President Ramotar’s recent pronouncements is a serious indictment of his leadership
Every Guyanese must be alarmed at two recent pronouncements by President Donald Ramotar; the first of these is Ramotar’s announcement that he has asked his predecessor, former President Bharrat Jagdeo, for help in managing things at Office of the President.
When I read this news item my gut reaction was; oh only in Guyana! Where else could a person who have just been elected president of a country mere six month ago seems to openly confesses his inability to lead the people who just voted for him, and still expects the people to have confidence in his leadership. Why should he stay in office if he needs propping up?
Every voter must be concerned with this ‘Ramotarism’, the Ramotar definition of how to govern a nation. We should be asking for how long is Mr. Jagdeo expected to serve as Ramotar’s chief helper, and whether the role of this immediate president as ‘helper in chief’ is not sufficient to conclude that Ramotar’s government, will in fact be Jagdeo’s government?
Further, wouldn’t it also be fair to conclude that this announcement by Ramotar amounts to a big smack in the face of the people who could not wait for Jagdeo’s departure? This entire situation is a cause for much concern and demands a complete examination to determine whether Guyanese voted for ‘pig in the bag’; did the PPP/C deceived the people into voting for Ramotar, as a front, to make Jagdeo the de facto president?
This revelation is very disturbing to say the least. Mere weeks into Ramotar’s presidency Jagdeo attended an official internal summit on behalf of Ramotar. When questions were asked Ramotar intimated that Jagdeo was attending in his personal capacity but also to represent Guyana.
Today, we are told by President Ramotar that Mr. Jagdeo is operating at Office of the President because he asked him to be there and because he wants his help. The big question is; was Ramotar ready to lead Guyana on day one? Or was the decision for Ramotar to be the PPP/C presidential candidate an arrangement to hoodwink the people and make Jagdeo’s third term a reality?
Something smells fishy here; imagine President Obama announcing to the American people that he asked Bill Clinton to help him and for the former president to be at the White House to guide him daily. The American people will be calling for Obama’s immediate removal. I am not saying that help cannot be sought but for a president to announce that he has called out, so soon in his term, immediate past president to help on serious matters of policy this state of affairs calls into question the elected president’s ability to lead.
It also exhibits Ramotar’s lack of that kind of political finest most demanding of leaders amongst us.
The second issue I wish to raise and for which the people should be equally outraged is President Ramotar’s announcement that he will not assent to bills passed by the parliamentary opposition. This comment is unfortunate, exposes a deficit in the area of leadership and diplomacy and projects a confrontational and backward posture of the Ramotar/ Jagdeo administration.
It is situations like the ones which now obtains in the parliament that true leaders shine and demonstrates positive leadership. However, Ramotar’s comments indicates a man with an irrational temperament, who lacks focus, and appears to be oblivious to the fact that striking a conciliatory or compromising tone and projecting a more positive image is critical to the role of leaders in this unique situation, of a parliamentary opposition majority.
Further, Mr. Ramotar seems to have no concern for the effects of his decision or actions; he must know that his actions can result in a major political crisis, as his decision is likely to stall the legislative agenda of the people.
Clearly, but rather unfortunate, Ramotar has decided to lead in the direction of his party rather than the direction of the people, who make up the parliamentary majority. So the big issue in this posture; is whether democracy has come to mean that the PPP/C’s interest is paramount to the interest people of Guyana.
I guess Jagdeo has advised Ramotar that this should be their collective approach, or is it a ‘bully tactic’ to respond to budget cuts! There is no doubt that Ramotar’s confirmation that former President Jagdeo is operating out of the office of the president at his behest, and because he wants his help, apparently in leading the nation, is a highly worrisome reality.
At worst the PPP/C should have been honest to Guyanese and tell them voting for Ramotar was in fact aiding a continuation of ‘Jagdeoism’, at least the party and Ramotar should have been honest with the Guyanese people, but now we know ‘mouth open story jump out’.
The people have heard from ‘the horses mouth’!