New opposition coalition forms to contest Guyana elections
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Feb. 15, CMC – The leadership campaign teams of the newly formed opposition coalition will be combined in an effort to secure victory in the upcoming general election.
Following the signing of the “Cummingsburg Accord” on Saturday, by opposition parties – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC) - the leadership announced that the May 11 general and regional elections will be contested on a single list of candidates.
In a statement late Saturday, the coalition said the APNU will nominate the Presidential candidate and AFC will nominate the Prime Ministerial candidate.
“The AFC is assured of 12 seats in the National Assembly. In the construct of a new government the APNU will be allocated one Vice President and AFC two Vice Presidents both of whom will be members of the Cabinet,” the statement added.
It was also agreed that the presidency will be reorganized.
“The President as Head of State, Head of Government, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and shall have responsibility for; the appointment of Constitutional Agencies and Commissions with the required and agreed democratic mechanisms of consultation and appoint.
The president will also delegate to the prime minister responsibilities of domestic national affairs and chairing the cabinet; recommending ministerial appointments and providing the organizational structures of ministries for the appointment of the president.”
The parties further agreed that Cabinet positions will be allocated on a 60/40 basis between the APNU and the AFC.
Both the Representative of the list and the Speaker of The House will be mutually selected by both parties from independent members of civil society.
“This is a historic and watershed political development for our country as this new electoral alliance moves to put Guyana on the correct path, where all Guyanese regardless of ethnicity can feel fully motivated to be proud of his or her nation and is afforded the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the society while successfully caring for themselves and family,” the statement continued.
The agreement was signed by APNU general secretary Joseph Harmon and his AFC counterpart, David Patterson, in the presence of the leaders of the two parties, David Granger of the APNU and Khemraj Ramjattan of the AFC.
The coalition will face the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) which has already named incumbent President Donald Ramotar as its presidential candidate for the elections that had been called more than one year ahead of the constitutional deadline.
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