LGE– as AFC candidates face media scrutinyYouth unemployment, drugs and the lack of property maintenance are among the issues the Alliance For Change (AFC) will be campaigning on, with the party introducing two candidates even as Local Government Elections (LGE) fast approach.On Friday, just a few days before Local Government Elections, the AFC brought out two of its candidates to face the media. The candidates were Valencia Wren, who is contesting in Mocha/Arcadia and Allison Mohamed of the Diamond/Grove Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).Wren explained what some of the hot button issues were for her party and the problems in her constituency. One thing she referenced was youth unemployment and the need for a skills training centre to be constructed.“Since we would have won General Elections in 2015, a lot of work still hasn’t been done and it is our aim that we can do much more. So far we’ve been cleaning the drains. There are a lot of issues. Youth (unemployment) is a pressing issue.”“And I believe that if a skill centre is placed in the village, it can decrease the amount of unemployment and the high selling of drugs on the corner. I emphasise on drugs because there’s nothing else for the youths to do… these are some of the issues the residents would have expressed during our workarounds.”Mohamed was critical of the current state of the Diamond/Grove NDC, using the condition of the roads as an example. As such, she was asked about the recentDiamond/Grove NDC Chairman, Bharat Narinepraise that very Council’s Chairman received.The Chairman, Bharat Narine, was recently hailed as the best performing NDC Chairman in Region Four by several of his colleagues. Narine is a member of the People’s Progressive Party.“I personally believe it has a lot to do with administrative staff. I don’t know much about the Chairman. I’ve met him on several occasions. He’s very pleasant. He’s very helpful. He assists when he can in the NDC. I believe it has to do with the administration,” Mohamed said. Mohamed emphasised the need for persons to come out and vote, as they can always hold such persons accountable and vote them out. It is a message reiterated by the party’s Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan, who however expressed concerns about the level of voter education impacting turnouts on November 12.A few months ago, the AFC had announced that they will be contesting the LGE on November 12, separate from the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). This decision was reached following the inconclusive negotiations with APNU, the party had stated.At the same time, it had maintained that this decision only applies for the 2018 LGE and does not affect the APNU/AFC coalition Government, nor does it, change the AFC’s position on coalition politics at the national level. At a press conference following this announcement, Trotman had struck a matter of fact tone. In fact, Trotman claimed the decision was made since last year. “Since last year we decided that we were going to contest the elections independently and we spoke to APNU about the matter. There were little points on which we were able to come to an agreement on.At the national level, it was easy to say 60/40, but LGE is different and it wasn’t easy coming with that same share to the table. Both sides sought to find common ground, but it didn’t materialise because of the particulars… but we still remain cordial on the matter,” he said.“Going independently will refresh and strengthen the coalition for 2020, so that the people will get the best of both parties. Being in Government sometimes makes you complacent and you lose touch with the people and the coalition needs to be refreshed. This will augur well for us. We expect to be in competition with each other, but in battle with the PPP,” he had added.