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AFC to support hydro bill if re-tabled


The Alliance For Change said it was favourably considering its support for the Hydro Amendments (the Environmental Bill) if re-tabled. The party has also rejected the resignation of its chairman, Nigel Hughes, who has been caught up in an apparent conflict of interest position with his party and his post as company secretary of the Amaila Falls Hydro Inc (AFHI).


Hughes, in a statement early Tuesday, announced that he had tendered his resignation as chairman of the seven-seat minority opposition party. (See other story on page 3)


However, in a statement late Tuesday afternoon, the AFC said its general secretary, David Patterson informed Hughes of the party’s receipt of his resignation from chairmanship. On behalf of the AFC management committee, the general secretary further advised Hughes that his resignation was not accepted, and that the party continues to repose full and complete confidence in him both as member and chairman.


The party disclosed that Hughes was not a member of the AFC in April 2009 when he commenced professional engagement with AFHI/Sithe Global and officially joined the party in July 2011. Additionally, it said Hughes was elected chairman of the AFC on August 4, 2012. Therefore, the matters of professional engagement with AFHI predated by some time his membership in the party and further his election to the office of chairman.


According to the AFC, Hughes had declared his professional association with Sithe Global as the Amaila Fall Hydropower Project came into national focus and requested of the party that he be recused from the decision-making process at every stage. “The party agreed and Mr Hughes has been so recused,” the release said.


AFC’s position


The AFC added that it remains steadfastly supportive of hydropower projects (or any other alternative energy source options) with the express condition being that the benefits redound to the Guyanese people and the country. “The party’s position in this regard remains unchanged and the party recommits to representing the best interest of Guyanese in this regard.”


It noted that its previously stated position on awaiting the hydropower project due diligence report from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the debt ceiling proposed by the motion (with regard to its sustainability) remains the same.


“The party is favourably considering its support for the Hydro Amendments (the Environmental Bill) if re-tabled. Should the AFC support the bill, government will get a clear passage to have the legislation in place to move ahead…,” the minority opposition party noted.


“The party wishes to assure its members and supporters, both here in Guyana and overseas and all Guyanese, that it employed best practice at all times with regard to the formulation of decisions and the position of the party with regard to AFHI and indeed the party thanks Mr Hughes for his timely and forthright declaration of interest. This allowed the party to act responsibly and judiciously to avoid any potential conflicts.”


 The AFC reiterated that it continues to repose every confidence in Hughes in executing the duties of chairman of the party, a role in which he has acted with the utmost professionalism. “The party views as unfortunate, but is not surprised by efforts designed to malign its image, particularly at such a sensitive time.  The party wishes to commend Mr Hughes for placing the interest of the party and the people of Guyana above his own interests in taking what is a selfless, magnanimous and a most difficult decision to offer his resignation. Mr Hughes’s willingness to act in the public interest and to the detriment of his own political career speaks to his character and his offer of resignation, in the eyes of the party and indeed of all Guyanese, only enhances his stature and reputation as a leader of high principle and morality,” the AFC statement added.



Category/ies:Guyana News, News.
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