THE PPP HAS LOST ITS WAY – by Ralph Ramkarran


Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Posted on July 4, 2015 – by  – Conversation Tree Blog

The selection of Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo by the Central Committee of the PPP as its nominee for Opposition Leader seals that party’s fate in opposition for decades to come, unless the APNU+AFC coalition under-performs or unravels. The PPP has been shattered by defeat, its leadership disgraced by corruption and it has lost the sympathy of the international community through abuse, corruption and the refusal to hold local government elections.

With no intention by the ruling clique of giving up power, the return of its younger MPs and a sprinkling of new faces to Parliament, would be mere window dressing. This new generation of leaders stands no chance of influencing policy to rebuild the PPP or unite the country. The recently expressed views by Dr. Vindhi Persaud as to the way forward for the PPP in her recently published email and its rejection symbolise the impotence that this group will face.

Dr. Jagdeo’s name emerged initially from among the ruling clique in the Executive Committee. In the contest between Dr. Jagdeo and Mr. Ramotar at the Central Committee, Donald Ramotar received only 9 votes of 35 voting members. It must have been a hugely embarrassing. Being fought down by Dr. Jagdeo, his mentor, at whose instance, and not through popular sentiment, he became the presidential candidate in 2011, would have been a bitter pill to swallow, especially since he is the immediate past president. [Correction: since publication I have clarified that Mr. Donald Ramotar’s support amounted to about nine persons, if so many, but no vote actually took place. The support for Dr. Jagdeo was so overwhelming that the election was by acclamation.]

Worse was the virtual abandonment of him by the Central Committee of which he was general secretary for 15 years. Mr. Ramotar ignored the fact that Dr. Jagdeo’s insatiable ego cannot be satisfied by fraternal considerations or rational calculations. In any event, Mr. Ramotar apparently did not realize that with the loss of two elections and Dr. Jagdeo’s grip on the leadership, his political career was over.

Mr. Ramotar long ago ceded authority to Dr. Jagdeo. He therefore has no one but himself to blame for his loss of influence in the Central Committee. Mr. Ramotar may accept the humiliation of rejection and soldier on with diminished influence, likely without a Parliamentary seat, as he would have to bear the embarrassment of an immediate past president sitting at third place behind Dr. Jagdeo and Mr. Rohee. He would justify continued low-level activism by deluding himself that he is maintaining party unity. This has always been the answer to his failure to respond to Dr. Jagdeo’s most egregious behavior. This silent approbation allowed serious schisms to arise within the Party, which remained unaddressed. The worst was the resignations of Ramjattan and Nagamootoo that led directly to the PPP’s loss of power. This damage to the PPP, Mr. Ramotar’s ill-fated decision to seek the candidacy for president in 2011, despite Dr. Jagdeo’s support and the ruling clique’s rejection of a national unity government, have together brought the PPP to its knees.

In his early fifties, Dr. Jagdeo will retain his hold on the leadership for at least the next 20 years, while still trying to secure a third term. He never intended to stand aside despite his promises. It means that an entire generation of younger leaders will have no chance of aspiring to leadership or influencing the party’s direction. Since the spoils of office are no longer available to be granted or taken away, there would be a limit to the success of his methods of leadership. In any event his continued grip on power and greed for the limelight will smother younger leaders and denude the PPP of talent, leaving it with sycophants and as an ineffective opposition force. Eventually, he will again choose the next leader.

By electing Dr. Jagdeo, the Central Committee seems prepared to abide by his methods of abuse, control and sycophancy. He sees himself as the most gifted and charismatic intellect and strategist who will save the PPP and Guyana. His and the leadership’s vision is of a ceaseless ‘struggle’ against the ‘PNC’ and ‘rigged elections’ and no compromise with the ‘de facto government.’ Primary to the strategy will be a defence of his record – what he would pompously refer to as his legacy. He will also try to convince supporters that they were robbed thereby perpetuating a sense of victimhood. This will ensure the persistence of the national ethnic contest. Exploited so effectively in the campaign, the PPP no doubt now sees as the strategy of choice.

The PPP has made, arguably, the most egregious blunder in its entire history by failing to implement Cheddi Jagan’s ‘shared governance’ or ‘winner does not take all’ policies in political conditions in 2011 where it could have been easily sold to its supporters. The PPP would have had to make fundamental concessions and share power in circumstances of equality where it would not ‘dominate or be dominated’ – a policy also advocated by Jagan. The national unity thereby created would have transformed Guyana and revolutionized our politics. Our nation would once again have been able to aspire to 1950 and bring within reach our motto of ‘One People, One Nation, One Destiny.’ But President Ramotar had made it plain in 2011 that power sharing ‘would not happen.’ The ruling clique of the PPP has deliberately killed the dream of unity and is on its way to Parliament to bury it.

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  • Thinker  On 07/09/2015 at 3:41 am

    Jagdeo is the logical choice for a party that must go into “apan jaat” mode to retain support and struggle against “the enemy” (as identified by Toronto-based Indo-Trinidadian community leader Jag Ramessar).

  • Paul Kirpaul  On 07/09/2015 at 4:29 am

    I do not think Mr Ramkarran is fair in his analysis of the PPP/C. His personal venom and anger over Dr Jagdeo has caused him to condemn the entire party, a move that is not supported by hard working foot soldiers and strategists of the PPP.

    His predictions that the PPP will collapse is false and cannot be taken seriously because it is a contaminated by-product of the said venom and anger.

    His attempt to depreciate the personality of ex-president Ramotar is a cheap shot to get at Dr Jagdeo and was not expected from him, being a (former) colleague of Mr Ramotar and a respectable politician.

    During his stint with the PPP Government, he knew how difficult it was to bring the Opposition on board for ‘shared governance’ despite several attempts by the PPP government, and this his something he cannot denied. So it is therefore not true that the PPP Government did not wanted to implement Dr Jagan’s vision of share governance. The PPP government tried but the Opposition wanted to control everything and therefore would have defeated the purpose of the opposition. No sensible government would have allowed that to happen.

    Mr Ramkarran is a matured and sensible politician and statesman. He can better use his knowledge and experience neutrally to make a positive contribution towards National Unity in Guyana.

    • Cayennetiger  On 07/09/2015 at 4:34 am

      Its the truth and nothing but the truth

  • de castro  On 07/09/2015 at 6:26 am

    Beg to differ……there is no “logical” choice in politricks.. Jagdeo was endorsed by Janet ….am sure Cheddi would not have done so.
    Ralph s article does give us an insight into how new leaders are selected behind closed doors. Every member of the PPP has the democratic right to vote on the
    selection of their new (old) leader.
    Did not Thatcher endorse John Major as her successor.
    Will not Obama endorse Hilary as his successor.
    Did not Chavez endorse Maduro as his successor.
    That’s politics my friend.

    The “apan jaat” era in Guyana s political philosophy died with cheddi and Janet.
    Jagdeo will also join them soon…..Guyana has/will/must move forward now…
    Jagdeo or no jagdeo. Sad outcome for the true PPP members/supporters.
    Jagdeo is the final nail in the coffin.

    Let’s try to remain positive in Guyana s future.

    Que sera

  • Thinker  On 07/09/2015 at 9:24 am

    First of all, there is an internal logic to the choice of Jagdeo now which I had pointed out beforehand. Endorsements are not the issue. Thatcher didn’t want to go in the first place. Chavez endorsed Maduro and Fidel did the same for Raul but Lenin did not endorse Stalin. Every member of the PPP does NOT have the right to vote on the leadership since the party still operates on nthe principle of Democratic Centralism. Political Analysis does not inviolve wishful thinking and “remaining positive”. That’s for dilettantes.

  • de castro  On 07/09/2015 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks for the correction of “history” …
    Democratic centralism is new to me….in my union days our post was up for grabs yearly….our members voted on leadership selection.
    Candidates who wished to contest selection just put forward their names.
    They had to be elected locally before they can contest for national elections.
    which was also held yearly. Eventually the executive council votes on who
    should be elected as leader. Some union leaders ended up as senior members of the labour party……10% of union fees went to support the labour party.
    I opted out of this as I did not wish to contribute to any political party.
    Quite a few of my fellow members did. We were anti corruption which was present in union and politics at the time…..Tony Blair Gordon Brown et al.

    Jagdeo will be useful in opposition but am sure his political career will not last
    and am sure new leadership will emerge in the PPP…..political.

    Que sera

  • Winston Yaw  On 07/09/2015 at 2:36 pm

    I applaud Mr DeCastro’s analysis which seems correct. Time and politics will determine how long Mr Jagdeo will continue to rule the PPPc. Younger and smarter opponents will emerge to challenge his leadership, so he is on trial, just as the APNU is on trial. The electorate is the judge and jury, and they will decide in time what is best for Guyana hopefully when sentencing comes around?????

    • Thinker  On 07/09/2015 at 6:29 pm
      Jagdeo is still relatively young. The smart young people available
      are Charles Ramson Jr. and Dr Vindhya. Persaud. Do we want to include Priya, Nandilall and Ramsarran?. Have your pick. Jagdeo is there for quite some time.

  • de castro  On 07/09/2015 at 8:09 pm

    Thinker you may also be right as jagdeo is still very young by today’s standard
    however in politricks we may be all “spectulating” ……as for his successors you seem to have a better understanding of the local situation.
    Two important factors must not be overlooked…
    1. How well he performs in opposition.
    2. How well Granger and his deputy perform.

    The Guyanese people expectations will be high let’s hope they are not disappointed… both govt or opposition.
    Am sure it will be entertainment for the Guyanese daily rabble.
    Am forever the optimist….

    Let us all enjoy the “spectacle” (pantomime) from our armchairs.

    Que sera

  • Gigi  On 07/11/2015 at 12:37 pm

    Wow! What a venomous spew simmering with hate, envy and jealousy. Imagine when he finally explodes!!! It is scary that a person – and a grown one at that – still has so much ugliness inside for another. The PPP/C was wise to let him go, along with Rumjat – who is being set up to fail by APNU’s child soldiers that Granger released from prison to instil fear into the population in order to scare them into accepting oppressive police control. Also Nagamootoo, who is only interested with his window dressing PM title and shows no spine nor desire to represent the responsibilities of his office.

    “The PPP has been shattered by defeat, its leadership disgraced by corruption and it has lost the sympathy of the international community through abuse, corruption and the refusal to hold local government elections.”

    The PPP was defeated in that the election was rigged by the international community to promote its self-interest and not that of the Guyanese people. “Lost the sympathy of the international community.” What a load of tripe! The int’l community is not capable of SYMPATHY and is not in the business of having and extending SYMPATHY to others. It is, to use a phrase from the Matt Taibbi, “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” One just has to look at the current machinations in Greece as proof of this. Especially given that it was/is the corrupt bankers of this corrupt int’l community whose financial advise to the previous Greek govt is the reason Greece is in its current dilemma. They then wagered that the Greek economy would collapse and made sure that it did so as to collect its spoils with no regard for the disaster it wreaked upon the citizens. Now their solution to the Greeks is to privatize all their state controlled entities for peanuts on the euro, sell off their prime lands for peanuts, ship off their brightest to build and strengthen the economies of their own countries while, at the same time, increasing taxes and inflicting wages and pension cuts on an already desperately poor people. This is the sympathy of the int’l community Ramkaran is siding with. What an ugly man inside and out. All Ramkaran is proving is that he is part of the spin machine hired to attack Jagdeo based on his intense hatred for Jagdeo and what he stands for. Love hath no fury like a man spurned, eh Ramkaran?

  • Leslie Chin  On 07/13/2015 at 2:59 am

    All the discussion about Jagdeo and the PPP is diverting attention away from the threat from Venezuela. President David Granger had invited the PPP to join in a government of national unity just after the election. This is now more necessary than ever to counter the threat from Venezuela. United we stand,

  • de castro  On 07/13/2015 at 7:33 am

    We must not forget that it was Jagdeo PPP that brokered the ” oil for rice ” deal
    with comrade Chavez/MADuro.
    Can’t see them sideing with Granger now.

    MADuro is “saber rattling” now that his influence of power in Venezuela is in decline. A drowning man would clutch at a straw !
    Looking for a distraction from his political dilemma/demise.

    He may yet end up like Mussolini ….hung drawn quartered by his own people.
    Up the revolution !

    Que sera

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