‘APNU+AFC coalition not in jeopardy’ – Granger says respects AFC’s decision
Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R), David Granger says he respects the decision of the Alliance For Change (AFC) to contest the upcoming Local Government Election (LGE) alone and not as a partner with A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).
The PNCR is the largest party in the APNU. The AFC on Sunday announced that it will go to the November polls solo following “inconclusive negotiations with APNU.”
At the sidelines of an event at the Botanical Gardens on Monday morning, Granger, who is also the country’s Head of State, told reporters that “this is entirely a local matter, entirely a party political matter but we do not feel that there is any danger that the coalition is in jeopardy.”
The PNCR Leader reiterated that he respects the internal decisions made by the AFC.
The AFC and APNU went into talks earlier this year to iron out concerns by the AFC. While much of the contents of the meetings were not disclosed, the AFC had raised issues relating to candidates and candidacies for the November 12 LGE.
Mr Granger told the media that the two parties “exchanged certain memoranda” and that “APNU had drafted its own core principles and we submitted those principles to the AFC for their consideration.”
However, he did not delve into what those core principles are.
According to Mr Granger, he does not believe that the AFC’s decision “in no way will damage the prospect of the two parties going into the General and Regional Elections” which is set for 2020.
Prior to its announcement on Sunday, the AFC had previously stated that a large portion of its membership had expressed the desire to contest the local polls alone.
“There is a strong body of opinion within the Party that we should go it alone or there’s another view of us to seek to enter into a new Accord for Local Government because the Cummingsburg Accord is just for national and general elections of 2015,” AFC Leader, Raphael Trotman had told a news conference on January 15, 2018.
He had noted that there is a resounding urge for the political party to maintain its identity and individuality.
At the last local government elections in 2016, the AFC contested as a joint unit with the APNU but subsequently raised concerns that the latter party was awarded more seats.