Harmon admits to agreement with AFC for Vice-Chair post; cites possible breakdown in communication
Admitting that there was an agreement between the leaders of the APNU+AFC on the Vice Chairman positions in Regions Four and Seven, Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon said he was investigating a possible breakdown in communication.
Harmon said that the lapse in communication on the decision taken by Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC) Khemraj Ramjattan and Leader of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) David Granger may have led to the agreement not being honoured.
He said the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R) Central Executive Member Aubrey Norton was responsible for communicating the decision to the coalition Region Four Councillors.
Harmon said an investigation is still ongoing but could not say if at the end of that investigation the Vice-Chairman election of Mr Samuel Sandy will be reversed.
“I’m not sure if the decision taken was shared with the Councillors because they made the vote… they did not appear to know of any existing agreement,” Harmon added.
The agreement between Mr Ramjattan and Mr Granger should have allowed for the Vice-chairman position in Regions Four and Seven to go to an AFC Councillor.
While that materialized in Region Seven it was not the same in Region Four with the APNU Councillors and Chairman Daniel Seeram all voting to elect Mr Sandy.
Seeram has since said that he did not know of any agreement although being involved in prior discussions on the Vice-Chairman position.
The election of Mr Sandy led to the resignation of David Patterson as the General Secretary of the AFC; he has also stated his intention to resign from the National Assembly as a Parliamentarian.
Harmon says he is sure that Patterson’s resignation will be dealt with at the AFC party level but up to Friday he received no application with respect to Patterson resigning as a Member of Parliament.
“He continues to function as MP. As recent as yesterday he was in a meeting where he contributed significantly. This morning I received advice from him on a matter I asked him to look at. He remains a valuable member of our parliamentary team,” he added.
Harmon says he hopes that Patterson can also rethink his resignation from the leadership of the AFC, explaining that it would be a loss to the AFC in that regard.
All things considered, Harmon says the Coalition remains committed to its shared principles of shared governance and ending one party rule.
“I want to make it very clear is that in political life sometimes there are bumps, ups, and downs but the important thing is that the parties are better together and subscribe to certain basic principles that see the need for uniting… to eschew one-party rule. We believe that Inclusive governance is important to the development of Guyana,” he added.
The two leaders of the AFC and APNU are expected to meet shortly. The AFC has already announced an emergency meeting of its National Executive Committee on Sunday to address the developments.