AFC stays with Ramjattan and APNU but demands secure agreement, greater influence
Khemraj Ramjattan was returned as leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC) on Saturday as the party held what it described as its “most consequential” National Conference.
Along with the elections for leadership, the Party has decided to remain in the APNU+AFC coalition but it has new demands for a secure agreement and greater influence on policy positions and political action within the coalition.
The party has charged the leadership with ensuring its independence is maintained amid efforts to rebrand and regain its identity.
Ramjattan will have to lead that charge as he is expected to meet with Leader of the Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Aubrey Norton, having trumped David Patterson to be returned as Leader of the AFC.
In that meeting, Ramjattan and the new AFC team will approach the leadership of APNU seeking a revised political alliance, whether coalition or Parliamentary cooperation.
Meanwhile, Catherine Hughes was elected to the post of Party Chairman. She was up against Sherod Duncan and Juretha Fernandes for the post.
Ricky Ramsaroop was elected as Vice Chairman of the party, beating Valerie Garrido-Lowe, Devin Sears, Juretha Fernandes and Sherod Duncan.
Duncan was elected as the Party’s General Secretary over Neilson McKenzie, Juretha Fernandes and Michael Carrington.
The AFC said that while political elections of this nature may sometimes engender bitter divisiveness and rancor, it is most fortunate and proud to boast that even though the campaigns were waged with fierce competitiveness, they were conducted in a dignified, respectful and professional manner.
The National Conference was held at the Reveled Word Christian Center in William Street, Kitty, Georgetown.
More than 50 members were nominated and are vying to sit on the twelve-person AFC governing council – the National Executive Committee.
Several other motions were entertained.
The party has promised a full press statement on the outcome of its national conference and elections.