GUYANA: Alliance For Change (AFC) re-elects Ramjattan as Leader

Khemraj Ramjattan

Jun 12, 2022 – Kaieteur News – The third largest political force in Guyana – the Alliance For Change (AFC) – has re-elected its incumbent Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan.

Ramjattan was elected on Saturday at the party’s seventh National Conference, which also named Sherod Duncan as the new General Secretary (GS). Duncan will be replacing former Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson who received no nominations for the other executive positions that were open.

Notably, former Minister of Telecommunications Catherine Hughes has been elected to serve as the Party’s Chair, replacing Raphael Trotman. She defeated Ramjattan, Sherod Duncan and Shadow Finance Minister, Juretha Fernandes.         

Meanwhile, Ricky Ramsaroop will serve as Vice-Chairman of the Party. Also contesting were Valerie Garrido-Lowe, Devin Sears, Catherine Hughes, Juretha Fernandes and Sherod Duncan.

The conference was held at the Revealed Word Christain Centre, William Street, Kitty, Georgetown. The day’s proceedings opened with prayers and went straight into the Leader’s report, General Secretary’s report, discussion on the way forward, motions and most importantly the election of office bearers for the period 2022 to 2024.

Sherod Duncan

The Party said this year’s national conference may arguably be its most consequential.

Among the decisions made was for the Party to remain collated with the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). Duncan on his Facebook page shared: “The Alliance of Change (AFC) today voted to stay in the Coalition when discussing its ‘The Way Forward’ document. Specifically, the 2022 National Conference, voted overwhelmingly on its third option in the document, to “Stay in a revised political alliance with APNU, whether coalition or a parliamentary cooperation agreement, but the AFC must demand and secure a firm agreement and structure for it to have greater influence on policy positions and political action within the alliance, while maintaining its independence and rebranding and regaining its identity. This option will require political maturity and pragmatism on the part of APNU, which may not be forthcoming.”

Meanwhile, the Party’s Leader is reported to have told conference delegates that “We are muddled by all kinds of information; we are given various propositions as to directions and courses to take on issues. We sometimes cannot discern the best choices. Our members and leaders have pressing chores in this hard guava season because as yet the oil monies have not reached us and the soaring cost of living is an existential threat.

Cathy Hughes

So, in being occupied with surviving we may fail to properly investigate issues and get our decisions right. The future of the AFC must not be decided, then, in the absence of such analysis because of this fight for survival. I want to ask for that special effort in each individual member here that we participate in the decision-making processes that this liberal democratic party allows. We will not be exempted from blame and the bad consequences of our non-participation and bad decision making.”

More than 50 members have been nominated and are vying to sit on the 12-person AFC governing council – the National Executive Committee. The Party up to press time did not announce who will serve on this council. Efforts to contact Ramjattan and Patterson proved futile. The new Chair, Cathy Hughes, indicated that the Party was still in a meeting.

Some 285 delegates were slated to participate in the election process, with 50 observers supervising the process from six locations in Guyana, in addition to two overseas. “These delegates represent groups across the 10 regions of Guyana, the Youth For Change (YFC), the Women For Change (WFC) and AFC groups in the Diaspora including the USA, Canada, UK and the Caribbean,” AFC said in a statement.

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