– AFC says Ramjattan non-negotiableGeneral Secretary of the Alliance for Change (AFC) David Patterson on Thursday stated that neither the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) nor any other member of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) can dictate or direct the selection of AFC for that party’s Prime Ministerial post.AFC General Secretary David PattersonPatterson made these comments during his party’s press briefing and stated that the Cummingsburg Accord, which the AFC signed on to with the APNU, is still in existence, and as such, it is solely the responsibility of the AFC to choose its Prime Ministerial candidate for the upcoming elections in Guyana.This Accord has expired but according to Patterson, “It is very clear that the AFC shall nominate the PM candidate and it is very clear that the APNU shall nominate the Presidential candidate. I don’t see anything, I don’t know anything, there has not been any discussion and we would not entertain any discussion that changes that. And that is just the way it is”.His remarks come in response to questions by the media about the recent statement made by Chairperson of the PNC/R Volda Lawrence, who recently noted that although the AFC has elected Khemraj Ramjattan to be its next Prime Ministerial candidate— replacing Moses Nagamootoo in June— the APNU and the AFC are yet to meet on this new development.PNC/R Chairperson Volda Lawrence“The party welcomes the fact that the AFC party was able to have their conference and elect their new candidate for the Prime Ministerial position. The coalition and the AFC have not reached that stage in terms of discussion on the Prime Ministerial candidate,” she noted.In accordance with the Cummingsburg Accord between the two parties, AFC will have the Prime Ministerial position, while the Presidential post goes to APNU. However, some believe that APNU would sidestep AFC and go the route of choosing a Prime Ministerial candidate from within its own grouping. The APNU alliance consists of five parties with the PNC/R leading. The others are The Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Justice for All Party (JFAP), National Front Alliance (NFA) and the Guyana Action Party (GAP).Nevertheless, following the AFC’s National Executive Conference on June 15, the party’s newly elected General Secretary David Patterson had told reporters that Ramjattan’s nomination will have to be accepted by the majority APNU.“The Alliance for Change is a political party in its own right. The AFC has MADE a recommendation it will stick by. So just like we did in 2015, we will do in 2019 or 2020, if we stay in a coalition… If we’re in a coalition and we’re governed by an agreement and that agreement is currently in effect, it says the AFC shall nominate a Prime Ministerial candidate. There’s nowhere in that agreement that says we’ll nominate a Prime Ministerial candidate who the coalition accepts or not,” Patterson had stated.While the APNU fraction of the coalition earlier this year had already signalled support for its leader David Granger to return as Presidential Candidate, it was reported that sections of the AFC’s delegations felt that incumbent Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo’s performance over the years has not been up to par.However, prior to last month’s conference, AFC’s then leader and current Chairman Raphael Trotman had warned against replacing Nagamootoo, saying that it would undermine the coalition Government in the eyes of the people, by seeming to validate the Government’s failings and the passage of the No-Confidence Motion (NCM).“The No-Confidence Motion was a direct challenge on the Granger-Nagamootoo leadership. In my view, if we were to jump to replace either gentlemen in an emotive way, we would be openly conceding that the motion and vote were justified and valid,” Trotman had stated in sections of the media back in February.With the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) having already ruled that the No-Confidence Motion was validly passed against the coalition back in December, there is a possibility that early elections could be called this year.In fact, the Court is expected to hand down consequential orders on the way forward based on its June 18 rulings today.At the last hearing on June 24, the Court had given parties up to July 1 to make written submissions on the consequential orders not exceeding 20 pages, which would be considered before those orders are handed down next Friday.