Jul 02, 2018 News
Former House Speaker, Ralph Ramkarran believes that now is the time for Guyanese to be offered a different kind of political party. In his most recent writings, Ramkarran argued that the need for a third political force has become necessary since the major ones have failed the nation in several ways.
Speaking to the current dilemmas of the major forces, he pointed out that the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) has suffered a major electoral blow where its most popular and experienced leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, would not be able to lead as the PPP’s Presidential Candidate at the 2020 elections. It must now look for a fresh face.
He said that Guyana is also faced with deteriorating economic conditions and the one seat majority of the APNU+AFC Coalition.
Compounding this he said, is the fact that both parties have failed to establish inclusive governance, even though they were staunch advocates for the concept when in opposition.
Taking these and other factors into consideration, Ramkarran said that Guyana needs a new party with a programme of unity as a way out of the debilitating, ethno-political controversies and insecurities, which have dominated its politics and have bred only suspicion, antagonism and political unilateralism.
The commentator opined that this third party can do so by recognizing the existence of the two major parties, the support they receive and seek as its fundamental goal to encourage these two parties to work together for the future of Guyana. Ramkarran contended that decades of political effort, including the mandate of the electorate in 2011, have all failed.
The popular columnist reasoned that the third party, if it wins a majority or plurality, will accept the task of government in order to prevent a constitutional crisis. Under the constitution, he said that the party obtaining a majority or plurality must hold the presidency. Until the constitution is amended, Ramkarran said that the party will be obliged to fulfill its constitutional mandate but, not being wedded to power, would propose a re-examination of this and other provisions. He said the difference is that, in accordance with its primary purpose, it will invite the other major parties to share in the government in accordance with their percentage of support.
“If a majority or plurality is not achieved, the third party will remain in opposition but will strongly advocate and agitate for the establishment of a unity government of the major parties. If the major parties recalcitrantly resist the call for unity, the third party will support the party that agrees to implement its policies of constitutional reform, leading to inclusive governance and for economic and social reform, including strong measures against poverty, crime and corruption.”
For decades, Ramkarran said that experts have concluded that the divisions created by ethno-political rivalries are major reasons for Guyana’s underdevelopment.
He said that the third party would not seek to replace the two major parties but rather, seek to make them winners, with both serving in government.
“The supporters of these parties will remain supporters and should not see it as a betrayal to support the third party, whose objective would be to ensure that there are no losers in elections. The third party must never fall victim to the lure of political office. It must have a higher purpose that resonates with the Guyanese people – unity.”
Ramkarran argued that the unity that will be created is now a vital necessity. He stressed that statesmanship has failed Guyana so far. The former House Speaker believes that electoral pressure must be brought to bear.
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