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President will decide on coalition’s PM candidacy – PNC executive

first_imgWith elections slated for the first quarter of 2020, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition is still deliberating on who will fill the spot of its prime ministerial candidate.President David GrangerHowever, Attorney General, Basil Williams indicated at a press conference on Friday that caretaker President David Granger will be making the announcement, as to who will be contesting alongside him for the polls.While there have been suggestions that State Minister, Dawn Hastings-Williams is one of the likely candidates, Williams said, “I won’t preempt President Granger. To answer such a question, I would be preempting him…What I must say is that my colleague (Hastings-Williams) is very competent. I think we will really be undermining President Granger, who has the remit to make such appointments.”The Cummingsburg Accord, which has since expired, dictates that the presidential candidate must be sourced from the APNU, while the AFC is responsible for providing the prime ministerial candidate. But the Attorney General hinted that all aspects of their agreement are under negotiation. Presently, the Accord is under review, since it will expire next year May.“Everything is being reviewed in the Accord…It took an adjournment because I was out of the country but now that I’m back, we’ll see.”While the AFC has chosen Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan for the post, Granger on Thursday affirmed that Ramjattan has not been given the green light by APNU and the prime ministerial candidacy would be determined after negotiations between the two parties.In fact, it is uncertain if the prime ministerial candidate position will be granted to the AFC in the elections slated for March 2, 2020. When asked if the PM candidate would be selected from the AFC, Granger had noted: “It is not prudent to anticipate the outcome of negotiations.”Earlier this week, Ramjattan had told the media that he remained confident in his supporters ensuring that he was formally declared the prime ministerial candidate in the upcoming elections, regardless of the fact that APNU had not endorsed him to date.After Ramjattan’s selection as the AFC’s prime ministerial candidate-in-waiting a few months ago, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson had indicated that APNU was duty-bound to accept Ramjattan as Granger’s running mate as long as the Cummingsburg Accord was in effect.The major party in APNU, the People’s National Congress (PNC), has shown a strong preference for the incumbent, Moses Nagamootoo. This has manifested when APNU officials made public statements in support of NagamootooThroughout this AFC/APNU marriage, the AFC was criticised, especially by the parliamentary Opposition, for what many describe as the submissive role it has been playing since joining forces with APNU. Decisions such as the closure of sugar estates, which put thousands of sugar workers out of jobs, were passed unchallenged and even been supported by the AFC.In addition, there has been the strategic reallocation of responsibilities away from Ministries headed by AFC officials, to other Ministries. There is also the fact that despite the Cummingsburg Accord stipulating the Prime Minister, in this case Moses Nagamootoo, has responsibility for chairing Cabinet and domestic issues, this was not followed through.last_img read more