Days after it announced that it will be contesting on a separate ticket at the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGEs) than that of its counterpart, the Alliance for Change (AFC) has announced its reason to do so. Leader of the party, Raphael Trotman, says that the move was triggered by unresolved negotiations on the issue of representation.
Under the Cummingsburg Accord, the AFC is entitled to 40 percent of power, with 60 percent going to the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – the larger of the two coalition members.
However, the accord was formulated only for General Elections and is not applicable for contesting at the local level.
Trotman told media operatives earlier today that after the party decided that it was going to contest the LGEs, several questions were raised.
“Since last year, the AFC decided that it was going to contest at the LGEs, and the question was asked whether the party should do so independently or as a coalition, or with others,” he said.
In end, the decision was made to approach the APNU, to seek accommodation.
“Along the way, the first task was of course, speaking to our coalition partner at the national level to see if there could be some accommodation…One of the little points if I can recall them, that we were unable to come to an agreement on, would be the representation,” the AFC leader said.
The talks with the APNU never materialised, Trotman said.
“The exchanges (with the APNU) were cordial, respectful and amiable. So at the end of this, I think both sides sought to find common ground. That did not materialise because of the particulars but at the end of it, we remain parties in a coalition and that’s where we are proceeding,” he noted.
Quizzed on whether he thought the 40 percent was seen by the APNU as “asking for too much” at the local level, Trotman disagreed.
“Naturally, you have 40 percent in the national government and you would want to go in any other election or construct with what you already have. So the natural thing to do, was to do what has worked and what is working – and that is 40 percent,” he argued.
Trotman reiterated his party’s commitment to coalition governance; noting that the party will contest the upcoming General Elections in 2020 with the APNU.
The AFC leader said that the party is in full campaign mode, announcing that there is room in their approach to LGEs to work with independent candidates of like mind, community leaders and civil society groups.
“Party is in full campaign mode and will make further important announcements as the campaign plan is rolled out in the coming weeks.”