APNU willing to talk with AFC on pro-democracy alliance

–asks for proposal

Opposition Leader David Granger says APNU is willing to sit and talk with the AFC about its pro-democracy alliance but to date the party is still in the dark about the details of it.

According to Granger, his party has asked for a proposal but has not yet received one.

AFC General Secretary David Patterson had said on Thursday that talks will be held soon with all stakeholders, including the main opposition APNU.

Speaking at APNU’s final press conference for the year at Herdmanston Lodge yesterday, Granger told reporters that his party is inclined to sit and talk with the AFC about the possibility of a coalition.

Asked how inclined the party is to go ahead with the proposal the AFC has put forward, Granger said, “At this point in time, we do not know what the proposal involves. We have asked the AFC to let us have their proposal so that there is something to speak about.”

Noting that APNU (A Partnership for National Unity) is a coalition of parties which was established three and a half years ago, he said, “APNU has established a reputation for careful scrutiny of the executives in and out of Parliament. APNU has established a platform for national unity. So I would like know what the AFC is actually calling for,” which has not been provided by APNU over the last three years.

Granger said the general secretary of the AFC has been asked to explain what there is to speak about. “As far as national unity is concerned, that is part of our charter,” he said adding that it is all outlined in the partnership’s document – Unity Charter – dated 2011. “So there is something on the table already and we would like to know what else the AFC is coming up with.

We have sent copies of (the Unity Charter) to them but we are waiting for them to send copies of their (project) to us,” he said.

According to the opposition leader, nothing is wrong with talking to the AFC as he has engaged others including the president on previous occasions.

“I have an obligation as leader of the opposition to discuss with my partners, any major proposal that would affect the character and integrity of APNU,” he said, adding that APNU has a clear proposal.

Asked for his initial reaction to the announcement of the alliance, Granger responded “astonished”.

He continued, “I am glad that eventually they realized that a coalition did not mean becoming dead meat. That we have from the start advocated a government of national unity and we feel that it is necessary for democratic forces to unite rather that divide in the face of a dictatorship. Division in face of a dictatorship is not an intelligent strategy and we feel that if we want to get rid of the dictatorship which has prorogued our parliament and brought so much damage to our economy there should be unity.”

Asked if an AFC-led alliance is an option of consideration for APNU, Granger told the media, “I don’t know that it exists. I don’t know that it is a leader. I don’t know anything about it. I know what is on the ground here…what has been happening for the last three and a half years. But as far as that alliance is concerned I don’t know if it is just a concept. I don’t know what it calls for and what it involves.”

He advised that an answer to the question posed should be sought by the authors of the concept.

Earlier this month, AFC leader Khemraj Ramjattan said the AFC is prepared to lead a pro-democracy alliance of progressive forces, inclusive of the opposition coalition APNU, to remove the PPP/C government from office.