…says it is time to make space for a new generation of leaders
Even though he was nominated for the post, the current Vice Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Moses Nagamootoo has declined to run for the leadership of the party. He made this announcement, yesterday.
The Prime Minister also declined to run for the positions of Chairman or Vice-Chairman. He noted, though, that he would accept nomination for the National Executive Committee (NEC), and will serve on this body if elected.
Nagamootoo said, “I informed the party leaders two weeks ago of my intention not to contest these positions. It is unfortunate that what I had said was misinterpreted as my complete withdrawal from the AFC’s leadership. I am not quitting the AFC. I am just shedding party leadership titles and status.”
He continued, “I am fully involved in the AFC. I want to see the party grow and become stronger. I want the party to reform and broaden its structure to bring on board the young generation of fighters, the so-called ‘Second Eleven’, as we gear for 2020.
“I have spent 52 years in active party-based politics. I have served in senior leadership positions in the PPP since 1976 and, after I resigned, I became Vice-Chairman of the AFC since 2012.”
The current AFC Vice Chairman said that he believes it is time to make political space in the party leadership for a new generation of leaders.
Nagamootoo also thanked the party members who have nominated him but assured that he will continue to serve the AFC.
The Prime Minister said that the AFC holds a strategic place in the governance of Guyana. He said that it ought to be credited with making history when it sought a strategic parliamentary alliance with the APNU, tabled a motion of no-confidence against the then corrupt government, and brokered the APNU+AFC Coalition that won the 2015 elections.
“Our leaders deserve commendation for those heroic and strategic moves and for working every day to keep the Coalition Government stable and strong, and changing Guyana for the better,” Nagamootoo expressed.
RAMJATTAN VS TROTMAN
As a result of Nagamootoo’s decision, he leaves behind two of Guyana’s most seasoned attorneys-at-law to battle it out for the leadership position of the party tomorrow at its National Conference. The event is set to take place at the Vreed-en-Hoop Primary School, West Bank Demerara, Region Three.
While the current leader, Khemraj Ramjattan, has been nominated again for the post, he will have to go against the party’s co-founder Raphael Trotman for the position.
There will also be the election for a new Chairman. The nominations for this post include Catherine Hughes, Ramjattan and Trotman. The position was previously held by Nigel Hughes.
For the Vice Chairman position, AFC delegates have nominated Valerie Garrido-Lowe, Catherine Hughes, Audwin Rutherford and Trotman.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, was nominated again for the office of the General Secretary. He will have to run against Michael Carrington, Alison Mohamed and Marlon Williams.
Kaieteur News understands that there is keen interest in and competition for the 12 National Executive Committee (NEC) positions which saw a total of 73 nominees.
In addition to the 12 elected members of the NEC, the AFC explained that each Regional Management Committee and overseas chapter, along with the Women For Change and Youth For Change, are entitled to send a representative to the NEC meetings. Also, the NEC can co-opt up to five members if the need arises for additional representation in particular areas.
The National Conference will also consider over a dozen Motions and Resolutions on a wide array of matters. The submitted Motions and Resolutions are currently being reviewed by a Special Committee set up by the party’s Management Committee.
Since the announcement by Ramjattan that he has intentions of running for the leadership position for a third time, there have been concerns as to whether the AFC’s Constitution permits this.
While some within the party believe that Ramjattan, who also serves as the Minister of Public Security, is allowed to do so, there are others who feel otherwise.
One such person is Raphael Trotman. He is of the belief that the leadership of the party should be rotated.
Trotman reminded that the AFC’s Constitution says, “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.”
With this in mind, the AFC Executive Member commented, “The Constitution says ought to rotate and I believe that we should, unless there is some extraordinary situation. The delegates will of course, have a right to choose. But I believe that we should try to adhere to the constitution unless the delegates feel otherwise…I believe that it is something the delegates would have to make a decision on.”
Trotman continued, “So definitely, it does not say ‘shall’ like the Constitution, but I believe the intention of the framers of the AFC constitution— and I was certainly one of them— was to ensure that there was movement. And we should do our best to ensure that we honour the spirit of the (AFC) Constitution…I believe that this is something the delegates would have to ponder and make a decision on.”
The Minister of Natural Resources reiterated that while the AFC’s Constitution does not make it “absolute” that the position of leadership be rotated, he firmly believes that “the spirit and intent” of the phrase ‘ought to rotate’ was to ensure there was “a constant flow.”
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