Jun 28, 2018 News
By Abena Rockcliffe-Campbell
“Guyana needs high-quality leadership. This means leadership that exudes integrity, passion and vision. This would also mean leadership that is technically sound across many key disciplines like oil, economics, business and law; and, leadership which understands the meaning of family and having families of their own,” said Attorney-at-Law, Charles Ramson.
Yesterday, he revealed his intention to contest an election to become the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) next presidential candidate. Ramson thinks he fits the bill.
This revelation came one day after the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) handed down its ruling upholding the Constitutional provisions for presidential term limits. The only living former president who served two terms already is Bharrat Jagdeo.
The ruling now bars Jagdeo from ever running again as President or even Prime Minister of Guyana.
Yesterday, Ramson said, “Though it will be an internal election, at the end of the day, my candidacy would mean nothing without the nation’s support.”
Ramson said that he has been listening to the views being expressed by Guyanese in recent years. He said, “Guyana is ready to move forward. Everywhere you go, everyone is saying the same thing—we need young and fresh leadership. But it’s not just young and fresh leadership; we need credible leadership—leadership with integrity, passion and vision; leadership that puts the people first.”
The Attorney-at-Law said that being a family man, “I understand the importance of leadership and I want to ensure that my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, enjoy a better Guyana that benefitted from decisions that were made in the interest of the masses and their generations.”
Ramson said that Guyana needs leadership that “is not scared of our history of racial conflict and will seek to unite rather than divide. That is the sort of leadership I intend to offer.”
Ramson said that while he is no old school politician, he has experience. The 34-year-old Oil and Gas Academic said, “Most people are aware of my qualifications but in terms of relevant experience, I worked at the Office of the President as a Legal Technical Director. I was at the heart of executive power for over four years, so I know how the Executive works.”
He said that before his resignation, he was a very active Member of Parliament (MP)—“So I know how the Parliament (the legislative arm of the State) works.”
Further, Ramson noted that he has been a lawyer for almost 10 years–“So I know how the judicial system works. Those are the arms of the State.”
On the civil society front, Ramson noted that he is a member of, and has strong links to the Guyana Bar Association and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce Industry (GCCI).
“Internally, I have been an active and public member of the People’s Progressive Party for almost 10 years. I currently hold leadership roles. The next general election will be my third election as a candidate,” said Ramson.
He continued, “But let us really examine experience. Did Justin Trudeau have experience before he became the Prime Minister of Canada? Did David Cameron have experience before he became Prime Minister of Britain? Did Obama have experience before he became President of the United States of America? No. And these are the most powerful democratic nations in the world.”
Ramson added that experience can be both good and bad. He said, “We have seen the actions of some ‘experienced’ politicians, actions that did no good for this country. Sometimes political power proves to be an addictive drug to the ‘experienced’ and the abuse of that drug led Guyana where we are today.”
WAY TOO YOUNG?
Ramson asked about the possibility of being rejected by the masses for being too young, responded, “I am 34-years-old and will be 36 by the 2020 election. Guyana already had a President who was 35 when he assumed office.”
Ramson continued, “When you look around the world, leaders of major countries are being elected in their 30s.”
He noted that the leader of Austria is 31; Georgia’s leader is 36, New Zealand has a 37-year-old leader, President of Costa Rica is 38, President of Ireland is 39 and the leader of Estonia is 39. “Then you have others in their mid-30s leading powerful nations like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and North Korea.”
He said, “A majority of Guyana’s population is below the age of 35. This means, if we are speaking democratic majority rule, then Guyana should have a young leader.”
WILL PPP ALLOW THIS?
Ramson said he is not worried if he will fare well with PPP/C old guards.
He said, “I don’t see old guard or new guard. I see a political party which must focus all of its attention and energy on how to win the next election. To win, critical decisions have to be made regarding presidential candidate.”
Ramson said that the history of elections has shown that the population tends to vote on personalities. “In Guyana, our demographic profile has changed significantly so the party needs a candidate who is appealing to the swing votes: the intellectuals and professionals; one who can appeal to all races and Guyana’s large, young population.
“We need a candidate who represents the future but who does not have baggage.”
“We have heard about Guyana’s potential for generations – and we have been waiting for a long time – we have come a far way, but we have a far way to go and the challenges we face as a nation are severe and complex to fix. But, I am optimistic because under the right leadership, we will succeed together. It would be an honour and privilege to serve Guyana.”
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