AFC’s Ramjattan doubts mining syndicate protests part of campaign to undercut Raphael Trotman

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 August 2017, 14:09 by Denis Chabrol

Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman

Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan on Thursday dismissed suggestions that the People’s National Congress Reform-dominated A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has been orchestrating protests against his party leader, Raphael Trotman.

“I do not at this stage have any evidence that it is something being arranged by APNU against an AFC minister…I am absolutely unaware of that

For the past several weeks, small miners associated with the syndicates have been crying out that Trotman, who is the Minister of Natural Resources, has not been doing enough to facilitate small-scale gold mining syndicates.

Ramjattan made known his position one day after a group of small miners took their grievance outside the office of Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams’s office on Carmichael Street. “I do not believe that there is anything untoward about the relationship and people are going to be there trying to cut the ground of our Natural Resources Minister who is the AFC Leader, absolutely not,” he said.

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan

The AFC leader said it is the right of the miners and other aggrieved persons to protest. “It is but a fortifying of our democracy and when people say that we are dictatorship and we are authoritarianistic, it just proves the point that they are wrong about it,” he said.

The small miners charged that Trotman has been ignoring their calls for redress and that he appeared more preoccupied with the oil sector. Responding to their concerns, Williams – who is General Secretary of the People’s National Congress Reform, said their concerns could not have been handled in that  manner and they should organise to meet him inside his office.

He further remarked that Trotman was busy with the oil and gas sector.

Trotman has in the past brushed aside suggestions that his vying and subsequent ascension to the leadership of the AFC could very well pave the way for him to be groomed as the next presidential candidate for the APNU+AFC coalition.

It was President David Granger who handpicked Trotman for ministerial office that has seen him holding key positions of governance and later the natural resources sector.