If the coalition administration emerges victorious at the next elections, the Alliance For Change (AFC) will be entitled to the Prime Ministerial post, four ministries and 10 seats in the National Assembly based on the revised Cummingsburg accord.
Making this known at a press conference held earlier today were Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan and AFC Executive Member, Dominic Gaskin.
Both explained that the revised document, which will be finalized in a matter of days, allows for the AFC to get the Ministries of Natural Resources, Public Security, Public Infrastructure and Public Telecommunications. The Ministry of Agriculture, which it currently has responsibility for, would go to the A Partnership for National Unity along with Tourism.
Instead of the 60/40 formula that was used for the distribution of parliamentary seats following the 2015 General and Regional Elections, Ramjattan said that the AFC has conceded to a 70/30 arrangement which would amount to 10 seats.
Pressed for the reasons why he agreed to such terms, Ramjattan said the details of that matter are confidential. The AFC Leader maintained that the party was not bullied into accepting this new arrangement while emphatically stating that he is “happy” with the current terms. The politician added, “What we have does not represent a weakening position and we think it will be far better this time.”
As it relates to the recent confusion that was taking place over the selection of the Prime Ministerial Candidate, Ramjattan stressed that from the outset of the first accord, it was agreed that the APNU would have the Presidential Candidate and the AFC would be allowed to name the Prime Minister (PM).
He said, “I went through that process with my party and I am the designated candidate for my party… These are things we argued for in our negotiations and we did not name any person.”
The AFC Leader further stated that the comments made by President David Granger, as it relates to his rights to appoint the PM based on the Constitution were cleared up. He said that this was said on the basis of the President’s desire to ensure that the PM chosen was not holding dual citizenship status or was not bound by any circumstance that could displace that person from holding office.
Ramjattan added, “But when you enter a coalition agreement and you have your Cummingsburg accord revised as it is, you have to abide by it and I know that he is an honourable man and he will do that. Now that we have agreed on all these things, we have to get someone who is going to make it into the final document given the corrections.”
He said that this would be done in a couple of days’ time.