THE ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE CONSTITUTION
1. The Alliance For Change (hereinafter called the “AFC”) is a political Party committed to the view that each and every person is equal, and dedicates itself to guaranteeing the equality, freedom, dignity and well-being of every citizen of Guyana.
2. The AFC is committed to the construction and administering of a just society within the framework of meaningful participation by all persons, the enhancement of our diverse community and the preservation of the Guyanese identity.
3. The AFC recognises that the development of a just society is founded on the supremacy of the rule of law.
4. In accordance with these democratic values the AFC subscribes to the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of persons under the rule of law and commits itself to the protection of these essential values and to advocating for their constant adoption to the changing needs of modern Guyanese society.
5. The AFC recognises that the creation of a just society and democratic values require that every citizen shall have the right to participate in the formulation of policies promoting the aforementioned objectives and in all decisions affecting them.
6. The AFC, in realising these objectives, will provide an open and democratic platform upon which free dialogue and participatory action, both electoral and non-electoral, shall be facilitated.
7. This Constitution hereinafter sets forth the institutions, systems and procedures by which the Alliance for Change will work to implement these ideas on behalf of its members.
Name of Party
The name of this political Party shall be Alliance For Change.
(1) The AFC Shall have as its symbol, the key with the map of Guyana attached, as shown in the first Schedule.
(2) The Party’s colours shall be Gold and Green.
(3) The Party shall have a motto, which is contained in the Third Schedule.
(4) These party symbols shall only be changed by way of a special resolution of two thirds of the votes at a National Conference.
Words importing the singular number shall include the plural number. Words importing the plural number shall include the singular number.
The masculine gender shall include the feminine gender and vice versa.
Objectives of the Party
(1) The objectives of the Party shall be:
(a) To promote a Guyanese nation which is dedicated to political liberty and the freedom and dignity of every citizen; and in which a free and liberal Guyanese democracy shall be maintained by:-
(i) A Constitution which recognizes and provides for the separation of powers in which the executive is accountable to the National Assembly in a meaningful way; in which the judiciary is independent and the public service is restructured and allowed to operate professionally.
(ii) Freedom of speech, religion and association;
(iii) Freedom of citizens to choose their own way of living and of life, subject to the law and the rights of others;
(b) To protect the people and resources of the state against exploitation;
(c) To encourage individual initiative and enterprise as the dynamic force of progress; and
(d) To develop to the fullest extent a national spirit in Guyana.
(i) In which the ideals of racial harmony and equality are recognized and promoted;
(ii) In which the youth of the nation are given every encouragement to develop their talent to the fullest;
(iii) In which family life is seen as fundamental to the well-being of society;
(iv) In which the protection of our territorial integrity is a matter of patriotic duty, and in which the spirit of nationalism is fostered and all Guyanese are united in a common commitment to serve their country;
(v) In which members of the defense and enforcement services and their dependants shall enjoy honour and security;
(vi) In which primary, secondary and tertiary industries are promoted, new and adequate markets developed, the condition of people from rural areas improved, rural amenities increased, and decentralisation of industries encouraged;
(vii) In which there shall be no nationalisation or privatisation of any Guyanese industry or property without the due process of the law;
(viii) In which constant employment at good wages is available to all willing and able to work;
(ix) In which social provision is made for the aged, the incapacitated, the widowed, the sick, the unemployed and their children the orphaned the abused or those incapacitated by reason of alcohol or other drug addition.
(x) In which adequate medical services shall be provided and made accessible to all and
(xi) In which a comprehensive system of child and adult education is designed to develop the spirit of true citizenship, and in which no consideration of wealth or privilege shall be a determining factor.
The AFC shall recognize, promote and protect the resources, culture and way of life of the indigenous people of Guyana and shall implement special programmes to reduce their level of poverty.
The AFC is committed to the view that all of the ten regions in this nation are equal and shall be treated fairly and equitably in the allocation of national and regional resources.
(1) (a) Membership of the Alliance For Change shall be open to all who subscribe and agree to be bound by this Constitution and Rules of the Party.
To this end, all individuals aged 16 and over shall be eligible for membership in the Party without discrimination based on race, nationality or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or disability,
They are Guyanese citizens or entitled to Guyanese citizenship or are Guyanese nationals domiciled abroad:
(i) or are ordinarily resident in Guyana; or are resident abroad pursuing employment, or education, or medical attention or such other approved reason that the National Conference may determine;
(ii) they are not members of any other political party within Guyana or affiliates outside of Guyana.
(b) Associate membership is open to persons not entitled to full membership but who may be entitled to enjoy all rights and benefits of membership except voting rights.
(c) The National Executive Committee may accept affiliation from other organizations such affiliated bodies shall not enjoy voting rights.
(2) (a) Any eligible person who wishes to become a member of the AFC may do so by applying for membership, such person may be admitted as a member upon complying with all the membership requirements.
(b) Each member shall be issued a membership card provided by the Party.
(3) Rules relating to qualifications and applications for membership and their acceptance, expulsion of members, annual membership fee and rights and obligations of members shall be provided for by the National Executive in what shall be referred to as the AFC Rule Book
(4) The National Executive Committee shall decide the mode of publicizing the Rules as they deem necessary, the conditions attached to their distribution and so on, including a prescribed fee, if any for obtaining a copy of the abovementioned rules.
(5) Where If any member ceases to be a member of the Party he/she shall automatically cease to be a member of any Committee organization or representative Body associated with the Party.
(6) The National Executive shall decide and fix the annual membership fees to be paid by Party members.
(a) Any person applying to be enrolled as a member, shall be required to pay a membership fee;
(b) There shall be an annual membership fee, which shall be referred to as an annual renewal membership fee:
(c) Any person making application for associate member shall be required to pay an associate membership fee.
(7) The National Executive may expel from the Party any person who while being a member, retains or accepts membership in another political party or movement, provided that in every such case any such person shall first be given one month within which to resign either from the AFC Party or from the other party or movement.
(8) A person who is expelled from the party or whose application for membership is rejected by the National Executive or who has resigned from the party may reapply for membership the acceptance or rejection of such reapplication to be determined by the NEC.
(9) Persons expelled from membership of the Party may appeal to the National Conference against such expulsion, and such person shall be readmitted upon a simple majority vote.
Discipline/Conduct of Members
(1) Any member of the Party who disagrees with a policy or decision of the Party, shall remain wholly free to express and advocate his own views, except on occasions when he is communicating in a public capacity as a representative of the Party, in which event hen may express his own views, but make it clear that they do not reflect those of the general membership of the Party.
However, if it is determined that any member of the Party brings the Party or its Leaders into disrepute by his communication with the media such member shall be expelled from the Party.
(2). Disciplinary proceedings shall be confined to violations of the basic principles and norms of the AFC, and not be used as a means of stifling debate or denying members their basic democratic rights.
(3). Proceedings shall normally be conducted firstly at the level where the alleged violation took place, namely, the Group, or Region or National, and appeals there from shall be heard by the Disciplinary Committee with a right of Appeal to the National Executive Committee,
(4). Any person faced with disciplinary proceedings shall receive due written notice of any hearing and of the basic allegations against him or her and be afforded a reasonable opportunity to make his or her defense.
(5). Any person adversely affected by the outcome of any hearing of the Disciplinary Committee shall have the right to have the matter reviewed by the National Executive Committee of the AFC for determination;
(6). Where any member has been proven to have committed violatIons of the Party’s constitution, principles, policies, norms and decisions, such member shall be liable: (i) to be reprimanded; (ii) to be suspended; (iii) to be expelled, from the Party.
(7). Members complaints and grievances shall be attended to expeditiously.
(8). In addition to misconduct which directly violates the norms of the AFC, any proven abuse in any office, corruption, sexual harassment or misappropriation of funds or other criminal behaviour shall give rise to proceedings.
(9). Proceedings may also be brought against members who behave in such a manner that brings the Party or is likely to bring the Party into disrepute or manifests a flagrant violation of the moral integrity expected of members.
(10). Disciplinary proceedings shall not be brought as a means of solving private problems or as a means of interfering in the private lives of members where the norms of the Party are not directly affected.
(11) Members who become involved in a dispute with each other must take all practicable steps to resolve it between themselves, if necessary with the help of a mutually acceptable conciliator/ mediator.
National Conferences and Conventions
(1) There shall be a National Conference or Convention which shall be the highest decision making forum of the Party.
(2) A National Convention shall be held every two years at a place and time decided by the National Executive Committee. Only members who qualify under Article 5 and who are in good financial standing for a minimum of two months immediately preceding the Conference shall have the right to participate and vote and to be elected to any office.
(3) A special National Conference may be called at the request of 40 percentage of the members of the National Executive, or on a petition signed by not less than 30 percentage of the financial membership, and shall be organized by the National Executive Committee as soon as possible after receipt of that request.
(4) The Business of the National Conference shall be:
(a) To receive the CEO’s Report;
(b) To receive the Report of the Treasurer;
(c) To elect the Leader, Chairman, the Vice- Chairman, the General Secretary and the twelve Committee members of the National Executive;
(d) To elect members of the Disciplinary, and other Committees.
(e) To receive and deliberate on motions and questions submitted or raised
and supported by duly accredited representatives.
(f) Any other pressing and urgent business of the Party.
(5) A National Conference shall consider any meritorious matter put before it by
way of a motion or question or resolution.
(6) Members elected at the National Conference to the respective
committees shall serve until the next National Conference
(7) All motions and resolutions at the National Conference may be passed by a
simple majority of those present and voting. Procedures for submitting
nominations and motions shall be laid down in the AFC Rule Book.
(8) Members will only be eligible to vote after being a member for one year,
except in the case of voting at the first national conference in which case the
period is reduced to three months.
(9) The National Conference will be open to members and officers of the National
Executive, delegates and observers and other invitees of the National
(1) There shall be a National Executive Committee hereinafter referred to as NEC of the Party which shall comprise the following voting members:
(a) The Leader;
(b) The Chairman;
(c) The Deputy Chairman;
(d) The General Secretary
(e) The Treasurer;
(f) Ten members each representing the ten regions of Guyana at the National Conference;
(g) Four members representing the Diaspora in the USA, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean representative
(h) Five persons co-opted by the National Executive from among
the members to ensure gender, age, ethnic and regional
(i) One representative of the Youth for Change (YFC) the Youth arm of the party
(2) The National Executive Committee shall have general responsibility for the affairs of the Party between the National Conferences, subject to the provisions of this Constitution and to the resolutions or other actions of the National Conference. This responsibility shall include all actions necessary or appropriate in order to carry out the provisions of this Constitution and the objectives of the Party.
(3) The National Executive Committee shall meet at least quarterly and at such other times as the Management Committee decides.
(4) No meeting of the National Executive Committee shall commence unless an opening quorum of seven voting members is present.
(5) The National Executive Committee may make rules for the conduct of its meetings, subject to ratification by a resolution of the members in a general meeting.
Groups and Regions
(6) Subject to the overall guidance of the National Executive Committee, there shall be established Groups comprising members; and Regions comprising Groups which are located in the respective Regions. The Regional demarcations of the AFC shall be as close to and consistent with the National Regional system.
(7) Every member of the AFC shall belong to, as far as circumstances permit, a Group, which shall be the basic unit of the Party Such a Group shall:
(a). Inform the National Executive Committee and the Region as to its formation.
(b). Meet as regularly as is agreed to by its membership to discuss and critique activities and work of the Party.
(c) Be the place where members exercise their basic democratic rights to discuss and formulate policy.
(d) Be the basic unit of activity for members.
(e) Elect at an annual Group meeting a Management Committee to manage the affairs of the Group and to carry out the publicity and organisational work in its area in furtherance of the policy, programme and decisions of the AFC.
(f). Keep proper documentation and records of its activities; and submit Reports to the Region.
(g) No group shall have less than 10 (ten) members
(8) A Region shall be made up of representatives of the Groups located in that Region after due elections which shall:
(a). Be held once a year;
(b). Elect a Regional Management Committee from the delegates chosen on a democratic basis by all groups in the Region with representation in proportion to membership, with attention being paid to ensuring representation of areas where membership is reduced.
The Region’s functions shall be to:
(a). Carry out and develop the policy and programme and decisions of the AFC in the Region;
(b). Bring to the attention of the National Executive Committee of the AFC and the public at large the problems within the Region and the proposed solutions to remedy same;
(c) Discuss, and critique activities and work of the AFC;
(d). Assist in raising, managing and controlling the funds and assets of the AFC in the Region.
(e). Submit reports to the National Executive Committee, as often as is required, on the state of the organisation, and its financial position within the Region, and such other matters as may be specified;
(f). Appoint the regional organiser and staff as required.
(g). Organize, establish and service groups in the Region;
(h). Carry out and do all things necessary to further the interests, aims and objectives of the Party within the Region.
(i). Keep proper documentation and records of its activities; and submit Reports to the National Executive Committee.
(9) (a) Subject to this Article members of the Diaspora may form themselves into groups.
(b) Notwithstanding Article 8 (6) groups in the Diaspora shall be subject to guidance from the NEC, and shall present to the NEC, performance targets, fundraising and other fiscal plans and shall be expected to achieve its plans and objectives save in the instance of Natural disasters and bankruptcy.
There shall be a National Executive Committee which shall be chaired by the Leader who shall be duly elected at the National Conference.
(1) The Leader shall be a member of the National Executive and enjoy full voting rights and shall in addition, be an ex-officio member of all sub-committees and working groups set up by the National Executive.
(2) The Leader shall, be vested with the authority of the National Executive to:
* Be responsible for the affairs of the Party in the periods between the meetings of the National Executive.
(1) There shall be a Chairman who shall be considered the Deputy Leader of the Party and who shall be an elected member of the National Executive. The Chairman shall be a member of the National Executive and enjoy full voting rights and shall be an ex-officio member of all sub-committees and working groups set up by the National Executive Committee.
(2) The Chairman shall, be vested with the authority of the National Executive Committee to:
* Be responsible for the formulation and execution of the Party’s policies.
(1) The Party shall have a Deputy Chairman who shall be an elected member of
the National Executive and shall have the following responsibilities:
* Chair all meetings of the National Executive Committee in the absence of the Leader or Chairman.
* Ensure that there is an active and properly constituted group of the Party in every Region, financially able to support local government and Parliamentary election campaigns; provide support to members; and establish economically viable projects for the benefit of the membership.
(1) There shall be a Treasurer of the Party who shall be appointed by the National Executive Committee from amongst the members of the Executive, or from the larger membership of the Party, if a suitable candidate cannot be found from among the Executive.
(2) The Treasurer shall be responsible for managing the Party’s finances, for preparing annual accounts and presenting same for reception at an annual meeting of the National Executive to be held within three months of the end of the financial year. The Treasurer shall chair the Finance Committee. and submit a Financial Plan of Action for the maintenance of the Party’s offices, budgets for the AFC and prepare preliminary Budgets for local government and Parliamentary elections and Annual fundraising plan commencing within one month after the National Conference.
The General Secretary.
(1) The General Secretary shall be an elected member of the National Executive Committee of the Party.
(2) The General Secretary is responsible for ensuring that the administrative and other arrangements of the Party comply with all legal requirements; for maintaining an up to date record of the Party’s members; for the administration of leadership elections and elections to the National Executive (except when he or she is a candidate, when the National Executive shall nominate another of its members to carry out this task); and for the general organisation of the National Conference.
(3) The General Secretary shall chair the Disciplinary Committee and the Committee for Standing Orders and shall sit on the Conference Steering Committee and Elections Planning Committees.
Separation of Offices
The offices of Leader, Chairman, Deputy Chairman, General Secretary or Treasurer shall be held by separate and different persons.
Powers of the National Executive Committee
The National Executive Committee shall have the following powers and duties:-
(1) to provide, maintain and manage, carry on Headquarters, Clubs, Social Centres and places of meeting or recreation or instruction within Guyana as may be required, and to furnish, equip and provide supplies therefore;
(2) to purchase, take on, lease or in exchange, hire or otherwise acquire any real and personal estate which may be deemed necessary or convenient for any of the purposes of the AFC;
(3) to construct, maintain and alter any houses, building or works necessary or convenient for the purposes of the AFC;
(4) to take such steps by personal or written appeals, public meetings or otherwise, as may from time to time be deemed expedient for the purposes of procuring contributions to the funds of the AFC in the shape of donations, annual subscriptions or otherwise;
(5) to invest any moneys of the AFC, not immediately required for any of its objects, in such a manner as may from time to time be determined;
(6) to enter into any arrangement for amalgamation, joint working or co-operation with any Party, association, society or body of persons whether incorporated or not carrying on work or having objects similar to the work and objects of the AFC
(7) to produce and publish and to distribute gratuitously or otherwise such books, newspapers, pamphlets, periodicals and other literature as may seem calculated to promote the objects of the AFC;
(8) to receive and accept donations, subscriptions and endowments or money or of any form of property;
(9) to improve, manage, develop, sell, exchange, lease, mortgage or otherwise deal with or turn to account (but subject to any such consent or approval as may by law be required) all or any of the property of the AFC;
(10) to engage and dismiss all paid officers and servants of the AFC and fix their remuneration and terms of employment;
(11) to grant and pay such pensions, salaries, gratuities or other sums in recognition of service to any person as may from time to time be approved by the National Executive Committee of the AFC;
(12) to appoint a trustee or trustees personal or corporate to receive and hold any property on behalf of the AFC and to allow any such property to remain outstanding in such trustee or trustees;
(13) to do all such acts and things as are or may be incidental of conducive to the attainment or furtherance of any of the objects or the exercise of any of the powers of the AFC.
(1) There shall be a Management Committee of the AFC, which will meet weekly/monthly or at any other times decided on by the Chairman. The Management Committee will comprise not more than 6 persons, namely, the Leader, Chairman, the Deputy Chairman, the General Secretary, and two other members of the National Executive who shall be nominated to serve on the Management Committee by the other members of the National Executive.
(2) The Chairman shall have a casting vote in the event of a deadlock.
It shall be the duty of the Management Committee to carry out the directives of the National Executive on a daily basis.
Finances of the Party
(1) There shall be a Finance Committee.
(2) The National Executive shall prescribe the method of election of the Finance Committee, the appointment of Trustees, the method of collection, investment and disbursement of donations, bequests and other funds, the delegation of such powers and functions and such other requirements deemed necessary for the financing of the operations of the Party.
(3) The National Conference shall appoint a Finance Committee consisting of the Treasurer as Chairman and at least three members of the National Executive.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Constitution, no member of the AFC who has gained a seat in the National Assembly shall be a member of the Finance Committee.
(5) Should any member of the Finance Committee be unable to attend any meeting he may, by writing under his hand addressed to the Treasurer, appoint some other person being a member of the movement to act as his proxy
(6) (i) The National Executive may also appoint Trustees for any purpose for which it thinks the appointment of Trustees desirable and such Trustees shall hold office until removed by resolution of the National Executive, death or resignation.
(ii) The National Executive may also incorporate limited liability companies for any purpose for which it thinks such incorporation desirable and such companies.
(7) The functions of the Finance Committee shall be:-
(a) to provide for the financing of the National Executive and any matter arising which is incidental to the AFC’s objectives;
(b) to receive from each Committee a budget and financial statement at the beginning of each financial year and as and when required thereafter.
(8) At all meetings of the Finance Committee, the Treasurer or his nominee shall preside and the person so presiding shall have a casting as well as a deliberative vote.
(9) The National Executive Committee shall appoint an auditor annually.
(10) Unless otherwise determined, the financial year of the AFC shall begin on the 1st March in each year.
Use of Party Funds
(1) The AFC is a non-profit Party and accordingly the following provisions shall apply:
(a) The income and property of the AFC howsoever and whensoever derived or acquired shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the objects and policy objectives of the Party as set forth in this Constitution and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend bonus or otherwise to the members of the Party Provided that:
(i) nothing herein contained shall prevent the payment in good faith of remuneration to any officers or servants of the Party or to any member of the Party in return for any services actually rendered to the Party or for goods supplied in the ordinary and usual way of business nor prevent the payment of interest at a rate not exceeding the rate of interest paid for the time being by the Party’s bankers in respect of term deposits having a maturity of 180 days on money borrowed from any member of the Party.
(ii) any member who is a member of the National Executive Committee of the Party and who is appointed to any salaried office of the Party or any office of the Party paid by fees shall upon such appointment be deemed to have vacated the office to which such member was elected.
(iii) no remuneration or other benefit in money or money’s worth shall be paid or given by the Party to any voting member of the National Executive except repayment of out-of-pocket expenses and interest at the rate afore-said on money lent or reasonable and proper rent for premises demised let or sublet to the Party.
(b) If upon the winding-up or dissolution of the Party there remains after satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities any property whatsoever the same shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Party but shall be given or transferred to some other institution or institutions selected by the general membership.
Standing and Temporary Committees
(1) The standing committees set up by the National Executive shall include a Finance Committee, a Disciplinary Committee, a Committee on Standing Orders, Youth Arm, and a National Conference Steering Committee.
(2) The Finance Committee shall be chaired by the Treasurer. Its responsibility will be to oversee the management of the Party’s finances and to appoint auditors.
(3) The Disciplinary Committee shall comprise the General Secretary and the delegates elected for this purpose at the AFC’s National Conference and shall be chaired by the General Secretary.
(4) The Committee on Standing Orders shall be chaired by the Deputy Chairman and will be responsible for maintaining and updating the AFC’s Rule Book and for reviewing proposals for amendments to the Party constitution.
(5) The Youth Arm Committee shall be chaired by the Youth for Change representative on the NEC and shall be responsible for fastening and building the Youth Arm of the Party.
(6) The Conference Steering Committee will have the responsibility for all matters relating to the agenda of the AFC’s National Conference, including the selection of motions and resolutions for debate.
(7) The National Executive Committee shall designate such other Standing Committees which from time to time, shall be deemed desirous for the functioning of the Party. Such Standing Committees shall be ratified by the next National Conference of the Party.
AFC’s Nominations at National Elections
1) The National Executive Committee shall, after due consultation and deliberation, with the Party’s Groups, propose and recommend suitable persons as nominees as candidates for local government elections, or the offices of President, Prime Minister and membership to the National Assembly at National Elections, paying due regard to legal, social, economic and other considerations, and extant political circumstances.
2) Such proposal and recommendation of the National Executive Committee must be ratified at a National Conference.
(1) The various senior positions of the AFC, including those in the National Executive, Regions and Groups ought to be rotated as far as is possible so that no member is allowed to serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office, so as to ensure a broader activism in leadership positions by the membership.
(2) Rules pertaining to standing orders may be adopted by the National Executive in a manner that shall be determined at the National Conference.
(3) The National Conference shall also make all provisions necessary to facilitate an annual and a special conference.
(4) The annual and special conferences, in addition to the National conferences shall be the appropriate forum for discussing any matters pertaining to the party.
The Party shall not be dissolved except by resolution of the full membership passed held at the National Conference provided that such resolution shall not be passed unless there are 75 per cent or more of the votes cast which favour the resolution and the total number of votes cast is at least 30 percent of the full membership.
This Constitution may be repealed or added to or amended by a Two thirds majority of those present in person or by proxy at any meeting of the National Conference at which due notice of any repeal, addition or amendment shall have been given, provided that to become operative any amendment must be ratified by the National Executive within three (3) months of the passing of such amendment by the National Conference.
(1). The following persons who constituted the Steering Committee of the AFC, and having been deemed to comprise the National Executive Committee, holding the following offices:
Chief Executive Officer
(2). And whereas every action and decision taken by this Steering Committee until the holding of the first National Conference of the AFC shall be deemed valid and constitutional; and the said first National Conference of the AFC having ratified all the previous actions and decisions taken by the same Steering Committee it is resolved that there shall be no liabilities to any member individually or the Steering Committee collectively for any such action or decision taken.
(3). The delegates at the first National Conference of the AFC, having duly ratify all such actions and decision of the Steering Committee have thereby given validity and constitutionality to such actions and decisions.