There isn’t a day, and I literally mean this, that doesn’t pass whereby the New York Times (NYT) does not get valuable information on the Trump presidency from insiders who have to remain anonymous.
Don’t accept this statement here, just Google the issues of the NYT for the past month and you will see.
No journalist or columnist is wholly satisfied with this situation because your publication is stronger in its journalistic integrity when you can provide names of people and places. But the anonymous source, whether out of fear or need to shun the limelight will always and inevitably be an essential characteristic of journalism.
Yesterday as a reaction to my column on the PNC’s reluctance to have Khemraj Ramjattan named as the PM candidate for the 2020 election campaign, I got a call from a well placed PNC stalwart. Obviously, I cannot name him. Interestingly, it was not to my cell but my landline.
An item in the column attracted his intention and he wanted to discuss it with me because it explains the Ramjattan scenario.
According to him, Mr. Granger’s first priority is to see a victory for the PNC then he has in mind grooming someone for the presidency; then in 2023, Granger will retire. I asked who the person to be groomed is. He gave me a name but requested not to mention it in this article. This of course brings a weakness to the overall analysis here but I guess this is how it is.
So what was his essential reason for contacting me? It is the Ramjattan candidacy. The motivating factor in talking to me was for me to write to let Guyana know that the PNC leadership knows the direction Granger wants to go in and thus knows there will be no Ramjattan as prime minister.
This article here concludes my assessment on the Ramjattan candidacy. I trust the knowledge of this person who confided in me. He is committed to the PNC, supports Granger’s overall wishes and he is in full agreement that Ramjattan should not be given the PM slot.
I am bound by journalistic principles to reveal my source to my editor. When he requested that I not name him, I told him I cannot refuse the demand from my editor to identify him. He was fine with that. That is standard journalistic ethics.
I am comfortable in accepting that Ramjattan will not be the prime minister of Guyana so I will not pursue further analysis of that topic. I think I did about six pieces on the subject and I would have continued in assessing his chances if I did not get the kind of information I received yesterday.
Obviously, the conversation did not end without some questions, which I found to be extremely relevant. I enquired how Ramjattan will react to the publication of this column, knowing that the matter is closed. He said he doesn’t know or care to know.
I looked at the possibility that a rift will emerge between the PNC and AFC. He was adamant there will not be a disruption.
I asked him why and his reply amused me. He said, ‘Freddie, you of all people would know the answer.” I pressed him further and he insisted that I should know why. The last question was the possibility of Nagamootoo being returned. I quote him, “Freddie I gave you a name.”
I will end this column with the contents of two phone calls I made to well placed AFC personnel about the information I was given. My question was ‘Will this closure of the selection of a PM candidate by the PNC cause an angry confrontation between the AFC and PNC?’
Both of them said no and both of them gave identical answers. I gleamed from their thoughts that the AFC is in acceptance mode.
I was told that the AFC will not pull out of the Coalition because there is no consensus that this is the pathway to go but there is consensus, a rather tight one inside the AFC that the AFC should try as much as possible not to have its standing in a future government reduced in substantial ways.
It would have been a serious journalistic lapse if I didn’t inquire how Ramjattan is going to react. Now here is a gold mine for the media. I hope the media pursue this with Ramjattan.
I was told that the AFC knows the PM slot will not be given to Ramjattan but the AFC will insist vociferously that Ramjattan’s wish to be Attorney-General be accepted if the APNU+AFC wins. Over to you Khemraj!
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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