APNU agrees on formula for allocation of seats, but will AFC accept?
The multi-party bloc APNU, which has President David Granger as its leader, on Monday night said it had agreed on a formula for the allocation of seats with the AFC if they go as a Coalition and win the March 02, 2020 general and regional elections.
However, APNU was blank on the details; it will now have to put forward its proposal to the AFC which has been driving a hard bargain to get a fair deal before it signs on to a renewed accord to contest the elections with APNU. The APNU is driving its own bargain as it decided today that any future talks with the AFC will have to be based on the Constitution.
The AFC was hoping for a concrete agreement with APNU by today; that did not happen. AFC leaders were hoping that their leader Khemraj Ramjattan would have met the President today to finalise a deal.
Instead, the President met with APNU executives, which included representatives from all the parties that make up the Partnership: the Guyana Action Party (GAP), the Justice For All Party (JFAP), the National Front Alliance (NFA), the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) and the Working Peoples Alliance (WPA).
The President chaired the meeting.
“…the partners examined several proposals and agreed on a post-election formula for the allocation of seats and recommended an approach for the continuation of negotiations with the Alliance For Change (AFC) in accordance with the core principles already agreed.
“The Partners further agreed and recommended that the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana will guide all future discussions,” APNU said in a statement.
According to APNU, it remains committed to ending “winner-take-all” politics in Guyana and to contesting the 2020 elections as a Coalition.
“We are better together!” APNU declared.
The AFC has already declared that if it does not get its way, it is ready to contest the elections alone.
Prior to the 2015 elections, the AFC has seven Parliamentary seats and had vowed it would not join with the PNC – the largest party in the APNU Coalition – but then on February 15, 2015, just months before that year’s elections, it signed the Cummingsburg Accord. The Coalition with APNU unseated the PPP from government.
But it was the AFC’s Parliamentarian Charrandass Persaud who sided with the Opposition and toppled the government in a No Confidence motion last December.
The AFC recently walked away from negotiations for a renewed Cummingsburg Accord, insisting that APNU had to accept its leader, Ramjattan, as the Prime Ministerial Candidate.
APNU dodged the issue several times, but it appears that has now been agreed to.
What is outstanding is how many seats the AFC would be entitled to in Parliament and on the Regional Democratic Councils should there be another victory for APNU+AFC.
It is unclear when the two sides will meet again.