(GUYANA CHRONICLE) — Government ministers have hinted that President David Granger may return as the Presidential candidate for the APNU + AFC coalition, in the upcoming Regional and General elections.
On Friday, a no-confidence vote was passed against the incumbent coalition government after a government member of parliament, Charrandass Persaud voted in support of the opposition-led motion. The successful passage of this motion means that the General Elections could be held in about 90 days’ time, instead of in 2020 when it was constitutionally slated to be held.
In light of that motion, government has begun mobilising for elections—including hinting who the Presidential candidate for the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) + Alliance for Change (AFC) coalition will be.
“Stop crying, stop sending up your pressure and instead of that, comrades, let us consolidate our efforts, let us get out there and let us work towards ensuring that David Arthur Granger is returned as the President of Guyana,” Minister of Health and Chairman of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Volda Lawrence said.
As per the Cummingsburg Accord of 2015 that created the coalition and subsequently the coalition government, the Presidential candidate for the coalition comes from APNU while the AFC is allocated the Prime Ministerial position which would see the PM chairing cabinet and having responsibility for home affairs. Through this accord, the AFC will also hold 40 per cent of the Cabinet positions while the larger portion—the 60 per cent of the cabinet positions—goes to the five political parties encompassed in the APNU, of which the PNCR is a major constituent.
Speaking at a Christmas event organised on Christmas Eve by the coalition government, Lawrence also sought to assure citizens that the no-confidence motion should not be a cause for fear or much worry. “We are in government and we must ensure that we remain in government. We have our policies, we have our programmes and we must be given the opportunity to execute those,” she said.
On Sunday also, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams similarly hinted that President Granger will return as the Presidential candidate. Notwithstanding the President being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma earlier this year after being unwell for a number of weeks, Williams said: “The President has big plans and projections for this future with him being President of Guyana.”
Both Williams and Lawrence belong to the PNCR, and at the party’s Biennial Congress held earlier this year, President Granger was re-elected as the leader of that party. And traditionally, it is the party’s leader who takes up the role as presidential candidate.
Added to that, at his press conference held in August, the President did not rule out the possibility of running for President at the next general elections. In fact, he remarked that if nominated by his party he would not “run away from service” and posited: “I am a servant of my party, I am a servant of the partnership and I am a servant of the coalition and my duty is to serve.”
The President’s ascension to Presidential candidate for the 2015 elections, after which he was later elected as President of Guyana, occurred as a result of popular support and a democratic process however. For him to return as Presidential candidate, he would have to follow these processes again.