‘I am not a dinosaur to remain forever’ – Nagamootoo
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo Saturday afternoon said he will abide by whatever decision his party, the AFC, makes, declaring that the party is a mature one “where one person doesn’t hold power forever.”
The party, by way of motion, did not favour Nagamootoo’s return as Prime Minister for the next general elections; instead, it chose the current Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, who helped set up the party 14 years ago.
“I am not here as a dinosaur, or an old boat dropping my anchor and remain there forever,” Mr Nagamootoo stated, acknowledging that he knew that he would have to pass on the baton and help build a new generation of leaders.
“This is a party decision and I have to abide by what the decision is,” he added.
“We’ve had situations in this country where there were leaders for life and now the AFC has shown it is moving away from that tradition,” Mr Nagamootoo declared.
Mr Nagamootoo left before the party’s National Conference, by show of hands, supported Ramjattan.
Mr Nagamootoo said he left early because he did not want to influence the process. Ramjattan said Nagamootoo left because the place was getting too “warm” for him. According to Ramjattan, he was given a hug by the Prime Minister before he left.
Mr Nagamootoo said he did not believe a decision on the Prime Ministerial candidate was ideal at this time give that the conference was being held on the eve of a decision by the Caribbean Court of Justice on the December 21 No Confidence motion. If the Court rules that the motion was properly passed, it could then order early elections.
He said the optics of the selection of a Prime Ministerial candidate would suggest that the Government would lose the CCJ case, and for him, that amounts to bad public relations.
But he hailed the party’s maturity in holding its conference, saying that it was “a significantly successful event.”
He noted that with the election of Ramjattan as party leader and Raphael Trotman as Chairman, the party has re-organised and re-grouped and has gone back to its original leaders.
He said this did not suggest recycling of party leaders. He said that the party is still in its formative years “and the founder of the Party are the ones who came with the original ideas and the original desire to effect change.”
He said that the AFC has demonstrated that it is as good as any other party in terms of its age and its capacity to organize and mobilise.