AFC picks new leader; presidential candidacy deferred

ZIGGY MARLEY…REDEMPTION SONG

The new leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC) is Khemraj Ramjattan but the party, at its National Conference on Saturday, voted down a motion to select its presidential and prime ministerial candidates for the next general elections.

Ramjattan replaces Raphael Trotman who told the opening of the conference that he would not have been running for any leadership position because of pressing demands as House Speaker.

Prominent Attorney-at-Law, Nigel Hughes takes over the chairmanship from Ramjattan.  The Vice Chairman is Moses Nagamootoo.

David Patterson has replaced Sixtus Edwards as General Secretary.   

AFC executive member and spokeswoman, Cathy Hughes told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) that a motion for the party to name Hughes and Nagamootoo as presidential and prime ministerial candidates did not win the required two-thirds support.

“It was put as a motion and it wad discussed and they decided that it was too early and that we select our candidates some time in the future; the motion was defeated,” said the spokeswoman. Hughes has been very outspoken in African Guyanese areas while Nagamootoo is being pushed in the sugar belt and other agricultural areas with which he has had a long association during his several decades in the governing Peoples Progressive Party (PPP).

The other members of the National Executive are Cathy Hughes, Dominique Gaskin, Gerhard Ramsaroop,  Sixtus Edwards, Rajendra Bissessar, Trevor Williams, Cindy Sookdeo, Dr. Veerasammy Ramaya and Dr. Rohan Somar from the United States group.

At least 147 delegates from all 10 administrative regions, North America and the Caribbean attended the one-day Conference.

The party chairman cited the need to build strong economic communities by supporting ventures and building other types of capacities in weak communities.Delivering the charge, Nigel Hughes urged delegates to openly discuss race and race relations as part of efforts to have a national conference about the touchy subject. “We have to be candid about all the events of the past, there is no blameless party” he added.

Hughes also recommended that the AFC strengthens and improves its groups as well as be a disciplined organisation that has a single message. “The party has to be disciplined and we all must be on the same page on party positions,” he added.

The AFC was also charged with the task of ensuring the tone of conversations by being civil and not disrespectful.

Hughes cited the Diaspora as a driving force in developing Guyana.

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