APNU banks on ‘compromise’ with AFC for 2020 coalition


The multi-party political bloc APNU is banking on a “compromise” with its governing partner AFC to once again form a Coalition for the upcoming general and regional elections.

The AFC on Thursday announced that it will not continue talks unless APNU accepts Khemraj Ramjattan as the Prime Ministerial Candidate in a Coalition that has incumbent Brigadier David Granger as the Presidential Candidate.

The AFC held a press conference Thursday to say that APNU keeps putting off discussion on the Prime Ministerial Candidate and that the matter is non-negotiable and that it will basically not sign a new Coalition accord unless it gets its way.

The public position of the AFC was not expected, at least not by APNU’s lead negotiator Volda Lawrence.

“This is not the only matter that has been parked and remains parked to date. And so, yes, there was some element of surprise,” she stated.

“But let me go further to say that the AFC is an independent party and I’m quite certain that in that independence, they have their rights and they will determine their agendas.”

The AFC does have its agenda – it wants Khemraj Ramjattan as Prime Ministerial Candidate and that will be the basis for any Coalition, nothing less. The AFC is not clear why APNU keeps putting off the discussion.

Thursday, Dominic Gaskin, one of the AFC’s negotiators said he wished APNU would say what basis it has for doing so.

President David Granger signs an Instrument of Appointment to swear in Minister Khemraj Ramjattan to perform the duties of Prime Minister in August 2018. [DPI photo]
But on Friday at Congress Place, Volda Lawrence was not up for offering any explanations.

“I am not allowed to discuss that in public,” she stated.

The AFC has said the talks are off unless there is agreement on the Prime Ministerial Candidate, but Lawrence said she has nothing in writing.

“We have received no correspondence or anything from the AFC that these talks have come to an end,” she stated.

And so, Lawrence, the chair of the PNC, the largest party in APNU, tried her best to show that the Coalition which unseated the PPP in 2015 after 23 years in power is not in tatters, that it can do this all over again come March 02.

“We have absolutely every confidence that this team will be able to complete its work given to us by our leaders and we will be able to come out stronger than we’ve ever been before,” she stated.

What is for sure is that APNU is banking on a Coalition with the AFC if it were to have a chance of succeeding at the polls again. Lawrence said this much in quoting APNU leader and President, David Granger.

“The whole is greater than the sum of all its parts.

“The momentum that the coalition has generated is evidence of the people’s satisfaction.

“United we stand a better chance to fulfil our destiny. Divided, we fall victim to the tactics of the PPP.”

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