Sun | Dec 15, 2019

Granger: I will choose PM nominee

Published:Friday | November 8, 2019 | 12:37 AM

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC):

President David Granger has insisted that he will be the one to pick a prime ministerial candidate ahead of next year’s polls despite the smaller Alliance for Change (AFC) insisting that it should make the choice.

Granger, leader of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), the largest party in the ruling coalition, said on Wednesday that when the time is right, he will select a nominee who has the best interests of the people of Guyana at heart. The general election is set for March 2, 2020.

The APNU has been in discussion with the AFC on the selection, with the latter pointing to the Cummingsburg Accord that brought the parties together in 2015 and under which the APNU nominates the presidential candidate and the AFC the prime ministerial candidate.

But Granger said that he would choose the best candidate.

“I am a prudent and wise leader, and I will make the choice, which, I believe, will deliver the best results for the people of Guyana. My objectives and that of the six parties in the coalition would be to ensure that Guyana gets the best, and we’re working on that,” the head of state told reporters when asked about his running mate.

“I want to make sure that we win, and once we win, that the country is well governed. So, whoever the nominee is will be subject to scrutiny.”

Granger reiterated that he was interested in policies not personalities.

“Once the principles are agreed, we can move forward. I don’t want to name names now,” he said.

Last week, Granger said the APNU and AFC were holding preliminary talks to work through a three-stage process. The parties have agreed that nothing appearing in the Cummingsburg Accord should conflict with the constitution.

Granger said the two sides addressed the issues appearing in the Accord of 2015. Among those was the scope of a political party to choose a prime ministerial candidate.

“There is nothing in the constitution that allows a party to choose a prime ministerial candidate. Once the president is elected, he has the authority, under the constitution, to select a prime minister. We can have an agreement outside the constitution that the PM candidate or nominees for the post could be made, and I could make the choice,” he said.