The National Executive Congress (NEC) is the AFC’s top decision-making body that elects the Leader, Chairperson, and Vice Chairperson in particular. At the party’s National Conference and Elections held in June at St. Paul’s Retreat Centre, ECD, party Leader Khemraj Ramjattan won the vote for the Prime Ministerial candidate by a landslide.
Thereafter, the AFC and its Governmental partner APNU, by mutual consent, agreed to revamp the Cummingsburg Accord which cemented the Coalition government that this nation has been benefitting from since 2015.
Thus far, the negotiating teams have agreed to the core principles and the crucial elements are still being refined. The two teams have exchanged proposals for various amendments to the Accord, and it is mutually agreed that the new Accord must be in accordance with the Constitution of Guyana.
Our Presidential Candidate
Khemraj Ramjattan was born on October 12, 1960 at Number 48 Village, Corentyne, East Berbice. He is an eminent Attorney-at-Law, a fearless and objective Politician, and a former volunteer youth organizer. He is almost never hesitant about speaking his mind and offering valuable inputs into developments that come under his purview.
He is a graduate of the Hugh Wooding Law School where he acquired his exceptional skills as an Attorney-at-Law. His advocacy in many high profile Human Rights Cases has given him prominence and stature in Guyana’s legal fraternity and as a Politician, he comes into contact with people from all walks of life, whether they are Guyanese or not, whether they are from his groundswell of support in the grassroots or in the upper echelons of society and the Diplomatic Corps. He is a fierce fighter for people’s rights, for human rights, and he makes no excuses for that ferocity.
This same approach has girded the programme he put in place in 2015 to whip the Guyana Police Force into better shape. We say ‘better’ because he would be the first to say that the Guyana Police Force which was put in his charge needed revamping, and that the relationship with the citizenry was at its worst in Guyana’s history. The GPF needed to be reshaped, based on the traditional mantra for protection and service.
For this Minister who is responsible for the nation’s safety and security, the transformation of Policing must be executed in step with the laws of the land; in conformity with international best practice; and capable of managing the influx of migrants from neighbouring countries and foreign investors and workers in our new oil and gas industries.
His Police Force which is spread throughout the length and breadth of Guyana, through the hinterland, in gold mining, farming and forested districts, must be properly equipped with the necessary people skills, updated equipment, and knowledge of the law.
This is the bedrock of the intense training programme, the new knowledge culture that is being cultivated at Eve Leary.
To the people who know him intimately, he is fondly known as Prakash. He was born into a humble family on the Corentyne, Berbice, and he later married the beautiful Sita. Together they have two sons, Divesh and Vikash.
His introduction to politics was through the youth arm of the People’s Progressive Party and he ascended the ranks to become its leader before moving on to membership of that Party’s Central Executive Committee. But he was not to last in that environment.
His independent mien, his probing mind and true commitment to democracy at all levels did not accept the not-to-be-questioned dictates of the PPP’s Marxist/communist politburo. As such, he collided frequently with the old dogmatists in the Central Committee and in the rank and file of the PPP. His vision for a democratic, united Guyana that has no place for racism, one that welcomes the opinions of all party members, rubbed them the wrong way and created conflicts with the leader who considered himself too powerful to be questioned.
Inevitably he was evicted, just when he was preparing to walk away. Fortunately, he came into contact with persons from other political parties who shared his vision for a unity Guyana and the ways to get there. Among those people were his compadres Raphael Trotman and the now late Sheila Holder. Together with others of the ilk of Nigel and Cathy Hughes, David Patterson and Michael Carrington, they formed a new movement called the Alliance for Change in 2005.
Along the way, as an Attorney, he served as State Counsel in the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (1984–1988), and President of the Guyana Bar Association (2003–2005). His advocacy in many high profile Human Rights Cases has given him prominence and stature in Guyana’s Legal Fraternity.
He was a Member of Parliament since October 1992, serving on the Public Accounts and other Parliamentary Committees.
From his years in the PYO to today as Vice President and Minister of Public Security, he has fearlessly and objectively represented his views on numerous issues, some social, others highly politically sensitive, all in his quest to help develop a country with a secure and well educated population.
Pre-2015, the now Vice President contributed to numerous public discussions and debates on the effects of bad governmental administration, on political interference by the state, and on best practices in the legal profession, among other topics. He successfully participated in the British Council’s Young Lawyers Commonwealth Scholarship Programme in 1992 at the University of London, and had served as Editor of the Guyana Bar Review.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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