AFC Feels Confident Supporters’ Trust “Has Not Been Displaced”
The Alliance For Change (AFC) has renewed its commitment to the coalition as it hosts it 5th Biennal National Congress at the Vreed-en-hoop Primary School on the West Bank of Demerara. This is the party’s first congress since assuming Government with its coalition partners in 2015.
The party remains strong with the support of its members as was stated by Prime Minister and then Vice Chair of the Party, Moses Nagamootoo who told the gathering that he feels “very confident” that the trust of the party’s supporters “has not been displaced” and the faith they have in the party “have not been destroyed.”
Nagamootoo is not contesting the elections on the basis that he wants “the party to…bring on board the young generation of fighters, the so-called “Second Eleven” as we gear for 2020.” However, he once again committed to remaining vibrant in the party.
General Secretary of the Party, David Patterson also urged that within the construct and recruitment of members, there must be a space for the youths since they are the largest voting demographic and the future. As such, he said youths will be given a greater role in the party.
“Any party that either ignore or play lip service to this demographic (youth) is surely committing political suicide,” Patterson said.
Both the Prime Minister and Leader of the Party, Khemraj Ramjattan called for unity within the party as the only way to move forward.
Nagamootoo noted that the party should reflect a multicultural society while Ramjattan told the gathering that “Jealousness and pettiness there will always be, especially coming from the lesser minds, but the party must seek to avoid that which will jeopardise the coalition’s existence to the detriment of the Cummingsburg accord or to the benefit of Jagdeo and the PPP.”
The AFC is also pleased with its performance in Government since 2015.
In Government, the AFC Ministers hold responsibility for some big Ministries namely; Agriculture- Noel Holder, Business and Tourism- Dominic Gaskin, Telecommunications- Cathy Hughes, Public Infrastructure- David Patterson, Public Security- Khemraj Ramjattan and Natural Resources- Raphael Trotman.
On Saturday, Nagamootoo noted that “we have been assigned some of the more challenging ministries and though we have slip ups here and there, I can say when I put my hat on, as the Prime Minister and I co-chair the business session cabinet, that our ministers have delivered under difficult and challenging circumstances.”
He alluded to the security sector, holding fast to statistics released by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) which stated that Crime rate is continuously reducing.
“We must one day be able to boast of a country of a crime…Even though they say statistics do not tell the full truth, we know that Crime has been on the decline. We have changed Guyana under the leadership of Khemraj Ramjattan, the Vice President in charge for Public security.We have also brought about changes, not only in terms of statistics but we have changed the image of criminology in Guyana.We don’t have summary executions in the street, we don’t have the drug lords running around like if they are policemen, we don’t have the phantom squad, the death squad, we have changed Guyana,” he said.
Ramjattan said “we have had macro-economic stability I this country..with oil, we will make this country one of the richest in the world and we have done fantastically in our gold sector.” He said however that persons need to appreciate these strides made.
“These strengths will ensure our identity as a party in our striving successful coalition” he added.
On the topic of strengths, he outlined that the AFC”s strength also includes speaking out on issues it feels strongly about; one such issue being the separation of powers. In 2016, the party would have released a statement calling for the stripping of powers from Minister of State, Joseph Harmon from the APNU faction of the coalition. This subsequently saw the resignation of the AFC Chair, Nigel Hughes.
The party also once again expressed its support for a code of conduct for Ministers of Government.
The Alliance For Change today (Saturday, January 28, 2017) is hosting its 5th Biennal National Conference at the Vreed-en-hoop Primary School. The Conference during which the party’s elections will be held, is being hosted under the theme “In Unity; improving Governance; Focused on the vision”
Following the Conference, the party will recommence negotiations to lead a pro-Democracy Alliance of progressive forces including even disaffected PPP leaders and members, not excluding APNU, Ramjattan told the members.
“We will begin a series of engagements with organizations and will continue these apace, and in earnest, as we build a movement of the willing that is grounded in a shared vision of immediate wholesome changes for Guyana, and that is established on an agreed program of constitutional, governance, economic and social reforms” he said.
Patterson took the opportunity during his speech to affirm that the party is well alive. His comment came in relation to critics that the party is dying within the coalition.
It is expected that the conference will analyse the party’s role in Government and its effectiveness in the political sphere as it paves the way forward.