
In a letter sent to the AFC leadership on October 27, AFC-Canada said in addition to the GECOM issue, the group felt betrayed by the AFC’s “outlandish” decision to join the coalition.
Williams claimed that the AFC members, including Nagamootoo and Khemraj Ramjattan, never paid a visit to the Chapter’s Executive since they won the elections in 2015.
Nagamotoo said the AFC will be launching an investigation to determine which members were present during the meeting and how many are actually in agreement with the decision to leave the Party.