No bad blood between AFC, APNU – Ramjattan

No bad blood between AFC, APNU – Ramjattan

Demerara Waves – April 23, 2012

Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC) Khemraj Ramjattan says there is no bad blood between his party and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) in the wake of last week’s developments which saw the blossoming of a closer relationship between the latter opposition party and the government.

“The Alliance For Change wants to say that this does not in any way make our approach both to the government and APNU one that would be treated as if there’s antagonism between the parties, no, that is not so.  

And I want to make it quite clear that what I did indicate in an email to my executive that got leaked to the press did express my personal feelings at that time, it is still my feeling,” Ramjattan told reporters Monday.

The APNU last Wednesday abstained from a budget cut proposed by the AFC as consideration of the estimates of the GUY$192.8B budget began much to the consternation of the smaller opposition party. The following day the government announced that it had reached an agreement with the APNU on several measures for Linden while the party had agreed to the impending electricity tariff increase for the community, a position the APNU has denied.

Ramjattan, in an email to his party executive that was “leaked” to the media stated that he felt betrayed by the APNU’s volte face in light of discussions that they had before on the proposed cuts.

“However, that does not mean that if Donald Ramotar or the Minister of Finance or anybody on matters very serious and pertaining to what we are asking for so that the Guyanese public could have a better deal, we’re not going to miss that opportunity.

We would prefer however, if that call is made we’re going to invite APNU with us. Similarly, if the APNU wants to have talks with us we are willing.”

According to Ramjattan, the new political dispensation requires that there must be “give and take” and compromises all around.

The APNU last Tuesday had asked to meet with the government to discuss its budget concerns and that led to the meetings with Ramotar and Granger and their teams.

The following day government announced that it had decided to raise the Old Age Pension from the $8100 it had proposed in the budget to $10,000 per month following talks with the APNU. And on Thursday a further announcement was made of a raft of measures the government intended to pursue as a result of representation from the APNU.

These include freeing up the broadcast spectrum to allow for more television stations; resuscitating the Linden Economic Network; encouraging financial services entities to establish financing facilities in the mining town; and holding the Bosai bauxite company to its deadlines to correct the dust problems in the APNU stronghold.

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