|President of Guyana|
3 December 2011 – 16 May 2015
|Prime Minister||Sam Hinds|
|Preceded by||Bharrat Jagdeo|
|Succeeded by||David Granger|
22 October 1950 |
Caria Caria, Guyana
|Political party||People's Progressive Party|
|Alma mater||University of Guyana|
Donald Rabindranauth Ramotar (born 22 October 1950) is a Guyanese politician who was President of Guyana from 2011 to 2015. He was also the General Secretary of the People's Progressive Party (PPP) from 1997 to 2013.
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. Following Jagan's death in March 1997, Ramotar was unanimously elected to succeed him as the PPP's General Secretary on March 29, 1997.
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). Following the Congress, he was re-elected by the Central Committee as General Secretary on August 12, 2008, without opposition; he was also elected to the editorial board of the PPP paper Thunder on this occasion.
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. 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.
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. 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". He was sworn in as President on 3 December 2011.
During his first two years as President, Ramotar remained in his post as General Secretary of the PPP, but eventually he stepped aside from the party leadership, citing the heavy workload. The PPP Central Committee elected Clement Rohee to succeed Ramotar as General Secretary on 19 August 2013; Ramotar nominated Rohee for the post.
Donald Ramotar and the PPP lost the 11 May 2015 general election to the opposition APNU – AFC coalition led by David A. Granger, which won by a slim margin. President Ramotar left office on 16 May 2015, when Granger was sworn in. Ramotar was not included in the list of the PPP's 32 MPs in July 2015.
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.
- "Ramotar gets unanimous selection as PPP Presidential Candidate", Kaieteur News, 5 April 2011.
- Kwesi Isles, "PPP/C's Ramotar declared Guyana's new president", Demerara Waves, 1 December 2011. Archived December 3, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- "History of PPP", PPP website.
- Press release on Central Committee election, August 3, 2008.
- "Donald Ramotar re-elected General Secretary of PPP", Guyana Times, August 13, 2008.
- "PPP General Secretary, Executive Committee elected", PPP press statement, August 12, 2008.
- "Presidential favourite Donald Ramotar wins candidacy to lead the PPP/C in the 2011 elections", The Guyana Press, 4 April 2011.
- "Ramotar's presidential advisor appointment is back-door campaign financing - opposition", Demerara Waves, 28 April 2011.
- Denis Chabrol, "Ethnic Indian candidate wins presidency in Guyana", Agence France-Presse, 1 December 2011.
- "Ramotar sworn in as seventh Executive President", Stabroek News, 3 December 2011.
- "Clement Rohee elected as new General Secretary of PPP", INEWS Guyana, 19 August 2013.
- "Ex-general David Granger wins Guyana election", BBC News, 15 May 2015.
- "Granger sworn in as President", Newsnow Guyana, 16 May 2015.
- "Jagdeo on PPP/C Parliament list", Stabroek News, 7 July 2015.
- "President Ramotar to receive Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award". Guyana Times. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
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