Something has to be seriously wrong with a politician that he can lose three successive elections in his hometown where the past fifty years he has kept an ongoing relation with. In the 2015 general elections, the PPP won more votes than the party of which Moses Nagamootoo (MN) was its prime ministerial candidate in Whim, the birth village of MN.
The next year, in local government elections (LGE), the PPP won the NDC in Whim again while its son, MN, was the Prime Minister. In 2018, while still the Prime Minister, the PPP won Whim’s NDC for the third consecutive time.
In any part of the world, party mandarins would have said such a politician has lost staying power and should go. In one of his Chronicle columns, MN offered the reason for the PPP victories in Whim. It was an unhistorical and dishonest type of reasoning. He said to understand what took place in Whim in the 2018 LGE one needs to understand the permanent effect of racial influence.
There are many ways of refuting such nonsense but two should suffice. There was no protracted influence of racial thinking in the 2011 general election when Indians in Whim defected from their Indianized party, the PPP, and voted for one of the two major opposition parties – AFC.
The second rebuttal is that politics is a dynamic process. The dialectics are unpredictable but the dialectics are always there.
Barack Obama ran for the presidency and picked up White votes in parts of America that voted for the anti-Black Republican Party since the sixties. Edward Seaga was a local White who repeatedly beat Black candidates in Jamaica.
A month ago, a White presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, Elizabeth Warren, got more after-speech applause than her African American rival, Kamala Harris. The sponsor was a non-white women’s organization. The audience was predominantly Black Americans.
One would like to think that the Whim alienation was one of several factors that went into the planning to end MN’s prime ministerial career. But were the Whim villagers vexed with MN because of Whim’s neglect only? Or like the rest of the country they saw a Prime Minister that was virtually absent from the policy making board room but perambulating the territory of Guyana sharing out watermelons and blessing new factories opening up throughout Guyana?
If ever a country had a Prime Minister that did nothing important politically it was Guyana with Moses Nagamotoo
Will the APNU+AFC go into the elections with him again in defiance of the AFC’s wishes? That is a non-starter. Even if they want someone other than Ramjattan, MN’s political career is over. It has been a long journey of power ambition. He wanted the presidency after the aging Cheddi Jagan left the scene but he went into self-destruction mode by showing his hand too early.
Two fatal mistakes denied him the presidency. He leaves in a few months time and he will regret these two line faults for the rest of his life. First he lied on Cheddi Jagan. On a trip in the interior Jagan in response to a question from villagers, told them that there are many in the PPP to succeed him and he said pointing his finger, “like people like Comrade Moses.”
MN argued with PPP leaders, including Jagan’s wife, that Jagan anointed him as successor when he made that statement. The PPP hierarchy from here on knew that MN has become Macbeth.
The second fatality was during the PPP’s learning curve when it formed the government after 1992. He left the government and spent two years preparing for his law degree in Trinidad so he would be intellectually equipped to succeed Jagan. It wasn’t to be.
All the major players in the PPP kingdom hated him for that Macbethian journey. Janet Jagan hated MN more than her formidable enemies in the PNC. It was over for MN in the PPP. But he didn’t believe that.
He waited to see if there was still a chance to be the presidential candidate for the PPP in 2011. When that dream disappeared, three months before the 2011 general poll, he jumped ship and joined the AFC. He became the PM after 2015 and had explicitly said in 2016 that he was leaving politics after the 2020 election. He cited age and his declining health.
Three months in the US recuperating from a heart attack, he discovered that power and money were too sweet. When Trotman announced in February that the AFC would support him for another term, the knives were drawn. The power lust he showed in the PPP, he was now showing in the AFC. Like Macbeth he was doomed to fail.
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