APNU and AFC play down losses

Michael Leonard

Both A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance for Change (AFC) yesterday downplayed  losses at the Local Government Elec-tions (LGE).

Speaking with reporters following the release of the official results for Georgetown, Chairman of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Volda Lawrence said that she does not view the LGE as a litmus test for the coalition’s likely performance in 2020.

“I’m not going base this on 2020. People see General Elections as a must as opposed to LGE,” Lawrence said at the Critchlow Labour College.

She stressed that a low voter turnout at LGE can be expected to affect every candidate.

“We don’t see it as a loss…we see it as taking stock of the fact that we need to do more to educate people more about local government. Many haven’t bought in to local government,” Lawrence explained adding that there was also a lot of personal expectations that did not materialize after the last LGE and so a few people felt that they shouldn’t at this time exercise that franchise within their constituency.

Volda Lawrence

She went on to note that this “new the cadre of persons” who contested LGE have done exceptionally well.

“They went out there; they campaigned; they spoke to the people on the ground; they knew what the communities needed; they spoke to it via social media or print media, having one on one conversations with people within the constituencies and they were able to garner people’s support. I’m so proud of those young people who went out there,” she noted.

According to the politician that party has however noted that there is much more to be done on the ground to educate people about the importance of Local Government.

Meanwhile AFC Executive Member, Michael Leonard told reporters that while contesting the 2016 LGE the APNU+AFC was “obviously riding the success of 2015 so there was no true test to see what is the constituency of the AFC versus the APNU”.

He added that the two Proportional Represen-tation (PR) seats gained by the AFC at the city council shows that they “did relatively well.”

“We know now…if this is what we can attract, this is what we can attract. We know where we are and I don’t have any issue with that. We got two seats on our own strength,” he added.

According to Leonard the seemingly poor showing at these elections are unlikely to weaken AFC’s negotiating power with the APNU. The two parties are set to negotiate a replacement for the 2015 Cummingsburg Accord before the 2020 elections.

“It is very clear from the results across the country that the APNU by themselves cannot defeat the PPP so it seems as though the coalition is necessary,” he said adding that the AFC brings to the table the votes it has garnered even if it is only one vote.

“If what puts you over the threshold to get the presidency or to get the majority is one vote, then it’s one vote. Every vote counts, every seat counts,” he stressed.

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