In the just concluded congress of the AFC, a motion was put to the floor to make Khemraj Ramjattan the AFC’s prime ministerial candidate for the upcoming national election. As a reaction to this process, Moses Nagamootoo and David Patterson grossly insulted the nation by their explanation as to why Ramjattan won.
Patterson said it was not a contest between Ramjattan and Nagamootoo. He told the media, “… it wasn’t one against the other. The motion was should there be a general elections before our next national conference, this National Conference recommends that Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan be proposed as the prime ministerial candidate. It was never to do with we prefer one or the other.”
This is untrue and a crude insult to the intelligence of a country’s population. If you have an incumbent prime minister who never uttered one word, just one word, in his role as prime minister for the four years he held that post, that he is not interested in returning as PM and his party submits a motion asking its congressional delegates to choose another party cadre and they did, then it is commonsense to assume the party did not want to continue with the incumbent.
Here are the words of Patterson, “…it wasn’t a trade-off… it wasn’t one against the other. The motion was should there be a general elections before our next national conference, this National Conference recommends that Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan be proposed as the prime ministerial candidate. It was never to do with we prefer one or the other”.
How could a national leader tell his citizens such utter nonsense? If there wasn’t one against the other, why then have a motion? Why then have the motion voted on? Why then not ask the incumbent to issue a statement of non-interest then have the other contender acclaimed? Why not have the incumbent endorse the challenger long before the congress?
It baffles the mind to understand why rulers go out of the way in this country to say things that are so obviously silly to the entire population. Following in the macabre footsteps of Patterson is the man from Whim (Berbice) himself, Nagamootoo. Let’s trace the deception of Nagamootoo.
1- In February this year, after an AFC’s statutory meeting of the national executive, Raphael Trotman spoke to the Chronicle. He told the newspaper, the meeting endorsed Nagamootoo to be Prime Minister for the next general election. This engendered a torrent of volcanic reaction from other AFC officials with pellucid clarification that there was no such topic discussed at the meeting. When the Chronicle story made the news, three AFC persons told me it was a feeler Nagamootoo was sending out. That was a bad mistake by Nagamootoo, because in telegraphing his thoughts through Trotman, he set the stage for his challengers to start strategizing.
2- Assuming Trotman acted on his own, Nagamootoo did nothing to allay fears of other contenders that he wanted a second bite of the cherry. Nagamootoo does a weekly column and not even a paragraph was assigned to the controversy Trotman raised in the Chronicle.
3 – This one is the big one. A month ago, Trotman gave an interview to the Guyana Times on Ramjattan’s open desire to ask the AFC to make him the PM candidate. This was the caption; “Multiple contestants for PM slot counter-productive; Trotman implicitly criticizes Ramjattan’s bid.” Here are Trotman’s words; “The AFC has put forward an alternative name to Moses, and right now I am not sure that he or she can do a better job by winning more votes nationally and has national acceptability”.
4- After this second endorsement by Trotman, the man from Whim uttered not even one word that he was not interested in a second stint as PM.
5 – Here are the words of Nagamootoo that are as foolish as Patterson’s; “My position about it is that it is a motion and it has to be discussed by the party, and the party will make its choice and its decision. It’s not a contest…I have not thrown my hat in the ring, so it’s not like you have to vote for either Ramjattan or Nagamootoo or anybody else. It’s a motion…of intention that the party may wish to consider whether it will run with its incumbent or selects someone else”.
It was a clear contest that took the form of you vote for a motion for a new prime ministerial candidate, and a yes vote prevents Nagamootoo from being the PM candidate in the next general election. A no vote means Nagamootoo stays on. Both Patterson and Nagamootoo think the Guyanese people are fools.
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