Guyana Politics: Jagdeo flayed for ‘crass’ display

— Prime Minister Nagamootoo and Ralph Ramkarran urge maturity

Bharrat Jagdeo

Guyana Chronicle – March 4, 2018:  FORMER PPP executive and former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran, has criticised Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo’s announcement that he will turn down a meeting on election matters with President David Granger on March 6 on election matters.

Jagdeo last Thursday at his weekly press briefing, cited two letters which were sent to Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chairman by the President, saying they were doctored, and as such, he will ignore the President’s invitation.

Minister of State Joseph Harmon has already refuted the claims made by Jagdeo as malicious, deceitful and bewildering.     

Ramkarran believes the former President was out of line.       

Ralph Ramkarran

“… I have always believed that doors should never be closed in politics. The second letter, not having expressly contradicted the first, Mr. Jagdeo should have assumed that its contents remain valid and, at the meeting, request an explanation from the President as to why the government-nominated members of the commission are ignoring his request,” Ramkarran contended.

He added that under the current circumstance, the opposition can only succeed with “patience and cool tempers,” which is little of what Jagdeo demonstrated last Thursday.

Suggesting another path he could have taken, Ramkarran asserted: “Mr. Jagdeo could have informed the public of his intention and then raise the issue of a date for elections at the meeting. If his effort was unsuccessful, he could then declare the meeting a failure. No politician should paint his opponents in a corner. The door should always be left open for them to walk out in compromise and dignity.”

Moses Nagamootoo

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo in his column ‘My Turn’, lambasted the opposition leader for his haste to accuse the President of fraudulent behavior, even while media operatives tried to point out that the letters were different and acknowledged each other.

The opposition leader was repeatedly reasoned to by members of the press until he read the letters once more and came to the realisation, conceding: “Yea, yea, ok.”

“As the independent media bludgeoned him after he had accused President Granger of committing a fraud, he proceeded to cynically name journalists such as Julia Johnson and Gordon Moseley, the latter having been banned from presidential media conferences under the former regime,” Nagamootoo recounted.

“As I watched his pathetic performance, I realised that the silly season for scandals has returned, and the image of the foul-mouthed politician came back from a period when Jagdeo himself had invented ‘cuss-down politics’.”

Even after coming to the realisation that the letters were separate, Jagdeo pressed further, questioned, “So if there is two separate letters, which one is the one we will use?”

Nagamootoo added: “It is clear that the former President is momentarily disoriented by charges against him of misuse of state resources and the many counts of fraud and sleaze against several of his ministers. But this is no time to play the silly game of catch- up by accusing the sitting President with fraudulent conduct.”

Guyana Chronicle’s Sunday editorial titled “Civility in Public Office”, also weighed in on the behaviour of Jagdeo.

“Last Thursday’s crass behaviour by leader of the opposition (LOO) accusing the government of fraudulent behaviour and also attacking the President personally, referring to his religion, was the most vulgar we have seen from this former president in recent times,” the editorial stated.

It added: “Known for this kind of behaviour, Mr. Jagdeo’s hasty conclusion as to the motive of the President sending two letters to the chairman of GECOM without properly reading them is most unfortunate. Despite being exposed, he refused to acknowledge his wrong and proceeded to make other wild, unfounded claims, even threatening to boycott a meeting proposed by the President.”

The editorial went on to examine how such behaviours demonstrated by a leader could impact the behavior of youths and children, if such actions were to be depicted as the new norm.

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  • Yvonne  On 03/05/2019 at 6:10 am

    No class……plain and simple.

  • Kman  On 03/11/2019 at 1:34 pm

    True, but then again, which politician, business leader, or academic has any class in Guyana? This is sad to say but such individuals are scarce, and, hard to find!

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