Despite official split, APNU says cooperation with AFC in Parliament ‘going good’


By Kurt Campbell


In December 2022, the Alliance For Change (AFC) formally ended its political coalition with A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), which had been in place for almost eight years.

But one month later, ahead of the start of the 2023 budget debates, the two sides have indicated that their parliamentary alliance as opposition parties nonetheless remains intact.

“We have agreed to work at the parliamentary level as APNU+AFC, and so far it is going good, we will watch to see what happens,” Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton told the media on Monday last, moments after the 2023 budget presentation.

The APNU and AFC have been forging a parliamentary alliance following the 2011 elections where the opposition secured a one-seat majority in the National Assembly but they officially entered into a coalition to contest the 2015 elections that saw them winning the seat of government.

“When we entered, we agreed to bring it to an end after three years.

“It has ended,” AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan told the News Room.

The political agreement between the two sides – the revised Cummingsburg Accord – allows for the split and the AFC had decided at its National Conference in 2022, months after Norton became Opposition Leader, to exit the coalition.

“That does not mean we will not be working together in Parliament, we will be,” Ramjattan asserted. The AFC had retained its nine parliamentary seats.

The two parties are now expected to do their political work separately and will not contest any future elections jointly.

The AFC previously had issues with the treatment it received within the PNC/R controlled coalition, complaining in the past of being excluded from the decision-making process.

The AFC also had to fight for the appointment of its members to key positions at the parliamentary level and previously within government.

At the AFC conference in June 2022, the Party decided to remain in the APNU+AFC coalition but with new demands for a secure agreement and greater influence on policy positions and political action within the coalition.

Members had charged the leadership with ensuring its independence was maintained amid efforts to rebrand and regain its identity.

Ramjattan was leading that charge, but it is unclear how far discussions went with Norton.

The AFC team had approached the leadership of APNU seeking a revised political alliance.

1 Comment
  1. Matthew says

    Keeping up the narrative.

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