AFC to write APNU soon on Cummingsburg Accord talks – Trotman

Leader of the Alliance for Change, Raphael Trotman says that he will soon send a formal notice to governing coalition partner,  APNU requesting discussions on its pre- electoral alliance pact;  the Cummingsburg Accord.

“No letter has been written but one will be sent soon with the expectation that the parties to the coalition could discuss the accord and determine if it is to be renewed and extended, and if so, to agree ways of strengthening it for the future,” Trotman told Stabroek News yesterday, when contacted.

The Cummingsburg Accord was signed for a minimum period of three years and a maximum of five years. But the AFC has also noted that it is a sunset pact, which requires early review ahead of the upcoming polls.

Leader of the party’s Accord Review team, David Patterson, had explained that when the two sides meet, one of the demands of the AFC will include more structured inter-party communication.

He said that the party will also be going to the talks with other issues, such as their participation in the local government elections set for next year and the 2020 general and regional elections.

“One of the most important issues is the dialogue between the parties. It has to be more structured as part of communication,” Patterson said.

“The inter-party communication was not addressed in the original Cummingsburg Accord. It has to be addressed now. We want it formalized.  Whatever construct the coalition agrees, it has to be a formal thing. The coalition needs to know a structure–both sides need to know when and where we will be meeting and how often and those things like that,” he further explained.

The decision to ask for a review and revision of the accord by February 14th 2018, the date of the third anniversary of the signing, was made by the AFC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) when it met last month.

President David Granger, who is the leader of APNU, has said that he welcomed the request by the AFC to have a review, as provided for.

“The AFC is entitled make their requests known …unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, there is a requirement to review the Accord after three years and that three years will expire after midnight on the 13th of February, 2018. So, it is within in the right of the AFC to request a review. I don’t have a problem with that,” Granger told reporters two weeks ago.

This position was echoed by APNU General Secretary Joseph Harmon, who pointed out that while he is still to receive a formal request for the meetings, he, and he  is sure his party, looks forward to the discussions and resolutions coming out of them.

“We don’t have an issue with having it reviewed, because as agreements are they are affected by the day-to-day lives of people. The agreement is not crafted in stone that things cannot be changed as you go through. The APNU side doesn’t have a problem with the terms and conditions of the Accord. We believe it was a good thing for Guyana and continues to be a good thing for Guyana. It is always necessary for you to review agreements and this agreement provides a situation for review. We are open to the discussions and so on,” he said.

“I have not been officially notified by the [AFC], in writing, but I take notice of the statement made by the party. I think it is public knowledge and I would take that as notice, but they have not yet written to say we are requesting a specific date and time when we will meet for this or that. I think we are experienced enough to know that once that information is put in the public domain, that we should take notice of it,” he added.

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