That Guyana Election

By Oscar Ramjeet

News Americas, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Fri. Aug. 5, 2011: We are already in the month of August – five months away from the deadline for general elections and there is a lot of work to be done by the political parties contesting the elections.

In the People’s Progressive Party Civic, (PPP/C) camp, behind the scene moves are being made to bring back veteran supporters Ralph Ramkarran, Moses Nagamootoo, Navin Chanderpaul, and Komal Chand to the fold. But from reports, it seems as if President Bharat Jagdeo is not too keen for them to be included in the Cabinet. This is rather unfortunate since these guys have been supporters of the government since they were teenagers.

So far no one has been identified as the prime ministerial candidate. There are rumors that the incumbent Sam Hinds might be asked to serve yet again, but this in my view would not be a good move.

My choice is Gail Teixeira who is very knowledgeable and a supporter for decades. She is bright and very articulate and can be of great assistance to Donald Ramotar. More so it is high time that a woman holds that position. She is also not Indo-Guyanese.

Over in the People’s National Congress Reform, (PNCR), there is also disenchantment and there are factions that are not seeing eye to eye with the David Granger camp. It was somewhat alarming to learn that diehards like Jeffrey Thomas, who served the party since he was a youth – was head of the Young Socialist Movement (YSM) youth arm of the PNCR, Aubrey Norton, Vincent Alexander, Ronald Austin and others have been sidelined.

Granger was not known as a PNC in his youth and he was chosen as the Presidential candidate. This is unfair, just as in the case when Jagdeo was named as President in preference to persons who spent all their lives with the PPP.

Now that the PNCR has essentially merged with the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) and other parties and groups under the APNU banner, the prime ministerial candidate may not be chosen from the main opposition party.

It is understood that Donald Ramotar had made promises to three of the sidelined four, but reports are that he may not want to live up to them, and if this is true the question is whether they would want to campaign for the party which they grew up with. Nagamootoo, Chanderpaul and Chand are very popular in the sugar belt.

Ramotar could most likely be elected President of Guyana because the PPPC may again poll most votes, but the question is would the party get 50 percent of the votes? It might not if the powerful disenchanted trio withdraw their support and stay on the sideline. This would mean that it would be a low polling election. But we will have to wait and see.