Guyana Elections 2015- PIT BULL POLITICS – By Mr Ralph Ramkarran


Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Posted on April 25, 2015 by

The OAS Observer Mission, the British High Commissioner, the United States Representative and the Private Sector Commission have all publicly raised concerns about the dangers of inflammatory language being used in the election campaign in Guyana. The US representative went further and pointed out that the consequences that such language could endanger post-election peace and stability.

The pit bull politics of aggression and personal villification were launched this elections season, as it was at the last elections, with Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo. The elections of 2011 were characterized by the excessive use of hostile and accusatory language, focused mainly on the PNCR’s past and abuse of political opponents.  

It appears that the PPP/C’s view is that the aggression and abuse adopted for the elections in 2011 were not sufficiently inflammatory to secure its majority. It has obviously concluded that the intensification of inflammatory language and the instillation of greater fear in its supporters, mainly Indians, against the Opposition, whose supporters are mainly Africans, are necessary strategies to now retrieve its majority.

The campaign commenced at Babu John in March with the accusation by Dr. Jagdeo that on the morning of the elections in 2011, the Opposition was going around beating drums and calling on its supporters to go out and vote the Indians out, using the known offensive slang for Indians. It was the first time that anyone had heard of this allegation, throwing some doubt on its authenticity.

The most egregious of Dr. Jagdeo’s assertions was his claim that with the alleged large number of former military officers supporting the APNU+AFC, if the latter wins the elections, ‘they’ would be kicking down the doors of PPP supporters. The use of the ‘kick down the door’ imagery conjures up to Indian Guyanese the decade or so between the 1970s and 1980s of ‘kick down the door bandits,’ who were mainly, though not exclusively Africans, across rural Guyana. Many Indians were victims.

Then there is also the policy of personal destruction that we have all experienced after criticizing Dr. Jagdeo. Commodore Gary Best, a former Chief of Staff, chose to express his political preference for APNU+AFC, which the Constitution allows him to do. Dr. Jagdeo, who appointed him and probably considers him ungrateful, questioned Commodore Best’s acquisition of his home, ignoring the possibility that he might also have acquired it just as Dr. Jagdeo acquired his own home – by saving.

In a further exercise in intimidation, Dr. Luncheon has said that the President will have to address the issue of the former Chief of Staff ‘consorting’ with the Opposition because he could leak sensitive information. This is blatant intimidation of Gary Best because there is nothing the President can do to a citizen for exercising a constitutional right. Seeking to criminalize both him and the Opposition, with the suggestion that he might be leaking secrets, is disgusting.

The same principle, if principle at all, that the PPP is now seeking to wrongly apply arose in the 1980s when Justice Massiah retired as Chancellor of the Judiciary, an independent office, and was immediately appointed as Attorney General, a political office. This was criticized by the Bar Association and the PPP. This did not stop the PPP Government of 2006-2011 from appointing Justice Charles Ramson as Attorney General immediately after he resigned as a Judge of the Court of Appeal. Commodore Best, a retiree, is not employed in a political office.        

The strategy of aggression emerged early in Dr. Jagdeo’s Presidency and has since been adopted by the leadership of the PPP. Its most infamous manifestation was his insult to Mrs. Janet Jagan when in 2006 she called for the restoration of the advertisements to the Stabroek News, which Dr. Jagdeo had taken away in November, 2006. He effectively told her to mind her own business when he deemed her a private citizen. The PPP remained silent. The intimidation of Commodore Best is the latest effort, designed to maintain a climate of fear created by the intimidation and personal abuse, and sustained by selective implementation.

Dr. Jagdeo is by no means offended by being associated with pit bull politics. He relishes the tough guy image, which does wonders for what I once described as ‘his monumental ego.’ He feels justified in his aggression and proudly refers to it as his ‘style.’ He receives loud acclamation and sustained applause for it, and generally, at PPP/C rallies.

The election strategy consisting of the type of inflammatory language complained of by the diplomatic and observer communities and the PSC, is not going to end because the instillation of fear in PPP supporters is Dr. Jagdeo’s main strategy for the recovery of power. Also, it has been proved more than once that the PPP has little or no regard for the views of diplomats when they complain about the behavior of the Government or its allies.

No one should be surprised if Dr. Jagdeo is later invited to head other elections observer missions and criticizes the inflammatory language of others. As head of the Commonwealth Observer Mission to the Sri Lanka elections, he criticized Government’s abuse of the state owned press. This occurred in Guyana in 2011, in elections strategy over which he presided and is occurring once again.

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  • de castro  On 05/05/2015 at 2:05 am

    Enter the endorsement for “change” cheddi s son Joey.
    Big step for jagans
    Giant step for change

    Forever the optimist.
    Change we must as die we will.
    Good luck on may 11th…..celebrate embrace unity may 26th.

    Maybe Guyana is ready to move forward !

    Que sera

  • guyaneseonline  On 05/05/2015 at 7:40 am

    Opinion, Letters – Letter from Emile Mervin
    May 11 is about the people of Guyana versus Bharrat Jagdeo
    Dear Editor,

    I posited some time ago that this May 11 elections will be a referendum on Bharrat Jagdeo, who sought to diminish the memory of the Jagans in the PPP by becoming the embodiment of the PPP for the sole purpose of engaging in self-entitlement and self-enrichment pursuits.
    After witnessing his hijacking of the PPP campaign from presidential contender, Donald Ramotar, and running said campaign on a platform of sheer ethnic insecurity and fear instead of on his party’s record, this elections apparently means more to him than it does to the PPP. His racial rhetoric to induce fear in Indians may be a cover for his own fear of losing what he has gained to date, so he is cajoling Indians to vote to protect his gains and assure he gains more. It really is not about protecting Indians.
    Take for example, the latest ‘sweetheart’ deal involving Dax Engineering, which is generating much public discussion, as per Ralph Ramkarran’s, “Axe Dax deal,” (SN, May 4). The government wants us to believe this is about repairing the screwed up Fibre-Optic project, but while Dax appears set to benefit at the expense of the public over the next few decades, the sheer timing of this questionable deal mere days before the 2015 elections is eerily similar to Mr. Jagdeo’s sharing out of questionable broadcast licences mere days prior to the 2011 elections. How can anyone not detect this Dax deal, therefore, as an extension of the 2011 broadcast licences’ distribution to achieve an overall objective of domination of the communications sector?
    President Donald Ramotar’s son, Mr. Alexei Ramotar, has proven to be a pathetic failure with the Fibre-Optic project, and no evidence exists that his father, an equally pathetic failure as President, knows anything about the ramifications of this Dax deal, so given the magnitude of this deal, is Mr. Jagdeo the real player behind it?
    If he is, then given all the government giveaways the last fifteen years, Mr. Jagdeo may be looking to consolidate the economic empire he appears to have begun building through a number of specially chosen surrogates and by using government as his primary construction equipment, along with public funds and Guyana’s economic and human resources.
    Starting with the sale of the Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation in 1999 to his best friend, Bobby Ramroop, followed by the sale of the costly renovated Sanata Complex to the same best friend, and the best friend’s eventual ownership of a newspaper, radio and television stations, and moving from a minor shareholder in the Berbice Bridge to a major shareholder, observers have long been asking what the real deal is behind Ramroop receiving all these benefits at the expense of the people of Guyana. That question appears to be receiving an answer in the manner in which Mr. Jagdeo is aggressively campaigning for the PPP, given that if the PPP loses May 11, he may have an exceedingly great lot to lose in terms of his personal king-size pension and the benefits to his surrogates who appear set to dominate the communications sector, among others.
    Worse than all of that is whether a PPP loss could trigger a forensic audit of the government that could uncover a network of corrupt deals and practices.
    Editor, contrary to what Messrs. Jagdeo, Ramotar, Rohee, Luncheon et al, have been preaching on the campaign trail about Indians being adversely affected by an APNU+AFC regime, Mr. Jagdeo may be the one most adversely affected by an APNU+AFC regime, while his surrogates and supporting cast in government will feel the ripple effects. This elections, therefore, is not about the Opposition versus the PPP, but all about the people of Guyana versus Bharrat Jagdeo, and what is at stake is the future of Guyana and Guyanese.
    As Guyanese head to the polls on Monday, they need to keep in their mind’s eye that Mr. Jagdeo has hijacked the PPP, diminished the memory and principles of the PPP’s founding leaders, and used the hijacked PPP and government as a vehicle for self-entitlement and self-enrichment pursuits.
    Voters need to discern an extremely dangerous development taking place in Guyana where one man appears to seek control of both the political and economic levers of powers. A vote against the PPP on May 11, therefore, is not a vote against the Jagans’ memory (that is being diminished) or Jagans’ party (that has been hijacked) or against ‘development/progress’ (for the new wealthy class). A vote against the PPP on May 11 is actually a vote to stop Bharrat Jagdeo’s 15-year march to the formation of an oligarchy.
    The Americans, British and Canadians, who have been hospitable and helpful to Guyanese over the decades, stand ready to help us defend our democracy and develop our country, while the Jagdeoites look to the Chinese who come bearing ‘gifts’ in exchange for numerous secret deals for our patrimony.
    There is a lot at stake on May 11 for both the Jagdeoites, on the one hand, and other Guyanese, on the other hand.
    Yours faithfully,
    Emile Mervin

    • albert  On 05/06/2015 at 2:19 pm

      An excellent analysis Emile. As Joey Jagan said in a one race society Ramoutar party might not get more than 25 percent of the votes. Jagdeo is clearly motivated by the need to hold on to the unreasonable benefits he milk from tax payers. I think the others are smarter. ……….they hold their loot outside.

  • de castro  On 05/05/2015 at 8:48 am

    Its not surprising from an individual indoctrinated in USSR where Putin now rules with an iron fist. Jagdeo received his formal education in Russia a country ruled by elitists class who bleed their country investing their corrupt wealth outside Russia…..Chelsea football club now owned by a Russian. Some of the most expensive areas of London are home to many Russian oligarchs.
    The rubble tanking today against most major currencies.

    Do Guyanese wish to go down that road….doubt it.

    Think Guyanese are in for a surprisingly predictable result.

    Not long now

  • Thinker  On 05/06/2015 at 1:38 am
    Isn’t it strange that it had to take an AFC official to condemn pissing on and burning the PPP flag? Still saying that the PNC has not changed fundamentally. No matter what happens Guyana is in for a rough time ahead. The unreformed PNC also believes in pit-bull politics.

  • de castro  On 05/06/2015 at 3:54 am

    What happens when two pit bulls clash !
    Same results.

    Maybe both will die later from their injuries.
    My cynical analysis !😈

    Que Sera sera

  • gigi  On 05/06/2015 at 12:41 pm

    @ Thinker, I read about this incident and to top off the shameful and disgraceful act ( as a female, I wish I could hide under the covers and hope this was just a nightmare), the female is a MP daughter and education counselor working in the Ministry of Education. And she did this in front of KIDS!!! Why is no one calling for her to be fired?

    Ramkarran should know that the behavior of pit bulls are both a combination of nature and nurture and that to deal with them requires knowledge and expertise. Hence Mr Jagdeo, in dealing with the pit bulls in the PNC/APNU, have had to learn how to do – at great expense and effort – so to stave off their vicious attacks to save Guyana. Mr Jagdeo is to be commended for putting himself in the cage with them to save the Guyanese people. The Guyanese people thanks him for his brave and fearless act and commitment. Thank you Mr Jagdeo…we are and will be forever grateful!

    @ Kamtan, in making comparisons with Russia, it would be helpful to read up on the west’s involvement that influenced much of the corruption and decline of Russian society. Here is a really great article that sums up a lot of the west’s policies.

  • compton de castro  On 05/06/2015 at 2:06 pm

    Nice one…using historical article to make your point.
    Hey I like Putin as he has more “Gaul” (nuts) than most western
    leaders. However Russia has had the opportunity to adopt capitalism and blew it for whatever reason.
    On the other hand China has had the opportunity to adopt capitalism and have
    mastered it.
    Its fair to say Russians are not Chinese or viva versa.
    Russians seem to be going backward….Chinese forward.
    Negative v positive attitudes.
    As for your comrade Jagdeo… he “dreams” and has nightmares of
    loosing power. Has too much to loose/more desperate to retain
    the status quo in politics he enjoyed endorsed by his mentor Janet.
    Cheddi would never have done so…..he would have preferred his son joey to succeed him….😇
    My suspicion is we will see Cheddi dynasty continue in the form of joey.😇
    Hopefully like father like son. Expectations will be high….can joey live up to the
    expectations of his followers…an unknown quantity in politricks.☺
    Just for the record have many Russian friends here in UK and in Spain
    ……not unlike Germans ….very dry sense of humour.
    Take their politics too seriously….easily offended.😈

    Maybe that’s why I dislike comrade J.
    He may be smart but he certainly doesn’t show it by his “stupid” outbursts.
    If he is trying to turn back time he is certainly is successfully living in past.

    Que Sera
    Psbalways enjoy your disagreements more than agreements.
    Keeps the grey cells ticking ! …tick tock ⌚


  • Thinker  On 05/06/2015 at 6:59 pm

    History Distortion Alert. It is doubtful that Cheddi would have wanted his son Joey to succeed him when it was known to all that Joey’s ideology was diametrically opposed to his father’s. Joey opposed his mother’s PPP and only rejoined to attempt to save the Jagan name.

  • compton de castro  On 05/06/2015 at 7:55 pm

    Q follows….is Joey far left centre or right politically.😈

    As a dentist my suspicions are he was”capitalist” ideologically
    which would certainly clashed with his mum and dad era of doctrination.
    In 60 s it was ™fashionable” to be a commie
    Decade later the fashion was diluted to be “socialist”
    Decade later the fashion changed again ?

    Today its more capitalist China leading follower of fashion.
    Karma what goes around comes around.

    Sorry my friend not distortion ….reality alert.😇

    Sir kamtan lord of cherin by appointment of HRH QE2 UKPLC

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