|PPP lobbies Ralph Ramkarran to return as AFCites differ on his value||| Print ||
|Written by Denis Scott Chabrol|
|Saturday, 30 June 2012 22:19|
Even as the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) engages in a flurry activity to possibly get long-serving executive member, Ralph Ramkarran to withdraw his resignation from the party, there are mixed views about whether he would be good for the Alliance For Change (AFC).
Ramkarran, according to sources close to him, has decided to end his political career that dated back to more than 30 years when he followed in the foot-steps of his father Boysie Ramkarran.
The former House Speaker dispatched his resignation to PPP General Secretary, Donald Ramotar on Saturday, one day after a heated meeting of the PPP’s Executive Committee.
“At a meeting of the Executive Committee on Friday, June 29, 2012, disquiet was expressed about the confidentiality of discussions in my presence having regard to my recent article on corruption. However difficult it might be to link the two issues, the intensity of the discussions were such that further participation in the activities of the PPP would be a challenge,” said Ramkarran in a statement.
Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo was not at that meeting but Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) was told that two senior party members who are high-ranking functionaries at the Office of the President heaped criticism on Ramkarran.
Ramkarran three weeks ago publicly called for an end to rampant corruption that he said was eating away at the society.
Since his resignation was made public, the PPP issued a terse statement, suggesting that it was making efforts to salvage the situation. “The PPP General Secretary's office this morning received a letter of resignation from the PPP by Mr. Ralph Ramkarran. Immediately, efforts were made to engage Mr. Ramkarran on his concerns and his decision.”
Several hours after the resignation was made public, AFC Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan said that while he would have preferred Ramkarran to remain in the PPP and battle it out on issues such as corruption and good governance.
“It goes to show any element in that party now that is not seen to be a group-thinker will be excluded by coercion and pressure as has happened here. It a dark day for the PPP and by extension the politics of this country,” he added.
The AFC Chairman said that although Ramkarran would be of “tremendous value” to his party in the areas of law, political and organisational experience, he was almost sure that the veteran politician would be quitting politics.
Against the background of claims by Ramkarran’s critics that he has no constituency and he is a ‘champagne socialist,’ Ramjattan disagreed, saying that the civil lawyer not only possesses a high degree of integrity but he is well-respected in the business, professional and middle class circles. “I know a lot of people respect Ralph Ramkarran and it is a misrepresentation to say that he doesn’t have a constituency and that is why the PPP would beg him to come back in,” Ramjattan added.
But Political Scientist, Freddie Kissoon, who is now associated with the AFC, disagrees with those who believe that Ramkarran would be an asset to any other political party.
Kissoon reasoned that Ramkarran has been a PPP member for a considerable number of years during which he has not been as vocal as Moses Nagamootoo with whom he had had internal political differences. “If he joins the AFC, I think that is going to bring some problems for the AFC because there is going to be some fall-out.
“People are going to say to the AFC that you are taking a lot of people that have contributed to the destruction of
The Political Scientist was quizzed about his logic in light of the fact that Nagamoooto quit the PPP after several decades and joined the AFC shortly before last November’s general and regional elections. “Nagamootoo at the height of PPP power was criticizing them…So Nagamootoo did what was historically obligatory of him to stop the influx of depravity in his party,” he said.
For his part, Ramkarran has said that his outspoken positions on many key issues such as corruption is nothing new. Since the publication of his article in the PPP-associated Mirror newspaper and extracts in a Stabroek News newspaper article, he has been busy fending of criticisms and questions about his whereabouts since the PPP has been power for the past 20 years.
There have been growing concerns about corruption in the award of multi-million dollar contracts, the provision of shoddy work that results in repetitive works and nepotism in the provision of contracts and jobs.
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