Despite reports of a shakeup that would replace Moses Nagamootoo as the party’s prime ministerial candidate, the Alliance For Change (AFC) National Executive Conference has opted to give Nagamootoo another chance.
The AFC held its conference on Saturday at the Umana Yana and threw its support behind Nagamootoo and President David Granger, running for the upcoming election.
According to a statement from the AFC, Party leader and Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman addressed the party’s future in the coalition.
“The Leader reaffirmed his confidence in the David Granger/Moses Nagamootoo leadership to guide the Coalition Government in the period ahead,” the statement said.
According to the statement, the party acknowledged that it has to work harder to deliver for the Guyanese people.
“In his address, (he) stated that the party has listened to the people and has heard what they have had to say. He related that the Guyanese public holds the AFC to a different political standard than that of the traditional political parties and acknowledged that the AFC did make some mis-steps in Government.”
“This NEC meeting was expanded to include regional, municipal and Neighbourhood Democratic Council Councillors and saw over 110 delegates in attendance from all 10 administrative regions in Guyana along with the Diaspora,’ the statement said.
According to the release, the NEC also unanimously approved a motion for the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition to be maintained as per the Cummingsburg Accord for the next General and Regional Elections.
“The NEC renewed the party’s commitment to constitutional reform and recognised the need for greater and meaningful involvement and participation of young people in the next coalition Government. Further, the party recognised the need for greater empowerment and the provision of more opportunities for the young people of Guyana.”
“The party also unanimously approved a motion to unequivocally support free education from nursery to university and facilitate housing for all Guyanese with revenues to be derived from oil.”
According to the party, the Constitution of Guyana provides that “every citizen has the right to free education from nursery to university as well as non-informal places where opportunities are provided for education and training.”
Meanwhile, AFC’s Chairman Khemraj Ramjattan in his address outlined for the NEC meeting the legal matters pertaining to the Government’s defeat at the hands of the no-confidence vote of December 21, 2018.
According to the release, Ramjattan reiterated the Government’s position that it will remain in office until elections are held.
The Government fell to the no-confidence vote after former AFC Member of Parliament, Charrandas Persaud defected and supported an Opposition sponsored no-confidence motion.
In his statement after, Persaud had cited the AFC’s lack of independence from the larger partner APNU as a factor in his decision.
In fact, AFC has been heavily criticised in recent years for this apparent lack of independence. Its position has not been helped by a lacklustre showing at Local Government Elections in November 2018.
It is this showing that has led some to suggest that the AFC may not get the same concessions it got in 2015 as per the Cummingsburg Accord.