Saying that the objective of the A New and United Guyana (ANUG) is what Guyana needs to move forward, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) member, Akanni Blair, last night confirmed that he is in the process of crossing over to the newly formed political party.
“…I believe Guyana needs this party. This party is coming with a fresh perspective and a goal to pursue aggressively the constitutional reform. The move for me, is a good one,” he said during a telephone interview with Stabroek News.
He told Stabroek News that he believes the party can change the outcome of the upcoming general and regional elections which can ultimately result in a balance of power.
“If Guyanese vote smart they (ANUG) will do well and be able to create a balance of power,” he stated, pledging that he will be passionately and wholeheartedly for the party to secure votes.
Blair, who is currently in the process of resigning from the PPP, is the current Vice Chairman of the party’s Linden arm. He has been a strong supporter and an avid campaigner for the party since 1992.
Asked about his decision to cross over to the new party, Blair explained that the decision was made after he got tired of the way matters were dealt with during and after the November 12 Local Government Elections (LGE).
“I think the time was right to leave the PPP and join this new party… issues that you complain about are not addressed and they shut you [up] when you try to talk,” an upset Blair said.
He explained that during the LGE campaign members did their ground work and secured votes for the party, resulting in the party being awarded a seat. However, he stressed when it was time for the selection of the Proportional Representation candidate to represent the party, no consultations were held. The move, he lamented, is an injustice to all members who campaigned and therefore deserved to be a part of a consultation process.
“I campaigned passionately and returned with the best results of 119 votes but the person with the second best vote, Sherry James, became the Councillor [for the municipality of Linden],” he indicated.
He stated that questions that were asked about the selection process of the councillor were left unanswered, resulting in him questioning his support of the PPP.
Blair further pointed out that while two of the new party members were old PPP stalwarts, he was the one who initiated the process of joining the days-old party.
“I reached out to them on Facebook after thinking to myself that this party makes sense and their goals are realistic and what Guyana needs. I was the one who initiated the process by messaging them on Facebook…” he recounted.
According to Blair he will be sending his resignation to the PPP in the new week and he is expected to meet with the founders Ralph Ramkarran, political consultant Dr Henry Jeffrey, attorney Timothy Jonas, and businessman Terrence Campbell of ANUG, to discuss the way forward.
Blair is the first party loyalist to publicly declare his intent to cross over to the emerging political group.
On Christmas Day, Stabroek News reported that the founders had announced the formation of the new party.
In the report it was outlined that the party will focus on constitutional reform for inclusive governance. In a statement, the party said it believes that the pressing need to reform governance mechanisms to reflect inclusive governance is the most urgent issue now facing Guyanese.
It has pledged not to join in a coalition with either of the major parties should it not secure a majority or plurality of votes at the elections, the statement added.