This weekend, the Alliance For Change (AFC) party in Guyana holds leadership elections as well as choose a Prime Ministerial candidate to ally with the PNC (APNU) which will have the Presidential candidate (who happens to be David Granger) in elections to be held latest August 2020. The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will decide on Tuesday June 18 if elections could be held in late September 2019 or delayed till November.
The AFC- and PNC (APNU) formed an alliance and contested elections in May 2015. The APNU got the Presidency and the AFC Prime Ministership. The AFC is looking for the same arrangement for the next elections. But the APNU has not decided if it will retain the relationship and on the same terms. The APNU could decide to forego the relationship since AFC has lost almost all of its support from 2011 when it won some 11% of the votes. This 11% when combined with the PNC’s 40% produced a “victory” in the May 2015 general elections. Without the AFC’s 11%, the PNC could not win and ran the government over the last four years.
On December 21, a no confidence motion was successfully passed against the coalition government (33-32). After agreeing to accept the defeat, the coalition reversed course and challenged the vote saying 34 votes were necessary for the motion to pass. The challenge wounded its way to the CCJ, Guyana final court of appeal. The CCJ will issue a ruling on June 18. It will be shocking if the court rules in favor of the government. This would mean elections must be held within ninety days as stipulated in the constitution. This would mean elections must be held by September 18, latest. However, Guyana’s elections commission, Gecom, said it cannot prepared for an election by September 18 and has suggested that the earliest it can hold elections is ending of November.
AFC is gearing up to choose its nominee for Prime Ministership in case there is an alliance with APNU (PNC). Two candidates are vying for the position – incumbent Moses nagamootoo and National (Public) Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan. Khemraj believes he has the numbers to win. Observers say the elections will be rigged. My bet is that Moses prevails. If Khemraj wins, it is unlikely that APNU (PNC) will offer the PM position to AFC. However, if Moses prevails, PNC will continue the alliance with AFC though with a reduction in parliamentary seats offered to AFC; In 2015, PNC offered AFC 12 seats of the 33 it was given by the elections commission. The results of that election were challenged in court because of allegations of irregularities. . A hearing has not been scheduled more than four years later.