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Responding to the question whether the Alliance For Change (AFC) and the A Partnership of National Unity (APNU) will go their separate parliamentary ways after December 31, 2022 when the Cummingburg Accord ends, Mr. Roysdale Forde, S.C, said “no!”
Forde, who is Shadow Minister of Legal Affairs and Labour, told Village Voice the APNU+AFC went to the March 2020 General and Regional Elections as a single unit. Further, he asserted, the two sides remain part of a single List for the life of the Twelfth Parliament.
Information is circulating- including from leading members of the government- that the AFC’s decision not to renew the Cummingburg Accord means the existing coalition will disintegrate.
“What is important for our constituency to understand is that for the life of the parliamentary term we remain one solid, complete, unbreakable List in the National Assembly,” Forde advised.
Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Aubrey Norton, has been repeatedly asked about the future relationship of the AFC in the coalition at the end of the accord. At last Tuesday’s press conference when asked what is the next step for the coalition given the AFC is not renewing the agreement, Norton’s response was “that’s a question for the AFC.”
AFC Leader and Member of Parliament, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, said the AFC post December 31, 2022 will continue to work with the APNU in the National Assembly.
But there is also the view that the AFC’s nine parliamentarians may be recalled. However, Ramjattan and Forde said this is not likely.
Forde referenced the Constitution of Guyana which outlines the conditions under which a Member leaves the National Assembly. According to Article 156 (3) and (4) this happens when: the member declares in writing to the Speaker or Representative of the List he/she will no longer support the List from which his/her name was extracted; he/she declares in writing to the Speaker or Representative of the List that he/she supports another List; the Representative of the List from which his/her name was extracted indicated to the Speaker “after meaningful consultation with the Party or Parties that make up the List that the Party of Parties have lost confidence in that member and the Representative of the List issues a written notice of recall to that member and forwards a copy of that notice to the Speaker.”
The Representative of the List is former President David Granger and the Deputy Representative of the List is Ramjattan.