Dawn Hastings-Williams downplays rumours of APNU prime ministerial nomination

first_img– says she’ll “know what to do” if offered roleWith elections fast approaching and analysts expressing doubts whether the Alliance For Change (AFC) will even be allowed to keep the prime ministerial candidacy, rumours have been circulating about a potential People’s National Congress (PNC) prime ministerial candidate.Minister of State, Dawn Hastings-WilliamsCurrent Minister of State, Dawn Hastings-Williams is at the centre of these rumours. A parliamentarian for the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Hastings-Williams was elevated to her new ministerial post this year after the resignation of her predecessor, Joseph Harmon, owing to his dual-citizen status.When asked by Guyana Times, Hastings-Williams noted that these were just rumours and that she has never been approached with regard to filling the post. Asked if it was something she would consider, Hastings-Williams noted that it was not on her radar at the moment.“When that day comes, I’ll know what to do,” Hastings-Williams said when asked if she would decline such a nomination if party leaders in APNU actually pitched such a proposal to her.There is speculation that Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo will be replaced by the dominant APNU with someone from its own campPrior to the General and Regional Elections of 2015, APNU and the AFC signed the Cummingsburg Accord that stipulated conditions for the two parties to contest the elections as one.But throughout this political marriage, the AFC was criticised, especially by the parliamentary Opposition, for what many describe as the submissive role it has played since joining forces with APNU.Decisions, such as the closure of sugar estates which put thousands of sugar workers out of jobs, have gone unchallenged and have even been supported by the AFC. This is despite the fact that the Agriculture Minister portfolio is held by a party member, Noel Holder.In addition, there has been the strategic reallocation of responsibilities away from Ministries headed by AFC officials, to other Ministries. There is also the fact that the Cummingsburg Accord stipulation that the Prime Minister has responsibility for chairing Cabinet and domestic issues was not followed through.Questions have, therefore, been raised by analysts whether APNU would offer the AFC the same terms it offered in 2015 when the Accord was first signed. These questions took on a life of their own after the AFC’s wretched performance in Local Government Elections (LGE) in 2018.After Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan’s selection as the AFC’s prime ministerial candidate in waiting, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson had intimated that APNU was duty-bound to accept Ramjattan as President David Granger’s running mate as long as the Cummingsburg Accord was in effect.But despite the AFC choosing Ramjattan, the PNC has shown a dogged preference for the incumbent, Moses Nagamootoo. This has manifested in APNU officials making public statements in support of the Prime Minister.PNC heavyweight and Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence recently stated publicly that while the AFC has elected Ramjattan as its next prime ministerial candidate, APNU and the AFC have not met on this new development.The AFC top leadership had, in mid-November of 2017, moved to revise its governing agreement with its majority coalition partner. This made little headway and talk of revising the agreement petered out after the AFC’s showing at the LGE, where it failed to win a single Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).At present, talks between the two parties still seem to be stalled. A meeting that was supposed to have been held last Monday between the two coalition partners was cancelled, with APNU sending out a release to say that documents were exchanged and would be perused.last_img read more