Multiple contestants for PM slot counterproductive – Trotman
…implicitly criticises Ramjattan’s bid
Leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC), Raphael Trotman, believes that having multiple persons vying for the position of Prime Ministerial Candidate would not serve in the interest of Government.
In an interview with Guyana Times on Sunday, Trotman revealed that he would not be contesting for this position in his party’s upcoming national conference slated for next month.
“For the record, we have an incumbent Prime Minister and at least one person expressing interest in the same position. I don’t believe that it would serve the coalition’s interest if there were multiple aspirants for what is essentially one position,” he stated.
In February last, Trotman publicly threw his support behind Nagamootoo becoming the AFC’s PM candidate at the next elections. He explained that the replacement of the present PM would be seen as an acceptance by the Government that it has failed, and that the Opposition’s “no-confidence” motion against the administration was justified.
“The no-confidence motion was a direct challenge on the Granger/Nagamootoo leadership. In my view, if we were to jump to replace either gentleman in an emotive way, we would be openly conceding that the motion and vote were justified and valid,” Trotman had told the media at that time.
The AFC Leader had reaffirmed his confidence in the David Granger/Moses Nagamootoo leadership to guide the Coalition Government in the period ahead.
Although other members of the AFC’s leadership have stated that it is unlikely that Nagamootoo would be proposed as the Prime Ministerial Candidate again, Trotman believes that Nagamootoo should remain where he is, as there is no other candidate to attract more votes than he can.
“The AFC has not put forward an alternative name to Moses, and right now I am not sure if anyone feels that he or she can do a better job by winning more votes nationally and has national acceptability. It is important to not only bear the ethnic factor in mind, but also to ensure that all groups feel a sense of comfort in the candidate, whether they vote for him or her or not,” he had added.
However, less than two weeks ago, Chairman of the AFC, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, confirmed to the media that he would be challenging his colleague for the post of Prime Minister at the conference next month.
According to the Public Security Minister, if elected, he is “up to the task”. He explained that the selection of leadership in the AFC is based on democratic principles, which are nothing new to political parties locally and internationally.
“I have already indicated my interest. There are others, I am certain, who will indicate their interest; and so it is going to be interesting. And it is good to have, instead of political parties, the regular rivalry between leaders that you would have in the democracies… So, yes, we will be looking forward for it, and that will be decided there at the national conference,” Ramjattan had explained.
Minister Ramjattan noted that the electoral process at the upcoming conference would be the deciding factor as to who would be running as the Prime Ministerial Candidate at the next General and Regional Elections.
“The Prime Ministerial Candidate is generally made at the National Conference. And I rather suspect that (at) our next national conference there will be a recommendation as to who will be the PM. The conference will be held sometime in mid-June,” Ramjattan had declared.
Earlier, in January, President Granger was endorsed by his party, the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R), to run for a second term as President.
In fact, the PNC/R – the largest party in the five-party A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – officially threw its support behind its leader via a letter from General Secretary Amna Ally.
In accordance with the 2015 ‘deal’ in the form of a Cummingsburg Accord between the two parties, AFC will have the Prime Ministerial position while the Presidential post goes to APNU.