AFC being sidelined by APNU “cabal” – Jagdeo

first_imgCity Hall woes…slams party leaders for failure to publicly back their own councillorsEchoing statements emanating from Georgetown’s outgoing Deputy Mayor Lionel Jaikarran, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has expressed the view that the influence of the Alliance for Change (AFC) at the level of the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown (M&CC) has been subverted in favour of a ruling cabal of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).AFC Councillor Sherod Duncan was muzzled while trying to nominate his colleagueDespite the protests and agitation against her leadership, Georgetown Mayor Patricia Chase-Green was recently re-elected as mayor. The Deputy Mayor position, held by an AFC representative since 2016, was allocated to another APNU representative.Commenting on the City Hall woes, Jagdeo noted that the AFC was effectively booted out from the deputy mayor position.Outgoing Deputy Mayor Lionel Jaikarran“In spite of all that we’ve heard about how atrocious (Town Clerk Royston) King is and the current Mayor, and almost all right- minded citizens thinking they are not good for the city, The PNC part of the coalition persisted in reinstating them. The AFC part of the coalition and the PPP councillors fought against this, but the AFC councillors were fighting a losing battle,” Jagdeo offered.“Why? Because the AFC national leaders have already sold out all the ordinary AFC members. They don’t care too much that the AFC got booted out of the Deputy Mayor position. So why did this happen and you didn’t hear a single word of protest from any AFC leader? Not (Public Security Minister Khemraj) Ramjattan, not (Prime Minister Moses) Nagamootoo, wherever he is now.”Slamming the senior AFC leaders for their public silence in the face of the party being sidelined at City Hall, Jagdeo posited that the AFC bigwigs are enamoured with their ministerial perks and are unwilling to endanger the Cummingsburg Accord by clashing with APNU, for fear of losing the perks. According to Jagdeo, the AFC is now fully in the arms of the APNU.Nominated and elected under controversial circumstances, Deputy Mayor-elect Akeem PeterHe pointed to the saga at the Guyana Chronicle, where political activist Dr David Hinds, a Working People’s Alliance heavyweight, has had his column pulled. Dr Hinds is well known for calling the Government out on its missteps.“Nothing (has been heard) from (Natural Resources Minister Raphael) Trotman; nothing from (Public Telecommunications Minister) Cathy Hughes. Because they are enjoying themselves! This is a cabal defending itself with the support of Central Government,” Jagdeo declared.MuzzledThe election of a deputy mayor saw Councillor Sherod Duncan being denied an opportunity to nominate incumbent Lionel Jaikarran to the post. It is understood that after the new Deputy Mayor, Akeem Peter, was nominated, Duncan’s attempts to nominate his colleague to continue in the role was thwarted by APNU councillors.Following her own re-election, Chase-Green opened the floor for nominations for the position of deputy mayor and both the AFC’s Duncan and Chase-Green’s People’s National Congress (PNC) colleague Councillor Oscar Clarke rose to nominate their candidates.However, Clarke was allowed to nominate his choice, which was Councillor Akeem Peter, and Duncan had to take his seat. Immediately after, Councillor Ivelaw Henry rose to second Peter’s nomination, after which both Duncan and Councillor Tricia Richards both stood up, resulting in the mayor asking one of them to be seated. When they both remained standing, she was asked to recognise one councillor and she chose to listen to her other PNC colleague, Richards, who then successfully moved a motion for nominations to be closed, resulting in Duncan being denied the opportunity to speak.It was that scenario that prompted Jaikaran to say afterwards that the AFC has lost its voice at City Hall, signalling some amount of bad blood between the coalition partners. This is a troubling prospect when the council’s history leading up to elections is considered.Both Duncan and Jaikarran are known for their anti-corruption advocacy at City Hall, something that has brought them into conflict with Chase-Green and the APNU councillors. Most recently, their attempts to introduce a no-confidence motion against Town Clerk Royston King over a litany of offences was thwarted by Chase-Green and company. (Jarryl Bryan)last_img read more