President confirms APNU in ‘exploratory’ talks with Shuman’s Party


President David Granger Wednesday morning confirmed that as leader of the APNU, he held “preliminary exploratory” talks with Lenox Shuman, the Presidential Candidate for the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP).

Speaking with the media at the sidelines of an event held at the Ministry of the Presidency, Mr Granger said that the five-party A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is looking at areas of cooperation with the Liberty and Justice Party.

“I have had preliminary exploratory talks with Mr Shuman and we are looking for common ground, we are looking for areas of convergence,” the President said.

Mr Granger explained that the policy of APNU is inclusivity and they are ready to welcome other parties who share their objectives to develop Guyana.

He said there is no final agreement as yet with LJP.

“Mr Shuman has given me the assurance that they are areas of convergence the Liberty and Justice Party and what he thinks the APNU stands for….we have not actually come to any agreement, the talks are exploratory but he is convinced that it is a wide area of convergence between the policies of our partnership and his party.”

Meanwhile, at Shuman’s last press conference in September, he welcomed the March 02, 2020 date for general and regional elections and noted that he is ready to contest the elections.

Shuman, however, stopped short of naming and confirming his party’s slate but urged the other political parties to conduct themselves above board in the forthcoming campaign season.

Shuman had noted then that he is confident that the LJP is well-positioned to secure a lot of votes at the elections.

He had made it clear that he personally supported the APNU+AFC coalition but explained that a Government of national unity must not only work in theory but in practice.

On a separate note, when asked if Shuman’s dual-citizenship was an area of concern, the President said that dual-citizenship has nothing to do with leading a political party.

“…it has everything to do with entering the National Assembly or being appointed to cabinet and we haven’t gotten there,” the President said.

Shuman has been a Canadian citizen for approximately 28 years but is Guyanese by birth. The Party Leader announced earlier in the year that he had begun the process to relinquish his Canadian citizenship.

Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George-Wiltshire in January this year ruled that the Constitution blocks anyone who holds dual citizenship to be elected to the National Assembly.

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