AFC leaders betray core values, principles – former GS
AFC/APNU coalition pact
…massive internal conflicts; more resignations expected
By Michael Younge
The Alliance For Change (AFC) has undermined its own core values and principles which appealed to thousands of Guyanese who were not willing to continue to give their support to the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) or the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) at the polls again.
The party has also destroyed the foundation which set it apart as a third force and choice for young people who wanted “real positive change” and “a new political culture” which would see those with murky hands and vendettas removed from the country’s governance structures in the future.
These are sentiments expressed by former General Secretary and Executive Member of the AFC, Sixtus Edwards during an exclusive interview with theGuyana Times on Wednesday.
Edwards who tendered his resignation earlier this month, explained that he felt betrayed by the party which he helped build pillar by pillar after its formation back in 2006. He admitted that while he said he resigned for “personal reasons”, many National Executive Members and others who were familiar with the internal politics of the party know that there was more to his decision to depart the AFC. “The reason why I left the party is because of the people within there are not keeping with their core values”, he said sternly. He explained that back in 2006 when the AFC was formed, the party Executives and members swore that they would remain neutral offering hope to those who were willing to leave their homes in the PPP/C and PNC to join a journey to heal and change Guyana.
“We should have remained neutral…and for the people,” Edwards said passionately during the interview alleging that the AFC has now been watered down to an alliance of hate and vengeance against the PPP/C. “There is nothing there for our youths. They have in no way kept those principles and values which we laboured for alive. You eating back your words by joining the APNU and I do not want to be in an organisation like that”, he declared. Asked whether he was sure he made the right decision when he left the party, Edwards responded in the positive.
Losing electoral support
Meanwhile, Edwards, who has been with the AFC for over ten years now, believes that the party will lose massive electoral support. “The middle ground is gone…” he advised. He also put this newspaper on notice that lots of people have already walked away from the AFC and are continuing to do so. Asked to clarify, Edwards said that he had reason to believe that more Executives were planning to resign over the coming weeks because the party was not adhering to its Constitution of core values. “There are lots of coverups taking place. Everyone wants family, sister, and brother to be in the party and hold positions. Lots of corruption, cronyism and nepotism are taking place”, he insisted.
“A lot of people more will leave….”
For the first time, Edwards alleged that there was widespread fixing and tampering with the process to elect internal leaders for the AFC. “At the last conference…people were not voting…there were no nominations….for the people to hold post of Chairman, Vice Chairman….General Secretary”, he alleged. Asked again to clarify his statement, Edwards said “There were no nominations…the people were told that the party had already sorted this aspect of the conference out”. “ninety per cent of the people wanted to vote me back in as GS, but there was no real nominations….” he reiterated. Questioned why the party members attending the conference did not object to this undemocratic practice, the former General Secretary said “[that] they (Executive) had already worked out the thing…it happened before.”
“I built this party. I spent ten years…I was the man who was there when everybody had left the party and to see it reaching to level, it hurts,” he claimed. He denied that he never raised his concerns with the Executive before. “These concerns have been shared many times, year after year.”
Edwards also confirmed that no one from the Executive reached out to him following his resignation or even placed a call to him despite his sterling contributions to the AFC and his ability to galvanise large amounts of support from all the regions.
“They never called me, nobody called…. There is nobody in the AFC that has more support than me… whether Indo Guyanese or … the Afro-Guyanese I brought to the AFC. No ody that has made more sacrifices than me”, he said. He plans on moving on from here and vows to continue to struggle for the development of Guyanese at different levels.
extracted from the Guyana Times