Tag Archives: elections

Guyana Politics – EXPLOITING THE SENTIMENTS OF THE ELECTORATE – By Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

SHARED GOVERNANCE

Conversation Tree Blog – January 12, 2019  – by Ralph Ramkarran

In a lengthy article written in 2011 before the general elections of that year, for “Freedom House” on “Countries at the Crossroads 2011: Guyana,” Assistant Professor Joan Mars, of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice of the University of Michigan-Flint, said: “Elections are constitutionally due to be held in 2011.

Calls by the political opposition for shared governance have not been endorsed by the ruling PPP/C administration headed by President Jagdeo; with its consistent absolute majority in parliament, the PPP/C has had little incentive to agree to share power, but the idea may be gathering momentum as a major rallying point in the forthcoming elections.“ Assistant Professor Mars, a former practising lawyer in Guyana, concluded: “The current system of majority rule should be reformed to provide for a power-sharing model that is representative of the ethnic diversity in the population.           Continue reading

Guyana: The Government’s Fall Was Always A Distinct Possibility – by Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Posted on December 22, 2018 – by Ralph Ramkarran – Conversation Tree Blog

What transpired in the National Assembly on Friday evening was always a distinct possibility, with the Government’s one seat majority. Election results mean something. In 2011, the electorate told the PPP/C that it wants that party to join in a coalition to manage the affairs of the nation. The PPP/C ignored the message. The electorate removed it from office in 2015. Then it proceeded to give the APNU+AFC coalition a mere one seat majority.

This conveyed another message – that the APNU+AFC coalition government should proceed cautiously and engage with the Opposition.             Continue reading

Guyana Politics: The Familiar Ring of the Elections Season – By Ralph Ramkarran

The Familiar Ring of the Elections Season 

By Ralph Ramkarran – 6th October 2018

Local government elections are to be held on November 12. With it, the never-ending stream of suspicions emerged as the Government established new local government units and merged others. The Opposition argued that these were done to give an advantage to the Government and the Opposition, through one of its representatives, promptly launched legal proceedings. This event provided the explanation for the ‘disappearance’ of the Chief Elections Officer, Mr. Keith Lowenfield, on one of the most critical days of the elections process, namely, the day after the submission of lists, when corrections have to be made and defects rectified.       Continue reading

Cheddi Jagan’s Contribution to Guyana’s Independence – By Ralph Ramkarran

CHEDDI JAGAN’S CONTRIBUTION TO GUYANA’S INDEPENDENCE

Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Inspired by events that were occurring in the wider world and influenced by progressive views while he was a student in the United States, Dr. Cheddi Jagan returned to Guyana in 1943, then British Guiana, intent on becoming politically involved on behalf of the poor and disadvantaged. He chose the trade union movement as an entrance point. Ashton Chase and Jocelyn Hubbard, both trade unionists, were sought out to join with him and Janet Jagan to form the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) on November 6, 1946, as a study and discussion group.

Branches emerged in various places including Kitty, Buxton and Enmore. My father, Boysie Ramkarran, joined the Kitty Group in 1947. Ashton Chase, at the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the PAC said that my father was the Secretary of that group. Eusi Kwayana was active in the Buxton group.   Continue reading

LOCAL GOVERNMENT – by Ralph Ramkarran – commentary

LOCAL GOVERNMENT – by  

Posted on March 19, 2016 – Conversationtree blog

Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Once upon a time, during the colonial era, Guyana had a local government system that functioned. It emerged from the establishment of village democracy in estates purchased by freed slaves. It did not cover all of Guyana and its functions were limited. But legislation throughout the 20th century improved and expanded the local government and municipal systems. These became so well organized that there was a national body called the Guyana Association of Local Authorities, which had great influence in the early years of our modern political development.

Many might be tempted to attribute the destruction of Guyana’s local government system since 1970, or thereabouts, by the failure to hold no more than two elections since then, as a conspiracy between the main political parties. But it was not.    Continue reading

CLUTCHING AT STRAWS – by Ralph Ramkarran

 CLUTCHING AT STRAWS

Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Posted on November 28, 2015   –  by  – ConversationTree Blog

The announcement by Government that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Fedders Lloyd, a reputable Indian company, relating to the Specialty Hospital project, has attracted several negative comments. During the life of the last government, the then Opposition consisting of both the AFC and APNU had refused to support the Specialty Hospital.

The AFC’s opposition was founded on the suspect award of the contract to Surendra Engineering, a spare parts supplier, rather than Fedders Lloyd, which had a track record in the construction of such facilities and had made the lowest bid. APNU argued that Guyana needed improved primary care centres, rather than a specialized facility. One high official suggested that ‘Indians’ were ‘taking over.’ Chinese and Brazilian immigrants, who should be applauded for their valuable contributions to Guyana, were spared.    Continue reading

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

PIT BULL POLITICS

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.   Continue reading

President Carter, a true Friend of Guyana, visits again – by Ralph Ramkarran

PRESIDENT CARTER, A TRUE FRIEND OF GUYANA, VISITS AGAIN.

Posted on April 18, 2015  – by
Jimmy Carter

President Jimmy Carter

When the US Government under President Bush decided in 1990 that it would support free and fair elections in Guyana, it was the Carter Centre that was called upon to act as the midwife for a new era of democracy in Guyana. Even though the Hoyte government’s lifeline of international financial and diplomatic support had been partially severed, the government still resisted the reforms demanded by the then opposition. It required the renowned stature and nuanced diplomatic skills of President Carter to negotiate the necessary concessions that would guarantee free and fair elections. President Carter’s name will remain forever associated with Guyana’s democracy.

President Carter and the Carter Centre remained engaged with Guyana. It established a permanent office, mounted a second full observer mission for the 2001 elections and conducted a focused observation for the 2006 elections. On both occasions it concluded that the elections were free and fair.   Continue reading

Guyana Elections: Accepting the Election Results – by Ralph Ramkarran

ACCEPTING THE ELECTION RESULTS

Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Posted on April 4, 2015  – by

Since the restoration of free and fair elections in Guyana, the only election results that have been accepted were those of 1992, even though they, and most other elections since then, were accompanied by violence, particularly after the elections. The Opposition castigated the 2011 elections alleging ‘discrepancies,’ although admitting that the results would not have been affected. The PPP went further and alleged that the 2011 elections were rigged against it.

The consequences of the failure to accept election results have been devastating to Guyana. It results, after most elections, in serious post-election violence, which causes damage to property, injury and loss to innocent people and harm to Guyana. It further exacerbates ethnic tension, which the elections campaign would already have whipped up, drives fear in the population and generates a feeling of uncertainty in the minds of investors.   Continue reading

Jagdeo and the PPP – Lifestyle and Politics – by Ralph Ramkarran

JAGDEO AND THE PPP – LIFESTYLE AND POLITICS

Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Posted on March 21, 2015 –  by

In an article for my blog, www.conversationtree.gy, published in SN last Sunday, I took issue with a statement by former President Jagdeo that implied that Cheddi and Janet Jagan lived in luxury. His argument that the Jagans lived such a lifestyle, comparable to his own at the time his house was built, was an attempt to justify his own Cadillac lifestyle, which over the past few years has come under severe scrutiny and criticism.

There were outraged responses by many people to Jagdeo’s statement, including from Clem Seecharran and, more indirectly, Peter Fraser, two distinguished Guyanese historians living and working in the UK. But the most telling came from Nadira Jagan-Brancier, the Jagan daughter, Dr. Tulsie Dyal Singh and Sadie Amin. Dr. Singh, who conferred with Dr Jagan about his medical condition just before he died and visited his home, said that his own family home in Palmyra on the Corentyne when he was growing up in the 1950s was of similar size to the Jagan home. Sadie Amin gave a description of the modest lifestyle and home of the Jagans, including its leaking roof.   Continue reading

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