Five months of election rigging is over. Humans are unpredictable that is why no social scientist will ever use scientific criteria to judge human behaviour. But my take is even if the PPP administration goes into terribly unpleasant directions, it is an undisputed determinism that the PNC is going to be in the electoral wilderness for many decades to come.
One message the PPP will use at every campaign meeting – ‘Do you want to see those five months again?’ Those simple words will resonate with Guyanese forever. If anything is going to get people to vote against the PNC is a vivid description that parties will paint of the PNC in 2025 and 2030. It goes like this. They got a chance in government in 1964 and refused to come out until 1992. They got a chance again in 2015 and in refusing to come out; they almost destroyed Guyana.
With the PNC gone, so too will be many of the names and faces we have come to associate with Guyanese politics. The month of August 2020 marks the obliteration of Hamilton Green. No one will mention him, and he will just disappear but given what we have seen of Moses Nagamootoo and Eusi Kwayana for the past five months, the researcher needs to delve into some long existing secrets about Nagamootoo and Kwayana. By looking at Green, we can reflect on those secrets.
When President Forbes Burnham overlooked Green for Desmond Hoyte for the post of Prime Minister, it sent shock waves throughout the communities of PNC supporters. Burnham had two sources that he knew would never turn him down – Ptolemy Reid and Green. Reid because of his role and social standing had to be the PM when Burnham became President.
Apoplexy afflicted all PNC members when Burnham overlooked Green for Hoyte who was hardly known by the bulk of PNC constituencies and was far less popular than Green. It remains a secret to this day why Burnham did that.
I interviewed Green and asked him why (Kaieteur News, Monday, October 16, 2017, captioned: “Explosive Interview with Hamilton Green”) Burnham did that. He didn’t tell me the truth. Burnham saw things in Green that maybe no one did and he decided that he was not the right man to be PM. It was the same with Corbin when Hoyte challenged Green for the presidency after Burnham’s death. Corbin’s vote was the decider. One would have thought that Green was the logical choice for Corbin but maybe Corbin knew about Green what Burnham knew too.
It is the identical situation with Kwayana. Both Cheddi Jagan and Burnham never gelled with Sydney King as he was known by that name in the fifties, sixties and seventies. Kwayana was alienated from both men and he became an intense and inflexible critic of both icons. Why? Maybe there were deep-seated negative traits in Kwayana’s character that Burnham and Jagan detected but Guyanese couldn’t see.
Kwayana became iconic through his criticism of over four decades of Jagan and Burnham and that reality prevented Guyanese from seeing the real essence of what Kwayana was made of. We have now seen that substance from his attitude to the five-month election saga. His total outlook on the election impasse was completely unacceptable, dishonest and deceiving. I doubt he will ever be seen the same way again.
Finally, the politician I satirically refer to as “watermelon man,” Moses Nagamootoo. When President Jagan died, Nagamootoo made known his intention of being Jagan’s successor but not one soul in the PPP’s hierarchy was prepared to back him over Roger Luncheon or Ralph Ramkarran. Mrs. Jagan literally detested him. Cheddi Jagan deliberately chose not to shape Nagamootoo’s presence in the PPP for him to be seen as the de facto Number 2 as he did with Boysie Ramkarran and then Ranje Chandisingh.
Party leaders knew that after Cheddi, it was Ramkarran. Then they knew after Cheddi, it was Chandisingh. But PPP stalwarts never saw Nagamootoo as Number 2 because Cheddi and Mrs. Jagan never wanted him to be such. When Mrs. Jagan anointed Jagdeo as president, Nagamootoo got the word in Barbados and collapsed and was rushed to hospital.
Cheddi and Janet Jagan, Roger Luncheon and Ralph Ramkarran saw things inside the personality of Nagamootoo that the average Guyanese couldn’t. The two Jagans were never going to make Nagamootoo, Cheddi’s successor. He crossed the floor to the AFC just four months before the 2011 election still hoping to be PPP’s presidential candidate. In 2020, Khemraj Ramjattan began to hate Nagamootoo because he conspired to deny the PM slot to Ramjattan for the 2020 election. Since then the two men have not spoken to each other.
(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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