AFC unsure of Nagamootoo’s return as PM candidate

first_imgAs political parties kick into campaign mode, the Alliance For Change (AFC) is unsure whether Executive Member Moses Nagamootoo will return as its prime ministerial candidate for the upcoming General and Regional Elections, constitutionally due in March.This is according to AFC’s Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan, at a press conference on Wednesday, when he told reporters that the party would be discussing this, among other issues, at its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this weekend.“We’re not there at this stage in relation to that. All of that will have to be decided at national congress,” Ramjattan said when he was asked whether NagamootooPrime Minister and AFC Executive Member Moses Nagamootoowould return alongside the presidential candidate of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)/AFC coalition at the upcoming polls.In accordance with the 2015 ‘sweetheart deal’ in the form of the Cummingsburg Accord between the two parties, the AFC will have the prime ministerial position while the presidential post goes to APNU if elected.On Monday, President Granger was endorsed by his party, the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), to run for a second term. In fact, the PNCR – the larger partner in the five-party APNU – officially threw its support behind its leader via a letter from General Secretary Amna Ally.In the letter, Ally noted that Granger was elected unopposed at the last congress as the party’s leader and he remained “capable, fit and proper” for a second term and on that basis the party endorsed his candidature.Last week, however, AFC Vice Chair Cathy Hughes had said that it was too soon for the party to say whether it would support Granger’s presidential candidateship.But Ramjattan told <<>> last Sunday that while this matter would be discussed at the upcoming NEC meeting, it was “likely” that the party would support Granger as presidential candidate.“I support him fully as presidential candidate, personally… [but] we haven’t gone there as a collective,” Ramjattan said. “We’re having our national executive [meeting] and certainly you’ll have me supporting him there… But, of course, I anticipate [there will be support for President Granger]. I don’t think of anybody else with the quality of statesmanship as him,” the AFC Chairman, also Public Security Minister, had asserted.President Granger was diagnosed in October with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and was receiving treatment in Cuba, which requires him to travel back and forth between the two countries. In fact, he returned to Guyana on Saturday evening after undergoing his fourth round of chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.Despite this, the Head of State has assured the Guyanese citizenry that he was getting better and a medical briefing from his doctors in Havana described his progress as “satisfactory and in conformity with their expectations”.Come February 14, the APNU and AFC will celebrate the fourth anniversary since signing the “lovers’ deal” that eventually got them into office back in 2015. However, the AFC, in recent years, has come under fire for the submissive role it has been playing since joining forces with APNU.In fact, the top leadership of the AFC had decided back in 2017 to revise its governing agreement with its majority coalition partner. The Cummingsburg Accord has a lifespan of a minimum of three years and maximum of five years, and was focused primarily on the General and Regional Elections. As such, the minority party in the coalition had contested the November 2018 Local Government Elections (LGE) separate from APNU after planned negotiations to craft another accord on local government fell through.At Wednesday’s press conference, however, Ramjattan said that while the 60-month Accord was still valid, it would, nevertheless, come up for discussion this weekend ahead of any further negotiation talks with its coalition partner.“…Indeed there might be need for further fine-tuning and in view of certain developments recently, I suppose there would be need for both sides to deal with major issues, especially in relation to preparations for the next elections,” AFC’s Chairman noted.Since the December 21, 2018 passage of the No-confidence motion with support from AFC’s former Member of Parliament Charrandas Persaud, several political commentators and stakeholders, including the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Opposition, have been calling on the APNU/AFC Government to resign and call elections, which, according to Article 106 (7), should be held within three months. This means elections should be held by March 21 this year.last_img read more