Does Donald Ramotar possess the courage and self-confidence to go to war with the Jagdeoites?
Recent decisions by the Ramotar administration strongly suggest the President is not in control of the decision-making process of his government and confirm that he lacks the depth and fearlessness to make decisions that benefit the country and his party.
Donald Ramotar is controlled by the Jagdeoites surrounding him. He cannot escape from their clutches because he lacks the boldness to do so and because he is not confident of his abilities to make decisions independent of this bunch.
The decision to challenge the paramountcy of Parliament on the constitution of its committees and the current decision to appeal the Chief Justice’s ruling that Parliament makes its own rules clearly expose Donald Ramotar.
Cheddi and Janet Jagan, Forbes Burnham and Desmond Hoyte would have never made a fool of themselves with such a challenge to begin with. Anil Nandlall would have been chased out of their offices if he proposed such a ludicrous tactic. In fact, Nandlall would never have been selected as Attorney General under a Jagan, Hoyte or Burnham government and he is proving exactly why with his recent court challenges, which amount to clutching at straws and throwing things at a wall hoping something would stick. Cheddi, Janet, Desmond and Forbes would have put a stop to this nonsense even before it started.
Because these individuals were brilliant minds and thinkers, albeit ideologically trapped, they feared intellectual embarrassment. Only leaders like Jagdeo and Ramotar would ever think it fit to challenge the paramountcy of Parliament in this fashion. It gets even more ridiculous now with the decision to challenge Parliament’s budget cuts in court. How dumb is this move after the same court just a few weeks ago stated Parliament has the right to govern its own affairs?
All these challenges are doing is confirming the paramountcy of Parliament, heaping shame upon the PPP and proving the opposition was right. Even worse, an external court, in the Caribbean Court of Justice, could actually enlarge the Chief Justice’s decision to grant Parliament even more powers as a firm and final rebuke to the PPP’s stupid challenges.
Donald Ramotar came to the presidency as a personally decent and likeable man. Cheddi and Janet Jagan never saw Ramotar as leadership material and his performance as President signals why. Jagdeo’s minions overwhelmingly influence Ramotar.
Minority governments facing opposition-controlled Parliaments need tactful, diplomatic, quick-thinking, intellectually agile Presidents with strategic savvy and charisma because those governments must constantly seek to convert their minority into a majority.
If faced with the results of the last election in Ramotar’s shoes, the Jagans, Burnham and Hoyte would have made radical changes, because in their academic prowess and political acumen they knew that to repeat the same cycle by putting the same charlatans in the same positions would lead to further rejection.
Ramotar, prodded by Jagdeo, went in the opposite direction. The result is that the PPP has gone quiet as a church mouse with the snap election talk because their internal polling is showing bigger losses for the PPP in any such event. Because Donald Ramotar lacked the courage to change direction, the PPP is bleeding and it is now afraid of calling an election and losing even more votes than 2011.
The President does not possess and formulate the grand ideas for this nation. The Jagans, Burnham and Hoyte formed those ideas and then got their advisors and policymakers to broaden them. Instead, it is the other way around for Ramotar who is handed all the visions for this country by Jagdeoites. He then rubber stamps them.
Donald Ramotar is an affable and personally decent man, but he is too deeply dependent on others who happen to be corrupt, incompetent, reckless and dunce to make vital decisions of state. With an opposition shaming the minority government at every turn, the presidency must be handled with greater autonomy by the president himself. Becoming too reliant and dependent on others to make decisions which turn out to be disastrous for government is dangerous.
To make matters worse, I see minority government in Guyana’s future for a long time. This is why intellectual strength combined with integrity is a vital trait for anyone who wants to hold the presidency. The people will brand you a puppet if you show no independence of mind.
A mentally independent leader is difficult to mislead. He is able to examine the same information as others and arrive at his own conclusions. It is a tightrope out there now politically, and any leader has to possess the cerebral ability to be acrobatic enough to adapt. To date, Donald Ramotar has proven he is not that man. As long as he remains under Jagdeo’s shadow, he will never be that man.
The question is does Donald Ramotar possess the courage, intellectual bravery and self-confidence to go to war with the Jagdeoites to gain his independence and to save the PPP and the country?