AFC shrugs off claims about party losing ground in Berbice
Alliance For Change (AFC) General Secretary David Patterson on Sunday sought to put to rest notions that
his party has been losing its supporters in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), particularly since it coalesced with the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).
The AFC is considered the second largest party in the APNU/AFC partnership, which was successful in the 2015 General and Regional Elections. Even before the coalition’s success at the elections, the AFC had been heavily criticised for coalescing with APNU.
It seems, however, that up until now the party was still being flayed for the alliance with APNU. Speaking on a public programme in New Amsterdam, Berbice, on Saturday evening, Patterson claimed that the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has been peddling a “series of lies” about the status of the AFC.
He said that as General Secretary, he was also the keeper of the records.
“I can say that this is hogwash on the part of the Opposition. That is their job, and the PPP knows very well that the powers reside primarily with the Alliance For Change – we are the balance of power,” AFC’s General Secretary said.
He added that it was the AFC which formed the coalition. “We drafted the agreement. So they have to attack the Alliance For Change for their own survival: that’s why they are attacking us,” Patterson reiterated in explaining the PPP’s allegations.
He continued that the AFC was the most liberal party in the country as members were free to voice their opinion publicly and internally.
“But we are still strong and committed. You can refer to us as free thinkers,” he said.
Prior to the signing of the Cummingsburg Accord, which created the coalition, back in February 2015, the PPP had heavily criticised the AFC‘s decision to join forces with APNU.
General Secretary Clement Rohee had labelled the move a “death warrant”.
“…this so-called ‘Cummingsburg Accord’ would be remembered down the halls of shame with time as the day of betrayal of principles on the part of the AFC which has through its leader, Ramjattan, had vowed that it would never join the APNU,” Rohee said back in 2015.
Rohee opined that the AFC would lose the supporters it had managed to accumulate during the elections since it would no longer be seen as the middle ground for those who distrusted the People’s National Congress (PNC), the major partner in APNU.
He pointed out that with the coalition, the AFC would have no other choice but to follow the dictatorial rule of the ‘PNC/APNU”.
“Their [AFC’s] supporters had already begun returning [to the PPP] and the coalition process has placed impetus on this…the people weren’t convinced back in the day of a coalition between the PNC and the TUF and they won’t be convinced now. Who don’t end up dead politically will end up badly wounded,” Rohee declared.