Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon insists that the two factions of the main parliamentary opposition, A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC), remain strong despite disagreements at the regional level. His claim comes on the heels of two no-confidence motions tabled by AFC Councillors of the Demerara/Mahaica (Region Four) Democratic Council (RDC) against the Chairman, Daniel Seeram and his deputy, Samuel Sandy – both APNU representatives.
The motion was moved by Councillor Amarnauth Chinkan and seconded by Councillor Deodat Tillack. It was submitted to the Regional Executive Officer (REO), Donald Gajraj on August 18, 2021.
The AFC said that this move was in direct response to the continued “failures and shortcomings” in the management of the affairs of the people in this key geographical region. It noted, however, that during Thursday’s statutory meeting, the reading of the motion was disallowed on the grounds that the office of the Chairman was not served with a copy of the motions, nor did they conform to the stipulated timeline.
“Notwithstanding their disagreement with the interpretation of the acting Chairman, the AFC Region Four Councillors will seek to remedy these defects and table the motions at the next statutory meeting of the council,” the AFC said.
Following the disclosure yesterday, political commentators claimed that the partnership is on rocky road. But Harmon said that ‘teeth and tongue must bite’, while assuring supporters that the coalition remains strong.
“It seems as if there is some rift, [but] I want to say to you and to all Guyanese, that the APNU and AFC are strong members of the coalition…In every family, you’ll always have some levels of disagreement – like ole people say, ‘teeth and tongue must bite sometimes’. But I can say to you that at the level of the leadership of the AFC and the APNU, that these issues are being resolved and will be resolved,” he said.
Harmon said that AFC councillors speaking out against their colleagues signals the ‘strength of our democracy’.
“We are able to deal with dissension that occurs within our rank from time to time and that we come out of it stronger. We believe that we are better together,” the leader said.