Former Minister Ali Baksh dies

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Ali Baksh, a former Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture and a political giant of the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on the Essequibo Coast, has died.

Mr Baksh lost a battle with cancer just after noon today, November 23, 2017, at his home.

Former President Donald Ramotar, under whom Mr Baksh served as Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture from 2011-2015, said he was not just a colleague and comrade but a close personal friend.

“He was a very dedicated, intelligent and courageous man whose life struggle spanned the end of colonialism and was a central figure in the fight for the return to democracy,” Ramotar told the News Room in offering condolences to Baksh’s family.

“Barely out of childhood, Ali caught the vision of Cheddi Jagan and joined the struggle against colonialism for independence.

“In the post-independence period, Ali joined the battle for democracy and social progress,” Mr Ramotar said in a statement.

In 1992, with the return of democracy, Mr Baksh became the first democratically elected chairman of Region 2 and “distinguished himself as an able political leader and administrator,” Ramotar stated.

Ali Baksh ended his tenure as Regional Chairman in 2011 when he joined Ramotar’s Cabinet and became a Member of Parliament.

“Under his leadership, Essequibo was transformed from being Cinderella in rags to Cinderella, the Princess,” Ramotar stated.

Mr Baksh was 70 years old.

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