‘Guyana needs the AFC’ – Cathy Hughes; disappointed at Khan’s ‘inaccurate’ statements

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By Fareeza Haniff

Hundreds of delegates Saturday morning gathered at the St Paul’s Retreat Centre at Vryheid’s Lust, East Coast Demerara for the National Conference and elections of the Alliance For Change (AFC).

The top four positions to be contested are Leader, Chairman, Vice Chairperson and General Secretary, while there will also be elections for 12 seats on the Party’s executive.

Cathy Hughes, David Patterson, Khemraj Ramjattan and incumbent Raphael Trotman have been nominated for the leadership position but of utmost importance and contention is the Prime Ministerial candidacy, currently held by Moses Nagamootoo.

A motion is slated to be discussed at the one-day conference challenging Nagamootoo for the post; it is believed that most delegates are in favour of Ramjattan to be elected the country’s next Prime Ministerial candidate if the Party agrees to another coalition with APNU to contest the upcoming general elections.

Delegates line up to enter the conference.

At the conference Saturday morning, Ramjattan’s supporters were observed distributing flyers of Ramjattan which stated “decisive leadership.”

The flyer listed several reasons why Ramjattan should be the AFC’s next Prime Ministerial Candidate.

Upon arrival at the location, Ramjattan walked through the gates and declined to offer any comments to the media, while Nagamootoo drove in with Police escorts and was greeted by Trotman.

While the meeting is closed to the media, Cathy Hughes told reporters during a brief statement that voting for the positions and the discussion will be done during the latter part of Saturday followed by a news conference.

The flyer listed several reasons why Ramjattan should be the AFC’s next Prime Ministerial Candidate.

“Because we know that more than likely we will be going to an election by 2020, and of course, our national conference is held every two years. So it means…that the next one that is scheduled would be 2021.

“So the AFC as you know according to the Cummingsburg Accord is required to offer the Prime Ministerial Candidate and that why this motion is on the table for us to look at,” Hughes said.

When asked about her nomination as Leader of the AFC, Hughes said she is happy to serve in any position.

“I’ve been part of the AFC for many years since day one. I am willing to serve in any way. I’m not a betting person but I’ve had different positions and I am more than happy to serve, however. I think that Guyana needs the Alliance For Change,” Hughes said.

Cathy Hughes

The internal party politics made its way in the public domain following several allegations by executive member Imran Khan; he claimed that he and his wife have been threatened by a “thug” associated with a senior party official.

When asked about this, Hughes said the statements made by Khan are inaccurate.

“I think it has been blown totally out of proportion. Election time is silly season…we see that all the time.

“I am extremely disappointed because one individual making a totally inaccurate, unnecessary and uncalled statement is not a reflection of the Alliance For Change,” Hughes said.

She believes that the issue could have been dealt with internally.

“It is something I feel could have been dealt with very, very quietly.”

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