Guyana needs Constitutional reform and new elections – Ralph Ramkarran

Only fresh elections will break current political impasse – former Speaker

NOVEMBER 4, 2013 | BY  |

The only way to break the current political stalemate in Guyana is through Constitutional reform and new elections.

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran

This is the view held by Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran, who in his most recent writings for his blog conversationtree.gy, said that instead of seeking the kind of unity that would have ensured political stability and development after the 2011 elections, the PPP/C opted for a minority government.

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran (right)

According to Ramkarran, there is nothing wrong in principal with such a decision, once the Opposition permits such a situation on the basis of some form of agreement about major policy directions.   

“This did not happen and the Opposition is allowing the government to hold office on sufferance, not on the basis of agreed policies…The result is that there is political gridlock and a stalemate on legislation and developmental projects, with potential investors being warned.”

This situation, Ramkarran predicts, will continue until the next elections, due in 2016, and is unfair to the Guyanese people and is not what they voted for.

According to Ramkarran, during the past week there were two news items of political interest.
“One is that, contrary to popular belief and an undertaking from the President, no budget discussions are taking place…The other is that the Opposition is unlikely to support the anti-money laundering legislation in its present form unless the Public Procurement Commission is established.”
Ramkarran said that he believes that, “these developments are surely connected.”

According to Ramkarran, for compromise to be achieved on anything, discussions must take place.
He said that in its absence, “Guyana can expect no developments whatsoever in or out of Parliament, except in those areas of the economy which do not depend on agreement between these forces…We are seeing it in rice, mining and construction.”

According to Ramkarran, the failure of the Amaila Hydroelectric Project, the Opposition’s warning to potential investors in the Marriott, the possibility of the Airport Expansion Project and the Specialty Hospital being derailed, “and now the anti-money laundering legislation being held up, which will negatively impact on Government, Opposition and the entire country, indicate that our political impasse is growing to intolerable proportions.”

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Comments

  • de castro compton  On November 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    With all due respects to the honourable gentleman
    Rewriting the rules do not change to democratic process of selection.
    It is not the rules that should change or be changed.
    It is the whole process of selection/de-selection.
    The sooner new elections are announced the quicker the change.
    Let the people decide if they want change by voting individuals in or out.

    A process has already been decided…..
    LOCAL elections to elect community leaders….
    This process can then be extended to the national process of selection/de-selection.
    Democracy in its purest form…..local to national ….not visa versa.

    Power must remain at the local level if democracy is to be respected…..
    Guyana no exception.

    I vote yearly for my local government…..council.
    Then every 5 years for my central government….west minister.

    My local vote has more clout than my national vote….not to mention one takes 5 times as long to come round.
    My local taxes are collected then handed over to Westminster for redistribution.
    My battle is local at present in persuading my local council to take this fight to Westminster……the battle continues until the war is won.

    The issue
    LOCAL TAXES MUST REMAIN LOCAL any “unspent” “underspent” donated to national West minister for distribution/redistribution.

    My battle is ongoing
    The WAR will be won…..surrender not an option.

    Kamptan

  • Sirenagx  On November 4, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Constitutional reform may be good. But change in leadership would be better. Power sharing seem to be more about getting Ministerial jobs for opposition leaders than jolbs for ordinary Guyanese. Boring a hole in the lifeboat you are in do not make sense. Question and propose changes when possible instead of rejecting everything, without providing concrete alternatives or changes. The money laundering bill cannot be a bargaining tool. The speciality hospital sould be built after all disclosures are made, its could be a live savior and revenue source. It may even help justify the airport expansion and the Marriott again with full disclosures to help bring in tourists to use these facilities. Missing info on projects must justiy killing the entire project. Guyanese Tea Part must rethink tacts. Old Mudhead

  • de castro compton  On November 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    65 mud heads with all due respect….
    Not sure what was % turn out in election was but it resulted in a coalition (weak)
    indecisive government…..an insult of the democratic process….a cook-up…

    When I dine I wish to taste all the ingredients before they are digested.
    Would love the experience of Guyanese cuisine politically …or will this remain a dream….my taste buds are sensitive to raw politricks.

    Let’s see what % vote in the local elections which should indicate how interested/disillusioned people are with their political masters.

    Kamptan….50% or less unacceptable.

  • Sirenagx  On November 5, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    would be nice if local elections could be free of party candidates or no more than 50%. Local residents should elect people who they know and live with them. It would be better if the opposition would try to make all the programs better executed and utilized by their supporters than their current policies or lack of them. Perhaps, they can wait for the big jobs but the rest of the people can’t. Guyana is already far better off than millions in other parts of the developing world, with better politicians and existing resources it may supprise many if it could become one of the best 50 or less places to live in 20 years or less with better leaders. That is living fairly comfortably and safely, not lavishly. Try not to laugh, I know how things were before independence and the promise that could have been, just a Mudhead dreaminlg?

  • de castro compton  On November 6, 2013 at 2:25 am

    Dreams do come true…..but we have to not only believe this we must act on it.
    As per a carnival song “dream on as its free”…..then go out and make your dreams come true…….
    Believe in yourself first so that others will believe in you.
    Your success their challenge.
    I am now living my dream at 69 (retired) …..with all the time in the world as per satchmo….31 to go…..

    Kamptan

  • de castro compton  On November 6, 2013 at 2:33 am

    The amerindians and aboriginal American Indians were considered
    barbaric/pagans/uncivilised by their Christian conquerors….we should learn from their democracy…..civilisation how to survive/live our lives.

    I question “civilisation” “development” when I despair….who are we to be judge and jury,

    Forever the optimist
    Kamptan

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