…by competing independently in order to stifle PPPBy Michael YoungeTop executives from the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) have allegedly agreed to split the electoral votes at the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE) by competing independently in order to out manoeuvre and out-campaign the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), and secure a larger portion of the seats.The agreement was arrived at when a clandestine meeting was hosted in August this year at the Georgetown Club that saw chosen representatives of the two parties attending. That meeting did not involve the wider APNU and AFC representatives that had been selected by their parties to represent their interest at the talks aimed at securing a coalition alliance to compete in the LGE polls.“So this group engineered the collapse of the formal talks and made matters complicated so that there could be no coalition alliance to compete in the LGE. In other words, an outside deal was engineered by the smaller group that met at Georgetown Club to discuss the more serious politics ahead of the elections…” a source close to both parties told Guyana Times on Saturday morning.Asked why competing independently was necessary when it was pellucid that the coalition appeared stronger if united, the source said that it was felt that if the two separated and campaigned independently in different areas they could lock the PPP out and convince voters as well as their traditional base to vote for the parties on the basis of loyalty and race.“The AFC didn’t just want to test its political acumen. It felt that Indo-Guyanese would not support the coalition as it was because of some of the policy measures implemented since it took office. One of the members said clearly that the PPP would white-wash the coalition in key constituencies because of the voters in Regions Five [Mahaica-Berbice] and Six [East Berbice-Corentyne] had lost all confidence in the coalition especially the AFC which is now been touted as a ‘Judas’ and a party which betrayed them”, the source said.But also the two parties would rejuvenate their ranks if it was thought that it was competing and reinventing itself ahead of the 2020 elections because it had learnt its lessons from the failure of the coalition in key areas.“In the end, if the AFC and APNU managed to field enough candidates who were successful, the PPP could not get the lion’s share of the votes since it is felt that it does not have enough finances or resources to mount a full-out assault on the coalition,” the source said.In other words, the strategy of divide and rule or divide and conqueror would be implemented.“That’s the reason for the reconfiguration of several of those LGE areas… It is not a coincidence. That’s why these elections must take place without any external interference or eyes. The APNU and AFC intend on winning even if it means employing less than transparent and lawful tactics. Bulkan (Ronald) knows this,” the source advanced.The source also stressed that the APNU and AFC were very concerned that the PPP seems more focused and dedicated towards improving its gains recorded back in March 2016 and if the party was successful to do so again, it could create more problems for the coalition ahead of 2020 elections.It was alleged that AFC Chairman Raphael Trotman, PNCR General Secretary Amna Ally and APNU’s General Secretary Joseph Harmon as well as AFC’s David Patterson were either all part of the clandestine meeting or were briefed on the plan.On Saturday, efforts to reach all of the above-mentioned politicians proved futile as their mobile phones went unanswered and calls were not immediately returned so as to ascertain the level of accuracy or truthfulness of the accounts given by the source who has been reliable over the past few years.