Opposition coalition APNU last night revealed its list of representatives for the Tenth Parliament of Guyana.
APNU is settled on 25 of the 26 seats in the National Assembly, with resolution of the remaining seat to come with the finalization of negotiations on the Speaker, for which inter-party talks are underway.
APNU won 10 Geographic Constituency seats, 16 National Top-Up seats, and 73 seats on the ten Regional Democratic Councils.
Those who will occupy the Geographic Constituency seats are: Region 1 – Richard Allen, a businessman from Port Kaituma; Region 3 – John Adams, a teacher of Den Amstel West Coast Demerara; Region 4 – Volda Lawrence, Administrator, of East La Penitence; Region 4 – Africo Selman, a research officer, of Friendship Village, East Bank Demerara; Region 4 – Jaipaul Sharma, an accountant of Diamond, East Bank Demerara (Justice For All Party); Region 4 – Basil Williams, attorney, of Durban Backlands; Region 5 – Jennifer Wade; Region 7 – Dawn Hastings, a headmistress, of Kato Village, Upper Mazaruni; and for Region 10 – Vanessa Kissoon, a teacher, of Linden; and Rennis Morian, a pastor-consultant, also of Linden.
Those filling the National Top-Up seats for the coalition are Sydney Allicock, a farmer and environmental activist of Surama North Rupununi and a representative of the Guyana Action Party (GAP); Amna Ally, a head teacher of 78 Brickdam Georgetown; Joan Baveghems, a political activist, of East Ruimveldt; attorney James Bond; businessman Ronald Bulkan; APNU Chairman David Granger; former PNC Finance Minister Carl Greenidge; administrative officer Annette Ferguson; attorney Joseph Harmon; youth activist Christopher Jones; Ophthalmologist Dr. George Norton; former Commissioner of Police Winston Felix; Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine and Desmond Trotman of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA); and Keith Scott of the National Front Alliance (NFA). Allicock, Bond, Bulkan, Granger, Harmon, Jones, Felix and Trotman are first time MPs. Granger is expected to be elected opposition leader in the House.
Several leading members of APNU’s main constituent, the PNCR, who previously served in the National Assembly, including Lance Carberry, Dr. John Austin, Dave Danny, Judith David, Ernest Elliott, Desmond Fernandes, Clarissa Riehl and Mervyn Williams, were notably absent from the lists.
According to APNU, its leadership selected its representatives on its stated “Competence, Ethnicity, Gender, Geographical, Generational and Occupational diversity” principles.
It said that in addition, candidates’ contribution and involvement in the campaign were also considered.
“Naturally, with so many candidates to choose from, the task was a difficult one, involving extensive consultation with the various partners and the campaign managers in various parts of the country,” APNU said.
“The extracted persons from the lists, therefore, reflect the commitment given by APNU before the Elections and provide a unique balance of competent people of all ages from all geographic regions of Guyana, all ethnic groups and occupations,” it explained, while noting that women and youth are well represented. APNU added that it is confident that its extracted candidates present a competent and experienced team to work for the achievement of the objectives outlined in its manifesto and to provide adequate representation of those who voted for the coalition at the last elections.
The total number of APNU candidates approved by the Guyana Elections Commission (Gecom) was 459; 327 for Regional Elections, of whom 138 were women; 45 for Geographical Constituency Elections, of whom 19 were women; and 87 for the National Top-Up List, of whom 29 were women.
Sources say the list announcement had been delayed after an internal dispute over whether former PNCR General Secretary Aubrey Norton should have been assigned one of the seats.
His exclusion from the list earlier in the week led to some degree of disquiet.
A source told Stabroek News that PNCR Leader Robert Corbin sought to impose his will on the selection process for APNU candidates entering Parliament and because of this, embattled candidate Norton raised an objection to a press conference scheduled for yesterday at which the final list of persons for Parliament would have been revealed.
The press conference was eventually cancelled because of Norton’s protestations.
This newspaper understands that APNU supporters from Linden thought that Norton deserved a place in Parliament because of the outreach work that he has done there.
It is understood that the Lindeners came to town demanding that Norton not be excluded from the list.
It is understood also that Norton met with the leadership of APNU earlier yesterday and the meeting ended amicably, with Norton agreeing to allow the leadership of the party to make its decision on his fate “in the best interest of Guyana.”
Norton has had a history of run-ins with the Leader of the PNCR Corbin.
He was ousted from the chairmanship of the Georgetown District Council in June 2009 and he accused Corbin of influencing the outcome of the vote process in favour of eventual winner Volda Lawrence.