AFC vows to agitate against corporal punishment

Kaieteur News
April 25, 2007

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The causes of freedom of information legislation and corporal punishment will be soon placed high on the Alliance for Change (AFC) agenda even as the party hopes to continue to influence debate in the life of the National Assembly since its commencement in October last year.

Co-leader of the party, Raphael Trotman, made this pronouncement yesterday when the party held a press conference, and highlighted that by the end of 2006, the party's representatives had queried various issues of concern including: corporal punishment, casino gambling, the value added tax and even Cricket World Cup.

“We believe that our presence and agitation has raised the bar of performance by all Members of Parliament and we will continue to strive for that higher ground that we know exists.”

And in order to mount on the notable efforts, the coming months will see the party focusing on unfinished business, introducing new proposals for consideration and debate, and making a meaningful contribution; both in the important committees and in the scrutiny and review of legislation, according to Trotman.

“We expect as well that the government will re-introduce all legislation previously passed by the Eighth Parliament, but were unconstitutionally allowed to lapse,” Trotman related.

Trotman also told media operatives that the AFC has met all legal requirements for the hearing of its Election Petition with respect to the Region Ten seat which the party believes was wrongfully given to the People's Progressive Party/Civic.

Since this development there has been no objection filed against the hearing but Trotman noted, “To date there has been no indication from the Registry of the High Court when the hearing of our petition will commence.”

Trotman said that this has since led the AFC to firmly believe that forces are at work to derail the hearing.

And, though faced by some constraints, the AFC has organised its second annual essay competition in observance of the country's 41st Independence Anniversary.

This year, Trotman said, the competition will focus on rights and freedoms, particularly those pertaining to information and knowledge.

Meanwhile, the members of the AFC will hold their first annual conference in July.

According to Trotman this will be the most important of all conferences in the history of the party, since the constitution and rules will be agreed upon and ratified.

He noted that the AFC is very aware of the curse afflicting what are referred to as “Third” parties, in the past, being unable to sustain themselves in periods between elections, and is doing everything in its power to avoid a similar fate.

“Those of us in the AFC are aware that the movement must capitalise on its historic showing of gaining six seats at its first outing and to keep the notion of third force politics alive.”