Apr 06, 2011 News
Donald Ramotar, who will lead the ruling party’s re-election bid this year, has insisted that if elected he will not govern in the shadow of outgoing President Bharrat Jagdeo, who the party would have asked to run again if the constitutional did not bar him.
At least two of those who were contesting the presidential nomination had accused President Jagdeo of “sponsoring” Ramotar, taking him on overseas and local engagements.
Asked about allegations that he will not really be calling the shots if elected, Ramotar referred back to the same comments that were made against Jagdeo when he acceded to the presidency after ill-health forced Janet Jagan to resign.
“When Jagdeo came to government they were saying he was Janet’s boy, he was a Freedom House boy, he was my boy, and that he wouldn’t be pulling his own strings,” Ramotar said in an interview yesterday.
Political watchers say that Jagdeo could be pulling the strings if Ramotar gets into office, given the projects Jagdeo has personally been involved in such as the Low Carbon Development Strategy, the One Laptop Per Family Project, Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project and the laying of a fibre-optic cable from Brazil.
Ramotar seems not bothered by those who think he is not up to the task ahead. On the environmental front, PPP sources say Ramotar was the first in the party to ever write extensively about the global environmental challenge and in fact President Cheddi Jagan, as party leader, would refer any matters on the environment to him.
In 1989, Ramotar pointed to the industrialized nations as those to blame for the grave damage done to the environment. He said Guyana could not cope with the complex and costly undertaking of protecting the environment while ensuring the rational use of natural resources. These are the issues which the current Low Carbon Development Strategy seeks to address.
Ramotar said his decision to seek his party’s nomination to be its presidential candidate was made after careful thought and he indicated his ability to do the job, as would have been the case with the others who sought the nomination.
If the constitution did not bar someone from running for re-election more than two terms, Jagdeo would have been favoured to run again, Ramotar indicated.
“If we didn’t have that clause, we would not have had an issue; I don’t think anyone would have opposed Jagdeo, who is enormously popular in our country,” he said.
Ramotar said he was egged on by party faithful, both at the grassroots level to seek the nomination, and he accepted the nod with humility.
Ramotar, along with Ralph Ramkarran, Gail Teixeira, Clement Rohee and Moses Nagamootoo engaged in a bitter contest for the nomination.
Ramkarran, the Speaker of the National Assembly, was the first in the party’s history to take out an advertisement in the newspaper announcing his intentions. He had pressed for a secret ballot to select the candidate given that there was more than one contender.
President Jagdeo was not in favour of a secret ballot, saying that this “could be dangerous as candidate hopefuls could promise persons things in order to get their votes.” Ramkarran and other members of the Central Committee had taken offence at Jagdeo’s statement.
Using Facebook, Ramkarran asked whether he was being accused of potential dishonesty and if those on the Central Committee were being accused of being potential bribe takers. Navin Chandarpal, who was fired by the President as Advisor on the Environment, has spoken out against the President’s comments and he got into a public tussle with the Head of State.
Nagamootoo had earlier said the process to select the candidate was flawed and withdrew early. On Monday, when the party hierarchy met to make a decision, they agreed to a secret ballot. But Rohee and Teixeira withdrew and put their support behind Ramotar, after which Ramkarran did the same.
“I am very proud of the party that in the end it closed ranks and it was a unanimous decision,” Ramotar said yesterday, confident that he can lead the party to victory at the upcoming polls.
He said Ramkarran, Teixeira or Rohee would have made excellent presidents as they are “strong, bright, capable, and dedicated people.”
In the process leading up to the selection, Ramotar said he recognized “convergence” in the thinking of all the candidates.
“I want to thank them for their support; we in the PPP are very fortunate to have such talented people,” Ramotar said, counting on their support to lead the party to victory.
“I think we have a very strong record that we can stand on; I think that many of the plans we had we have fulfilled them.
“We can go to the people of this country with our heads held high that we have fulfilled our manifesto promises,” Ramotar added.
He said many of the projects now in the pipeline are very important projects that could transform the country in a very profound way and could see the PPP to victory.
Ramotar said the PPP has been careful to spread development projects across all regions, and hence he said the policies pursued by the government were “fair.”
Ramotar’s nomination will have to be solidified by county conferences this weekend, after which the process could begin in earnest to seek a Prime Ministerial candidate.
Dec 01, 2020Rain and Walk overs mars latest round W/Dem Masters win Kaieteur News – The adverse weather and a couple of Walk-overs marred the latest round of the GCB/Tropical Spring 0-40 T20 cricket...
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – Human rights and constitutional violations in Haiti have been ignored for too... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]