Sheila Holder is Prime Ministerial candidate
The Alliance for Change yesterday hosted its Special National Convention at which party Leader Raphael Trotman nullified all skepticism when he said, “Today I pass the baton of opportunity to be the candidate of President of Guyana to my brother, Khemraj Ramjattan.”
The special meeting was held at the Ocean View Convention Centre where hundreds of delegates
from each region of Guyana as well as from the Diaspora converged.
There were delegations from the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Party Vice Chairperson Sheila Holder, who is now the Prime Ministerial candidate, told the gathering that delegates were also expected from St Lucia and Grenada.
Trotman was nominated for the Prime Ministerial slot but he declined.
With his declination, the only two remaining nominations were Cathy Hughes and Sheila Holder.
Cathy Hughes subsequently declined and paved the way for Sheila Holder to be the Prime Ministerial Candidate.
The lone challenger to Ramjattan for the Presidential Candidate slot was Michael Carrington
who secured a solitary vote. Three persons abstained from voting.
Ramjattan, in his opening presentation to the convention said that the party’s survival to this day is a major accomplishment and stressed that the special convention was illustrative of democracy at work.
He stressed that unlike the PPPC and the PNCR, “We must live and practice that new liberal political culture we want for our Guyana and which we preach about…otherwise, we will sooner be lumped and dumped with all of those politicians we want to distinguish ourselves from.”
In his assessment of the state of the nation, Ramjattan told the gathering that at the national level there exist situations at the political and economic spheres which can only be described as sad. “Bad governance and corruption permeate in almost every quarter and all institutions of our land,” said Ramjattan.
He said that today young people still dream of leaving these shores for greener pastures.
“Having not learnt that the device of denial of Government advertisements to break the financial viability of certain business organisations, like the opposing media, will get it nowhere, the Government today wants to apply such devices through directives to GECOM, its own institution.”
The AFC chairman said that he was laughed at when he coined the term “control freakism” but given the realities of the conditions that exist in Guyana he has been vindicated.
Ramjattan explained that what exists in Guyana at present is massive inequality, “The PPP Administration can do a whole lot more to stop this widening of the inequality gap currently…But the political will is not there because the vision for that equal, harmonious society is not one shared by the PPP.”
He said that what the administration prefers is, “a cabal constituting a number of top Governmental czars in combination with a favoured few within the business class…They can be categorised as the Big B’s.”
Ramjattan also said that should the AFC make it into office it will immediately reduce Value Added Tax to 12 per cent and after a host of cost cutting measures, will seek to further reduce the tax.
Former Party Leader Raphael Trotman, said that when the party was launched it promised to bring change and transformation, “a promise that we have to keep and deliver on.”
Trotman said that he performed the task of leadership because, “like you, I feel the pain of every Guyanese…We are all in pain regardless of who we are.”
He said that in 2010 Guyana sits as the third poorest country in the western hemisphere, in the company of poverty-torn Haiti and Nicaragua.
“Half of our nation is in exile in foreign lands and those who have remained, are themselves in internal exile; wondering where do we go from here…This should not be. And so, together, we must care, and care enough to change it by taking up the mantle of leadership.”
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