Donald Ramotar

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Donald Ramotar
Donald Ramotar.png
President of Guyana
In office
3 December 2011 – 16 May 2015
Prime Minister Sam Hinds
Preceded by Bharrat Jagdeo
Succeeded by David Granger
Personal details
Born (1950-10-22) 22 October 1950 (age 64)
Caria Caria, Guyana
Political party People's Progressive Party
Spouse(s) Deolatchmee Ramotar
Alma mater University of Guyana

Donald Rabindranauth Ramotar (born 22 October 1950[1]) is a Guyanese politician who was President of Guyana from 2011 to 2015. He has been the General Secretary of the People's Progressive Party (PPP) since 1997.

Political career[edit]

Ramotar joined the PPP in 1967 and was first elected to the PPP Central Committee in 1979; he joined the PPP Executive Committee in 1983. He received a certificate from the Government Technical Institute (GTI) in welding. From 1988 to 1993, he was International Secretary of the Guyana Agricultural Workers' Union. In the 1992 election, in which the PPP under Cheddi Jagan won power for first time in decades, Ramotar was elected to the National Assembly of Guyana; he was continuously re-elected thereafter. He was designated as the PPP's Executive Secretary in 1993.[2] Following Jagan's death in March 1997, Ramotar was unanimously elected to succeed him as the PPP's General Secretary on March 29, 1997.[3]

At the PPP's 29th Congress, he was re-elected to its Central Committee on August 2, 2008, receiving the fourth-highest number of votes (637).[4][5] Following the Congress, he was re-elected by the Central Committee as General Secretary on August 12, 2008, without opposition;[5][6] he was also elected to the editorial board of the PPP paper Thunder on this occasion.[6]

On 4 April 2011, the PPP Central Committee chose Ramotar as the party's presidential candidate for the November 2011 election. The decision was unanimous; the other candidates withdrew and thereby obviated the need for a vote by secret ballot.[7] The government announced on 28 April 2011 that Ramotar had been appointed to the post of Political Adviser to President Bharrat Jagdeo; previously Ramotar had held no official position in the administration. The opposition criticized the appointment; it argued that the government was merely reacting to criticism that it effectively sponsored Ramotar's candidacy by including him on official trips, and therefore, was giving him an official job in order to legitimize the situation. The government argued that Ramotar's inclusion on official trips was acceptable because the government was implementing the policies of the ruling party, led by Ramotar.[8]

The election was held on 28 November 2011, and he was declared the winner when results were announced on 1 December. However, the PPP fell one seat short of a parliamentary majority, winning 32 out of 65 seats, meaning that Ramotar would serve as President while two opposition parties would together hold a majority of seats in the National Assembly.[2][9] Ramotar expressed disappointment with his party's failure to win a majority, but he said that "the electorate has spoken and we have to work with what we have".[9] He was sworn in as President on 3 December 2011.[10]

Donald Ramotar and the PPP lost the 11 May 2015 general election to the opposition APNUAFC coalition lead by David A. Granger, which won by a slim margin.[11] President Ramotar left office on 16 May 2015, when Granger was sworn in.[12]

He was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, which translates as the "Indian Diaspora Award", by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi at the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas of January 2015 held in Gandhinagar, India.[13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Bharrat Jagdeo
President of Guyana
2011–2015
Succeeded by
David Granger