Talks between coalition partners, A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance For Change have reached a standstill as the two sides cannot reach an agreement on Prime Ministerial Candidate spot.
News Source understands that the APNU has been insisting that it is the President who has the right under the Constitution to choose his Prime Minister and therefore it is the Presidential Candidate who should choose the Prime Ministerial Candidate.
The AFC, on the other hand wants to stick to the original Cummingsburg Accord which provided it with the Prime Ministerial Candidate spot.
AFC Vice President and Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes told News Source this morning that there are some things that are non-negotiable for the Alliance For Change.
“We had no part in selecting the APNU candidate and our party structure does not allow anyone but us to select ours, amongst other things”, Hughes said.
The AFC at a party conference earlier this year voted for its leader Khemraj Ramjattan to be the Prime Ministerial Candidate, although the incumbent Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo who is also from the AFC, is still interested in the job.
News Source understands that the APNU has been looking at a number of polls that were conducted for the coalition which showed that while supporters of the opposition PPP prefer to see Ramjattan as the coalition’s PM Candidate, the supporters of the APNU+AFC coalition prefer Nagamootoo over Ramjattan for the position.
There are reports that President David Granger has been looking at other potential Prime Ministerial Candidates from within the APNU.
There is no Constitutional requirement for a Prime Ministerial Candidate to be named before elections, but the political parties in Guyana would name their PM Candidate by nomination day as the campaign heats up.
Under the Constitution of Guyana, the Prime Minister is next in line to the Presidency if the sitting President is forced to resign from his position or is no longer able to serve.
Just recently, President David Granger told reporters that during the renegotiation of the Cummingsburg Accord which give birth to the coalition, the APNU and AFC, must abide by the Constitution of Guyana.
“That is the principle foundation of any agreement. Nothing in the Accord should collide with the Constitution”, the President said.
The parties that make up the APNU have been pushing for some of the offerings to the AFC to be cut back especially since it is believed the party failed to deliver votes in some of the opposition areas where it had claimed it was able to dent.
Some of the APNU officials have also pointed to the AFC’s poor showing at the last Local Government Elections when it decided to go into those elections on its own.
Additionally, the APNU membership has also been reminding the AFC of former Member of Parliament Charandass Persaud, one of its former members who while sitting on the coalition government’s side in the Assembly, sided with the Opposition and voted against the government in a no-confidence motion.
AFC officials have said the negotiations have been tough and will continue to be tough but the coalition is still intact.
The party is expected to express its concerns and release some details about its position on the negotiations at a press conference later today.