Weeks after former Executive of the People’s Progressive Party Ralph Ramkarran leveled serious corruption allegations against the Government and the Party he served for decades, the PPP has fired back at him, declaring that the former Speaker of the National Assembly is his own “worst enemy” and someone who failed to get the party’s nod to be its presidential candidate.
In a two page response to the many revelations of Ramkarran over the past months, the PPP detailed his efforts since 1997 to become the party’s Presidential Candidate for the General Elections. According to the party statement, “His profound vitriol against leaders of the PPP makes one wonder why was this not exposed when he was one such leader and contesting for the Presidency in 2011. Why was this aspect of his moral position not revealed during his bid for the Presidential candidacy? In fact, why would one want to be a presidential candidate for a party he has now described in such disparaging terms and accused of such dastardly acts?”
The party said one could draw no other conclusion “as to wonder whether we would have had to wait at least another five years of silence had he won the Party 2011 Presidential Candidate nomination, and possibly the Presidency, for the disclosures he is now making.” The party appears convinced that the only reason Ramkarran is speaking out now is because he never got the chance to lead the party into General Elections.
Leading up to the 2011 Elections, Ramkarran made public his intention to seek the Party’s Presidential Candidate position. At the time of his announcement, no one else in the party had made known their own ambitions. However, following the Ramkarran announcement, a number of other party Executive members rushed into the race. When it was time for the party’s executive to choose a Presidential Candidate, the other candidates including Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee and Presidential Advisor Gail Teixiera, withdrew from the race and threw their support behind the party’s General Secretary Donald Ramotar.
Several members of the PPP executive had also fought against a suggestion by Ramkarran for there to be secret balloting for the party Presidential Candidate position. Ramkarran dropped out of the race, leaving Ramotar as the only choice to be the party’s Presidential Candidate. The PPP went into the 2011 Elections under the leadership of Ramotar and the party came out of the elections with its worst showing at the polls in two decades. While the party gained enough votes to hold on to the executive, its performance cost the party its control over the parliament and the PPP was left in the minority in the National Assembly with the combined opposition holding onto the majority.
Ramkarran lost his position as Speaker of the National Assembly when the combined Opposition voted him out and replaced him with the Alliance for Change’s Raphael Trotman.
Since then, Ramkarran has been very outspoken about what the way the PPP has been doing business. He resigned from the party and has since turned to his blog (conversationtree.gy) to offer his thoughts about governance in Guyana and the political situation. He has also been offering glances into the operation of the PPP and why the party has been consistently losing support at the elections.
The PPP has been dismissive of the Ramkarran writings. The party writes that “Mr. Ramkarran now has discovered that he has so much to share about his experiences and knowledge about the PPP and Government. Not unexpectedly, he portrays himself as a wronged person in order to justify his efforts at leaking dreadful secrets of his political past. Unfortunately, Mr. Ramkarran has become his own worst enemy.”