Presidential Candidate of A New and United Guyana (ANUG), Ralph Ramkarran is of the firm conviction that Guyana’s political system needs to be urgently reformed or else the incoming oil wealth would only be abused and dissipated as has happened in so many countries.
In his most recent writings on his blog “Conversation Tree”, the official warned that if this does not happen as soon as possible then Guyana will remain a country politically divided and economically suffocating by the struggle for ethnic supremacy.
Ramkarran said, “After 60 years, no more evidence is needed that Guyana’s political system, based on majority rule, has become dysfunctional…I served on the Elections Commission for three general elections – 1992, 1997 and 2001. The leading PNC appointed commissioners were the late Neville Bissember, Malcolm Parris and Robert Corbin.”
The former House Speaker added, “At no time was a casting vote by the Chair necessary. The leading commissioners were expected to resolve contentious issues and did so. On occasions both leading PPP and PNC appointed commissioners resolved issues without clearance from their parties and were prepared to take the flak for it.”
Today, the Attorney-at-Law said that the degree of confrontation at deliberations of the Elections Commission is a reflection of that degenerating, systemic, dysfunction. He opined that what is taking place also shows that officials have virtually discarded the effort to discuss and agree. Ramkarran said that the only principle now applied is the seeking of unilateral advantage.
To eliminate this albatross, the Presidential Candidate said that Guyana needs a political system where the main political parties alternate in power every two terms, or one where the two political parties share power equally. Since the former is difficult to constitutionally structure under a system of free, but adversarial, elections, he opined that the latter appears to be the only route out of a political dilemma which has emerged from the existence in Guyana of two large ethnic blocs that manifest their insecurities in fixed electoral choices.
The Presidential Candidate said that both large political parties, the APNU+AFC Coalition and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) have supported shared governance in the past, only because it is a popular issue which may secure votes. He stressed however that lack of political commitment has resulted in both parties having reneged on their promises, most recently the APNU+AFC.
Considering the foregoing, Ramkarran said that the most important issue facing Guyana is not oil, but governance. He categorically stated that the main political parties must be pressured, as a first step, to commit in their manifestos to constitutional reform leading to shared governance.