While the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) awaits an official word from the Alliance for Change (AFC) on exiting the coalition on December 31, 2022, Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton has said that his party will live with the reality of the AFC’s decision since it does not intend to beg anyone to remain in the coalition.
Days after announcing that the Alliance for Change will retire from the coalition and committing to formally informing the Leader of the Opposition about the party’s decision, Leader of the AFC, Khemraj Ramjattan has not yet done so. This is according to Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton.
“First of all, the AFC has not communicated to us its decision, we read what was being said in the press and we noted it,” Norton stated during his weekly press conference on Tuesday.
In fielding questions from media operatives, Norton was asked whether or not his party would consider recalling the AFC’s Members of Parliament following the split. He responded by stating that when he is formally engaged on the AFC’s position to leave, a number of options would be explored.
When pressed further on whether recalling the MPs is one of the options to be examined, he indicated that he did not know the available options and that his party’s next step hinges on the engagement of both parties.
The Alliance for Change has a total of nine sitting members in the National Assembly and according to the party’s leader, Khemraj Ramjattan, they will remain.
“That is what I am aware of, we will have nine parliamentarians, and we will unite with the APNU in parliamentary action against the PPP,” he said recently.
Howbeit, Norton underscored that the APNU strongly believes in coalition politics and will continue to pursue same. He revealed that the party is currently having discussions with the Working People’s Alliance and at the right time, both parties will announce their plans.
The departure of the Alliance for Change would bring the total number of parties that have walked away from the coalition within the past two years to three. Notably, the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) parted ways with the coalition in 2020 citing the practice of non-consultation within the APNU. In the same year, the Justice for All Party (JFAP) also withdrew from APNU without specifying a reason for the decision to leave but noting that Guyana’s political landscape is changing significantly and it demands a re-examination of roles and relationships.
APNU now comprises the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR), the National Front Alliance (NFA) and the Guyana Action Party (GAP).
Ramjattan said that the AFC will use the time away from the coalition to strengthen the confidence of its support base for its members.
He stated most of the delegates at the party’s National Executive Conference held earlier this year arrived at a consensus to quit the coalition following the expiration of the Cummingsburg Accord on December 31.