The Guyana Human Rights Association has blasted Health Minister Dr. Bheri Ramsarran for his “slap and strip” threats against women’s rights activist Sherlina Nageer.
And the Human Rights body believes that the continued presence of Dr. Bheri Ramsaran as Minister of Health and candidate on the PPP/C electoral list “is the direct result of the feeble levels of accountability in our electoral and political systems.”
“Were Bheri Ramsaran facing a constituency-based fight for his seat, the furore he ignited by his abusive language and threats against Ms. Nageer would have so doomed his chances that a swift resignation would have ensued”, the GHRA said.
According to the Human Rights body, instead getting the Health Minister to resign from his position, there is a spectacle of the party leadership resisting universal condemnation and protecting him.
“The example of Bheri Ramsaran highlights the real powerlessness of citizens and civic influence in our political system, particularly over MPs selected in their name by party leaderships. Ramsaran’s survival as a Parliamentarian, much less as a Minister, rests entirely with the leadership of his party. The only avenue for a voter wishing to signal their rejection of him as a candidate is to reject the entire party list, thereby rendering him a liability to all other candidates on the List”
Several local and international organisations have condemned the Health Minister over his verbal assault on the rights activist. The President has had a conversation with the Minister on the issue and the People’s Progressive Party has indicated that it has had a serious talk with him also.
The PPP has not recommended to the President that he be removed from office and his name remains on the party’s list of candidates as General elections nears.