The Alliance for Change this afternoon said it has rejected the offer of resignation by its Chairman Nigel Hughes and reposes full confidence in him.
Hughes offered his resignation today following a report in the Kaieteur News that he is the company secretary of the Amaila Falls Hydropower Inc, the company set up to pilot the project. The implication was that in such a position, Hughes could hardly take part in party deliberations on whether to support the controversial Amaila Falls hydropower project and that there was a risk that the party could be swayed by virtue of the position he held with the company.
The press release follows:
General Secretary for the Alliance For Change, Mr. David Patterson today informed Chairman Mr. Nigel Hughes of the Party’s receipt of his offer of resignation from Chairmanship of the party. On behalf of the Management Committee of the Party, the GS further advised Mr. 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 wishes to establish, as a matter of public record and for the benefit of full disclosure to the public the following facts:
1. Mr. Hughes was not a member of the AFC in April 2009 when he commenced professional engagement with Amaila Falls Hydro Inc/Sithe Global.
2. Mr. Hughes officially joined the Party in July 2011.
3. Mr. Hughes was elected Chairman of the Party on August 4th 2012. Therefore the matters of professional engagement with AFHI predated, by some time, Mr. Hughes’ membership to the Party and further his election to the office of Chairman.
4. Mr. Hughes declared his professional association with Sithe Global at the commencement of the Amaila Fall Hydro Power Project coming 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.
5. The AFC remains steadfastly supportive of hydro power 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.
6. The Party’s previously stated position with regard to the due diligence from the IDB (awaiting their report) and the level of 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.
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 Party reiterates that it continues to repose every confidence in Mr. 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.