Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
The Justice For All Party (JFPA) has pulled out of the APNU coalition, saying that the political landscape in Guyana is changing and this demands a reexamination of roles and relationships.
Police observers say the JFPA had left before they actually made it official. “The party had gone a long time now, this is just the official departure.” During the post-elections stalemate the JFPA had urged the coalition to concede defeat. In a letter to APNU Leader, David Granger General Secretary of the party, Savitree Sharma stated: “Guyana’s political landscape is changing significantly and it demands a re-examination of roles and relationships.” Sharma said that like any other organisation, APNU has had its strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures. Recently, the Working Peoples Alliance- another party within the APNU coalition also withdrew from the partnership but had left the door open for a revision to this decision should the APNU make specific changes to its decision-making procedures within two months.
In their letter to Granger the WPA stated that since the formation of the APNU and its rise to office in 2015, there have been several violations of the principles governing coalition politics, particularly the way in which decisions are arrived at. The WPA said that, on several occasions, both internally and publicly, it raised these concerns but nothing was done to address them. The party has concluded that the leadership of the PNC/R leaves “a lot to be desired”.
The WPA said that it wasn’t until a letter was sent to the APNU enquiring about the state of affairs that the WPA was informed by the General Secretary of the PNC/R that the Chairperson of the WPA is one of the selected persons. The WPA Chairperson, is former Public Service Minister Tabitha Sarabo-Halley.
“This, of course was done without any engagement with WPA, thus denying the party an opportunity to determine who its representative should be. We view this as uncomradely, disrespectful, insulting, a gross disregard for principle and, therefore, unacceptable…we have had to live with PNC’s decisions being imposed on the rest of the APNU. Unfortunately, although the Coalition is now out of power, nothing has changed for the better within the APNU,” the letter stated.
Despite the longtime existence of its concerns, the WPA said that it has worked to ensure the survival and success of the APNU. However, the WPA believes that it was the “accommodating positions” of the APNU on critical issues which ought to have received condemnation, that resulted in the “fiasco of the 2020 elections”. “We believe Coalition politics is necessary for the survival of Guyana as a viable nation-state. In pursuit of this objective we have made the ultimate sacrifice of neglecting the replenishing of our party in deference to the unity and viability of the APNU. Unfortunately, leaders of the PNC/R have not been similarly disposed. So, we continue to witness their bludgeoning of their APNU partners even at a critical time when togetherness is required,” the WPA lamented.
The WPA said that it has therefore been forced to “draw a line” as, since 2015, there has been no new and progressive dispensation within the APNU and no recognition of the rights of the partners to contribute to the decision-making process. It laid down the two-month ultimatum, out of respect and commitment to coalition politics, that the WPA be immediately accorded the right to determine who its representative on the APNU list to the National Assembly should be. In addition, it requested that this principle be enshrined in the APNU Charter and that the recommendations of the Corbin Report be implemented. “Should the second and third conditions be met within the next two months, the WPA would revisit its decision to leave,” the WPA said.