With Nomination Day approaching, AFC Leader Raphael Trotman says that his party is committed to constructing the best alliance and will be pursuing a partnership with the Linden-based Guyana Youth Congress (GYC) headed by former PNCR member Denton Osborne.
Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, Trotman said that the vision of the AFC was to not only construct a new government but to create a new political culture that would reach out to all political parties. Consequently, Trotman told Stabroek News that the AFC would welcome the GYC to be part of the grand alliance. He indicated that the AFC will be “reaching out” to them, while adding that the move was indicative of the importance that the AFC placed on youths.
Nomination Day, where lists of candidates for the general and regional elections have to be submitted to the Chief Election Officer, is next Thursday.
When contacted yesterday, Osborne said that his group is open to partnering with any group that has the nation at heart and said that it had been approached by several entities. “We’ve put a team together to explore every possibility of working with whoever has the interest of Guyana at heart,” he told this newspaper. He said that the group was looking at various possibilities including the AFC, opposition coalition APNU and even the PPP/C. “What we’re looking at [is] who will want to put the young people of this country first,” he said. According to him, a decision is still to be made as to the direction the party will take. He added that the person spearheading the exploration team is away for a few days.
Osborne, a former PNCR youth member, split from the party earlier this year to form the GYC. The GYC had said that it would contest the elections for Region 10. In explaining his decision to form his own party, Osborne, in an interview with this newspaper earlier this year, said that the opposition APNU had failed to create critical space for youths in its leadership structure.
Meanwhile, Trotman said that the AFC would especially like to have PPP stalwart Moses Nagamootoo join its platform. Trotman said that there were enough grounds for Nagamootoo to leave the PPP. “It is obvious to us that the PPP has rejected Nagamootoo; that he was used in the 2006 campaign to stabilize the ship and was not offered any ministerial position or office after,” Trotman said. Nagamootoo was a member of the Parliament for the PPP/C during the last Parliament.
“I don’t see why he would want to remain in a household that has rejected him,” the AFC leader added. The AFC, Trotman said, “would be exceptionally honoured to have him join the team,” which he explained would go beyond changing the government but towards establishing a new order—a rights based society. This, he said, would facilitate “frontally issues of reconciliation.”
On Monday, Nagamootoo said that he was still undecided whether he would accept an offer to join the AFC for the upcoming elections. Nagamootoo said that he had been holding wide-ranging consultations regarding his political future. The former minister of information, however, indicated that he will be actively involved in the political campaign ahead of November 28 poll date. “I am looking forward with passion to doing further duties for Guyana,” he said, while adding that the decision is now which platform he should stand on.