“If you don’t agree with Ramjattan, he will throw you under the bus” – Canadian Chapter
Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC) – Canadian Chapter, Tameshwar Nauth Lilmohan is accusing the party’s chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan of practicing autocratic leadership by sidelining members who challenge his decisions.
Lilmohan, in comments to the News Room about the perceived fallout between the AFC bodies, admitted that there are “well-intended” people in the Party like David Patterson and Rohan Somar. However, he noted that there are members like Ramjattan who are quick to dispel or undermine persons if their views are not aligned with his.
“The AFC have many good, well-intentioned people, especially, the foot-soldiers. Even, some of the leaders, like Mr. David Patterson and Dr. Rohan Somar, are genuine about their concerns and express them vehemently in internal circles. But, dissention in the Party is bludgeoned into submission to Mr. Ramjattan’s autocracy. He makes irreversible decisions without consultation and then expects everyone to fall in line, if not, you are deemed a rogue,” Lilmohan stated.
Lilmohan further noted that at the first AFC International Convention, held in Canada, the leadership was warned about the inevitable humiliation of AFC if it continues to be marginalized by the PNC’s dominance. But he said Ramjattan and Moses Nagamottoo smothered any criticism and refused to acknowledge the majority’s view that AFC is a “mere poodle of the PNC”.
He recalled that Ramjattan stated at the Convention “in the AFC if you speak your mind you will not be thrown out, as was done in the PPP”. Yet, he lamented that when many like myself, speak our minds, they are deemed as rogue elements.
“This treatment was meted out to over a dozen devoted AFC members. He called Haseef Yusuf a rogue councillor when, as an accountant, he questioned the authenticity of AFC finances. The same measures were dished out to Gerhard Ramsaroop, Gaumattie Singh, Sixtus Edwards, Sasenarine Singh, Veerasammy Ramayya, Euclid Rose, Irwin Abdulla, Laurence Williams and many others,” he outlined.
Lilmohan concluded, “if you don’t agree with Ramjattan, he will throw you under the bus. He demands absolute loyalty and obedience.”
A fallout occurred between AFC-Canada and the leadership in Georgetown following the unilateral appointment of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the role which the AFC played in that decision.
AFC-Canada urged its members in the government to denounce President David Granger’s decision and had pledged to withdraw their support from the Party until several of its concerns with the standing of the political party in the coalition were addressed.
The AFC-Canada Leader noted, however, that the party’s executives never responded to the group’s concerns.
Controversial internal emails of the AFC were then leaked to the media, driving a deeper wedge between the two sides.
The emails show that Ramjattan and AFC Leader, Raphael Trotman advised the Head of State against accepting the nominees submitted by the Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo for the position of the GECOM Chairman.
AFC-Canada was upset with this move especially given that the Party was not consulted before the advice was offered to the President.
According to the emails, the former General Secretary of the AFC and now Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson was also in disagreement with the move and reminded his colleagues that the decision goes against what the AFC stood for.