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Confusion continues over coalition’s PM candidate

The flyer of Granger and Ramjattan which only surfaced on the AFC’s Facebook Page Wednesday

The identification of a running mate for the A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) Presidential Candidate David Granger is seemingly unsettled, with the Alliance for Change (AFC) advancing its leader Khemraj Ramjattan and the APNU still not confirming him for the position.

This was made evident twice this week; first with the omission of Ramjattan from the coalition’s official election campaign launch flyer, and tonight with him being introduced as AFC’s leader as opposed to the Prime Ministerial candidate.

As recent as this week, the official flyer released and shared by the APNU was one which only has its Presidential Candidate, with no mention of a running candidate or even an AFC member.

The APNU’s flyer which excludes Ramjattan

On Wednesday however, the AFC released its own flyer on its Facebook page with Ramjattan alongside Granger. Ramjattan’s title on the flyer posted by the AFC was: “AFC – Party Leader Prime Ministerial Candidate”.

That flyer was never shared by the APNU faction on its Facebook Page or via any other medium.

Further, at the official launch of the coalition’s election campaign, Ramjattan, who spoke before Granger, was specifically introduced as “AFC Leader” and not as the coalition’s PM candidate.

The AFC has maintained that Ramjattan is its choice for PM candidate. The Cummingsberg Accord – the agreement under which the coalition was founded – provides for the AFC to name the PM candidate for the coalition.

The two parties reviewed and amended the Accord recently but little has been released to the media, except hints at a possible reduction in the number of Ministerial portfolios and Parliamentary seats allocated to the AFC.

Constitutionally, the power rests with the President, after an election, to name the country’s Prime Minister.

Article 101 of the Constitution stated that: “The President shall appoint an elected member of the National Assembly to be Prime Minister of Guyana”.

Traditionally however, PMs are named by political parties during the election campaign to allow the electorate to see who the running mates are.

Major parties have relied heavily on the ethnic formula – an Afro-Guyanese and an Indo-Guyanese – to appeal to the two largest ethnic factions in the country.

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) earlier today announced that former Army Chief, Brigadier (rtd) Mark Phillips will serve as its Prime Ministerial candidate alongside Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali.

Meanwhile, the AFC has stated that if the coalition returns to office, it wishes to retain the ministries of Infrastructure and Public Security.

It was opined in some inner circles that Ramjattan would want to retain control of the Public Security Ministry even if he is elected Prime Minister, despite him being accused of poorly managing the Ministry.

On the other hand, the AFC’s control of the Public Infrastructure Ministry is continuing to receive favorable reviews. That ministry is head by David Patterson.