Some supporters of the APNU/AFC coalition have been throwing around a tagline that, “the coalition will be back.” It’s more like the coalition will be at the back of the junkyard broken beyond repair. Leader of the Alliance for Change political party – which comprises a major part of the said political coalition, has announced that the party will be saying goodbye to its APNU partnership when the Cummingsburg Accord expires at the end of this year (December, 31st, 2022).
The AFC political party was formed in the early 2000s, and contested the 2006 and 2011 regional and general elections independently. The party was formed by breakaways from the two major political parties, the PPP/C and the PNC/R, as well as a few new faces. The AFC sold a dream of unifying Guyana, bridging ethnic divides, and representing the working class. The AFC touted itself as being Guyana’s first “multi-ethnic” political party, effectively accusing the PPP/C and PNC/R of courting race based politics.
The AFC performed reasonably well in the 2006 general elections, securing a total of 5 seats equivalent to 8.43% of total votes cast. In 2011, the AFC also secured a total of 5 seats in parliament which is equivalent to 8.4% of total votes cast in the 2011 general elections. In 2015, the AFC joined forces with the APNU coalition government which was led by the PNC/R faction. By joining forces with the APNU coalition, the AFC helped put the PPP/C out of business for the first time in 23 years. The APNU/AFC coalition government won 33 out of 65 seats, equal to 51.14% of total votes cast, in the 2015 general elections, putting the APNU/AFC coalition in government. Retired Brigadier David Granger, who was at that time presidential candidate for the PNC/R faction of the coalition, became president.
Just two years into the rule of the APNU/AFC coalition government, it became glaringly evident that the APNU/AFC coalition government was nothing more or less than a cleverly disguised PNC/R. Although it had its merits, the coalition didn’t give the smaller parties which helped put it into power much voice in major decisions. Some members of the AFC decried being reduced to nothing more than “yes men” of the PNC/R faction of the coalition. In December, 2018, then AFC parliamentarian, Charandass Persaud, sent parliament into an uproar when he crossed the floor in a PPP/C tabled no-confidence motion, bringing the end to legal APNU/AFC rule of Guyana. Persaud cited a wide range of abuses by the PNC/R faction of the coalition government, including the closing down of the Canje Sugar Estates without proper consultation with the AFC.
The AFC has been labeled by many as a “dead meat” political party since its union with the APNU because of its failure to represent its supporters. In 2020, the AFC failed to provide the swing votes needed for the coalition government to win the elections, resulting in an overwhelming PPP/C victory.
Leader of the AFC, Khemraj Ramjattan, said that the AFC would “consider rejoining” the APNU at a later date nearer to the 2025 general elections.