Trotman says APNU in ‘weakened’ state, presses for bold and transformative steps
An email sent to members of the Alliance For Change (AFC) by its leader Raphael Trotman confirmed that he was displeased with the functioning of the Coalition and that bold and transformative actions have not been undertaken by the Government.
The email was sent prior to the 2018 Local Government Elections (LGE) and released to the media on Thursday.
Trotman urged his party members to use their bargaining power within the Coalition to push for a number of policies because, as he described it, APNU was in “a weakened state.”
He called for the party to “push heavily” for constitutional reform, equitable sharing of petroleum profits, a social impact programme for displaced sugar and bauxite workers and a Social Contract with public servants, members of the disciplined forces and youth.
Trotman said governing in an “orthodox manner” has hindered the coalition from making “bold and transformative steps.”
Trotman wanted “a clear and time-bound pathway to constitutional reforms that were agreed by the Special Select Committee of the 7th Parliament and urgent reforms to be agreed by December 2019.”
He called on his party members to push for “a definitive agreement that there shall be equitable and constitutionally guaranteed benefit sharing from proceeds of petroleum and other natural resources for Guyanese citizens, and the protection and incentivising of those, and other benefits and rights, for Guyanese by birth.”
Trotman said the AFC must ensure that Guyanese who were promised a “good life” since independence will get it and “not have to stand aside while others reap the benefits.”
To this end, he called for the urgent formalization and finalization of land tenure, immigration and local content policy, which “must be adumbrated and codified by end of 2019.”
Additionally, the AFC leader also wanted the settling of the Amerindian Land titling issue and passage of reform legislation by the first quarter of 2019 that addresses the “draconian sentencing legislation” for marijuana convictions.
In fact, he suggested that the party use its support for the 2019 National Budget to introduce the discussions.
“I stop short of saying that unless we get these items we should not support the budget, but do believe that we can push for them and should push as hard as we can,” the email disclosed to the media stated.
“I am therefore urging that you consider these matters for discussion of Budget 2019 – not simply in terms of income and expenditure, but now with some philosophical underpinnings,” he added.
Trotman noted that the 2019 Budget has implications for the AFC in 2020 and well beyond.
Trotman also proposed that the AFC engage the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) and civil society groups “as needed.”
The AFC leader said 2019 is an auspicious year, as it marked the eve of oil production as well as the jubilee anniversary of the Republic.