May 25, 2015 News
By Abena Rockcliffe
“By 2006 he (Jagdeo) was master of his universe. Soon to publicly insult Mrs. Jagan, he had no opposition within the leadership. Instead of using his political capital to seek a real political solution, he wasted it by devoting his energies to micro managing, manipulating, and dominating and, since early 2008, ensuring post-presidential authority and control by engineering the presidential candidacy of Donald Ramotar.”
Former People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) stalwart, Ralph Ramkarran has chronicled what he calls “the fall of PPP” while naming former President Bharrat Jagdeo responsible for the defeat which the Party still cannot come to grips with.
Ramkarran noted this in his most recent publication posted on his website.
The former stalwart said that the PPP’s boast has always been that it never lost elections. He recalled that while PPP gained the highest votes in 1964, the People’s National Congress was invited to form the government, which it did in coalition with the United Force.
Ramkarran noted that it was then the slogan of ‘cheated not defeated’ came about and said that the slogan is once again rearing its head.
“The claim that it lost as a result of fraud allows it to maintain the delusion, for the benefit of its supporters, that it has never lost elections. This also serves to protect its leaders and policies from critical analysis and corrective action and revive its historic claims to victimization,” said Ramkarran.
The former Speaker of the National Assembly said that the “fall of the PPP”, though a shock to its leaders and members which will take some time for them to come to terms with, was a gradual process and commenced in 1997 with the passing of Dr. Cheddi Jagan.
Ramkarran said that Dr. Jagan, who is often referred to as the ‘father of the nation’, was the only person within the PPP who kept alive the flame of national unity by way of a coalition.
The former party stalwart said that after Dr. Jagan’s death, his wife was pulled away from coalition politics and pushed in the direction of becoming the Party’s presidential candidate. He said that this was somehow thought to be the best strategy to win the elections, the then leadership not wanting to go to the polls without a Jagan in the leadership.
Ramkarran said that the “ambitious Bharrat Jagdeo, who followed Mrs. Jagan, had his own plans for personal greatness, which precluded the sharing of political power…by 2006 he was master of his universe. Soon to publicly insult Mrs. Jagan, he had no opposition within the leadership. However, instead of using his political capital to seek a real political solution, he wasted it by devoting his energies to micro managing, manipulating, and dominating and, since early 2008, ensuring post-presidential authority and control by engineering the presidential candidacy of Donald Ramotar. But by then the PPP’s leadership had been tarnished and its image sullied.”
Ramkarran opined that after the 2011 elections, the PPP could have recovered by pursuing a political solution, “but it took the wrong fork in the road. Instead, Jagdeo campaigned on a disastrously flawed campaign strategy based on race.”
The former party executive pointed out that instead of examining its strategy and leadership line up after the loss of 2011, the PPP degenerated into race baiting and presented the same leaders to the electorate.
He said that the same presidential candidate was nominated again in 2015 and “will no doubt return in 2020, unless the contrived effort to secure a third term for Jagdeo is allowed by the courts. Moreover, he will not loosen his control and the leadership has no will to confront him, even though they know it was he who lost them the elections, this time around as well as in 2011. He dominates every discussion, has the final word, and has loyal lieutenants.”
Ramkarran predicted that the powerful Jagdeo is not going anywhere, anytime soon and will continue to lead the rest of the leadership and members, perhaps as a Member of Parliament, “maybe later as general secretary and a future presidential candidate, like lambs to the slaughter.”
In addition, Ramkarran noted, “The bare nod given in the direction of reform at its recent Central Committee meeting signifies no serious intent. Any substantial reform based on evidence and research, rather than broad and shallow generalizations, which is usually what happens, will expose the deficiencies of Party leaders and will demonstrate that, in addition to deep reforms and restructuring, cooperation with the government for development and constitutional reform is the best course for the PPP.”
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