AFC members talk of shifting support to PPP
The recently sworn in Councillors of the Region Four RDC
As the fallout with its coalition partner grows, members of the Alliance for Change (AFC) are now talking of lending support to its political rival – the People’s Progressive Party – in matters relating to Region Four.
The latest fallout surrounds the APNU members taking both Chairmanship and the Vice Chairman position on the District #4 Regional Democratic Council (RDC). Region Four is the largest voting district and is also home to Central Government.
The political disagreement began days before the actual election for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman for the Region Four Regional Democratic Council (RDC).
In exchanges in a WhatsApp group, some AFC members hinted at support for the PPP when it was made clear that the leadership of the APNU had given instructions to its Councillors not to support an AFC nominee for the Vice-Chairman position.
It was in that same WhatsApp group of APNU and AFC Region #4 Councillors that the AFC stated that there was a prior agreement that the Vice-Chairman position would go to one of the six AFC Councillors.
Chairman of the Region 4 RDC Daniel Seeram with Vice Chairman Samuel Sandy
The AFC and the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) had entered into a coalition agreement on Valentine’s Day in 2015 and later went on to win the 2015 elections but since then, the two parties have had several disagreements, some of which may be responsible for the Coalition now being in opposition.
Following an election on Monday, APNU’s Daniel Seeram assumed the Chairmanship and Samuel Sandy the Vice Chairman position, with the AFC putting up its own nominee and failing to get the support of the APNU to secure the position.
This immediately prompted a resignation from David Patterson who is the Party’s General Secretary.
Even with the fallout brewing long before Monday’s election, Patterson was present at the elections and with just six seats on the Council, he joined the AFC Councillors in putting forward its own nominee in the person of Neilson McKenzie.
The AFC has claimed that there was a prior agreement in place with the APNU that the Vice-Chair position would go to the AFC and they had hoped that the APNU would honour this agreement although there were already signals that the APNU would support Mr Sandy.
The News Room was reliably informed that when the AFC failed to get the APNU’s support for the Vice-Chair position, several disappointed AFC members were immediately locked in discussions and exchanges with their APNU partners.
Among the discussions which were exchanged via the WhatsApp chat, there were threats that they would lend support for the 14 PPP Councillors on the RDC in future decision-making processes.
Mr Sandy was asked in the exchanges to concede the position to the AFC member, a suggestion that was met with a reminder that the leadership of the APNU has already decided on the persons for the two top positions.
Members from both sides have said they will act in the best interest of “their party.”
In his letter of resignation, Patterson said he will remain a member of the AFC and will continue to play a role in the party, just not the role of General Secretary.
He said he will continue to maintain his membership in full and support and participate in party activities.
The AFC is yet to say whether it will accept Patterson’s resignation. Calls to several of the Executive members went unanswered on Tuesday.
Region #4 RDC has a total of 35 seats, the APNU+AFC has 20 of those seats, six of which the AFC holds, 14 went to the People’s Progressive Party and Change Guyana secured one seat.
Back in 2011 when the AFC contested the elections as an independent Party it secured two (2) seats on the 35-member Council for District 4 with 11,291.
The APNU who also contested the elections independently had 19 seats, and the PPP 14.