Alliance gearing up for campaign launch, manifesto

By tomorrow, the public will know the name and symbol that the coalition of APNU and the AFC will use for the May 2015 Regional and General Elections and a joint manifesto is being developed with the campaign launch to follow.

“Movement is going on on general fronts. We are working overtime and by tomorrow (today) or Thursday the latest the public will know the name and symbol,” General Secretary of APNU Joe Harmon told Stabroek News last evening.

On Saturday, APNU and the AFC announced at a joint press conference that they will contest the upcoming May 11th general elections as acoalition, with Granger and Moses Nagamootoo as its presidential and prime ministerial candidates, respectively.

The announcement brought to an end weeks of negotiations with the signing of a document dubbed “The Cummingsburg Accord”, formalizing the pre-electoral alliance which both sides are confident can unseat the incumbent PPP/C after 22 years in office.

The accord caters for a joint electoral slate and a 60/40 cabinet split, favouring APNU. They also agreed to reorganize the presidency to delegate more responsibilities to the Prime Minister as well as to select the representative of the electoral list and the Speaker of the House from independent members of civil society. The AFC will choose the Cabinet Secretary.

The party promised that in the coming weeks, final decisions will be made on who would secure the top seven constitutional spots.

Harmon said that both groups want to assure the public that in a very short time the coalition will be launched with a manifesto evident of policies drawn from APNU and the AFC.

He said that leaders of the coalition met yesterday and were pleased with the progress they were making in wrapping up agreements for the alliance as set out in the Cummingsburg Accord.

Both parties he said understand the need for alacrity as May 11th is not far away and they need to hit the campaign trail. “Don’t be surprised if by or on Mash we are ready,” Harmon asserted.

On Sunday, Presidential Candidate of the alliance , David Granger told Stabroek News that if elected, the coalition promises within its first 100 days to announce a date for Local Government Elections, free up the telecoms and ICT sectors and set up a constitution reform body and the Public Procurement Commission among other things.

Within the first 100 days of the formation of a Government of National Unity a seven-point programme will be implemented…,” Granger said.

He explained that in addition to the agreement signed between the two parties, the alliance will make a public commitment to address priority areas during its term in office such as a programme for the reconciliation of the people.

“These priority areas include a programme for healing and reconciliation and the introduction of a meaningful constitutional reform programme geared towards improved governance and their fair representation, the sustained improvement of crime prevention and the security environment, local government reforms and the holding of Local Government Elections,” he said.

“There is also the creation of a long-term economic development programme but this will be based on consultation and consensus. Then there is also implementing of a holistic youth programme because both of us know the importance of the development and value of our youths to the country’s growth,” he further added.

The alliance leader said that the re-organisation of the education, health, sports and recreation sectors, for better service and outcome would yield great benefits for the nation and would add to their plan of youth development.

“The political experience following the 2011 election has demonstrated the need for greater political cooperation in order to meet the expectations and aspirations of the electorate”, he said.

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