Former President Donald Ramotar in a lengthy Republic Day note has slammed sections of the media who he claimed manipulated reality to bring down the former People’s Progressive Party government with allegations of corruption.
Mr. Ramotar, who could not convince his party to make him Opposition Leader after they were defeated at the elections, reflected on his time in office claiming that during that time perception was manipulated and was as different from reality as night from day.
“Today, there are many think tanks and media personnel who have become specialists in creating perceptions, which are different from reality. In Guyana, this method to engineer perception was used successfully to distort reality in our country,” he said.
The former President said over the last decade, a section of the media, in alliance with the then political opposition, worked hard to create the impression that the PPP government was practicing poor governance and corruption.
“Unfortunately, many persons fell for this line and the perception was created that the government was corrupt. The reality is indeed very different,” he added.
Mr. Ramotar said the PPP/C administration took many measures to fight corruption and to improve accountability in public life. He said what is not in accord with reality is the perception which the APNU+AFC created that they would practice democracy and good governance.
“A former editor of the Guyana Graphic, Mr Ric Mentus, once described the PNC and their media manipulators are The Mind Bogglers. He was speaking of the manipulators of the 1973 elections.Mentus eventually lost his job and was kicked out of Guyana for expressing that view,” he recalled.
Ramotar said Guyanese must guard against the “manipulators and mind bogglers.”
“Let us not allow them to misrepresent reality with false perceptions. We must always ensure that our perceptions are grounded in reality,” he added.
Following the 2015 elections, Mr. Ramotar who became President in 2011, found himself outside of the political power inside his own party. He had already given up the party leader position as General Secretary and was unable to convince party executives that he should lead them into the parliament after leading them to defeat at the polls.
Over the past few weeks, Mr. Ramotar has been speaking out more on national issues although he currently holds no political office.
It is believed that he may be seeking to get back the General Secretary position in the party. That position is currently occupied by Clement Rohee with former President Jagdeo serving as the Leader of the Opposition.