–as AFC councillors submit no-confidence motion against APNU colleagues
JUST over two years after a member of the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) “crossed the floor” in the National Assembly to support a no-confidence motion and topple his government, AFC Councillors have expressed no-confidence in their APNU counterparts who hold the positions of Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica).
On Thursday, the AFC confirmed that, on August 18, its Region Four Councillors laid formal notices indicating that they have ‘no confidence’ in Chairman of the RDC of Region Four, Daniel Seeram, and Vice-Chairman, Samuel Sandy.
The motion moved by Councillor Amarnauth Chinkan and seconded by Councillor Deodat Tillack, was submitted to the Regional Executive Officer (REO), Donald Gajraj.
The AFC said that this move was in direct response to the continued “failures and shortcomings” in the management of the affairs of the people in this key geographical region. It noted, however, that during Thursday’s statutory meeting, the reading of the motion was disallowed on the grounds that the office of the Chairman was not served with a copy of the motions nor did they conform to the stipulated timeline. “Notwithstanding their disagreement with the interpretation of the acting Chairman, the AFC Region Four Councillors will seek to remedy these defects and table the motions at the next statutory meeting of the council,” the AFC said.
In a press statement, the party reminded that in September 2020, the APNU+AFC coalition was elected to manage the affairs of Region Four; however, nearly a year later, the AFC said that several issues persist, thereby highlighting the inability of the council to effectively serve its constituency.
Further, the AFC said that its representatives were being “excluded” and “alienated” by their APNU colleagues who effectively head the council.
The AFC has accused APNU’s Seeram of ‘hogging’ various positions within the council, including the chairmanship of the council’s Tourism Committee which is yet to meet, as well as the Drainage & Irrigation Committee.
“The Chairman is currently the sole representative on the Sea Defence Board of the Ministry of Public Works, the National Drainage & Irrigation Authority (NDIA), the Board of the Ministry of Agriculture and the COVID-19 Task Force of the Office of the Prime Minister,” the AFC added.
The party said that Seeram’s actions deviate from the historical norm of sharing these positions with other councillors and the spirit of partnership which is fundamental to the coalition. “It is necessary to note that the Personnel and Human Resource Management Committee also has not met for over eight months,” the AFC noted. It said too that the deterioration of the relationship between Seeram and Sandy on matters of principle, approach and operations, which permeates every statutory meeting, has also been identified as a major source of discord that impacts negatively on the ability of the council to function effectively.
The AFC said that the deficiencies of the council have resulted in several contractors not being paid for close to six months.
This, the party said, is due to the failure of the Vice-Chairman, who heads the works committee, to convene meetings and sign off requests in a timely manner.
“The Alliance For Change Region Four councillors have also taken note of recent public statements on this issue and wish to state that no discussion with any other political party on these motions has taken place. “The Alliance For Change is keenly aware that its primary obligation is to serve the people of all communities in Guyana and to identify a progressive path that ensures the provision of better services to the residents of Region Four,” the AFC added.
In addition to the APNU+AFC’s ‘rift,’ there have also been reports of quarrels among the members of the APNU, more specifically, within the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR).
It was previously reported that a no-confidence motion was brought against Leader of the PNC, former President, David Granger. The former Head of State had denied the reports, saying that all is well within the party.
The APNU+AFC government was effectively dethroned after AFC member, Charrandass Persaud voted against his APNU+AFC party, and in favour of a no-confidence motion tabled by then People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) opposition.
This had sent shockwaves throughout Guyana, and according to political commentators, fractured relations within the coalition. It also paved the way for the election of the PPP/C to office.