Commentator Ralph Ramkarran SC says constitution reform is what offers the best prospect for addressing the problems faced by the country not the formation of a new party.
In his column in yesterday’s Sunday Stabroek, Ramkarran addressed the arguments presented by letter writer Craig Sylvester in Saturday’s Kaieteur News. Sylvester had advocated the formation of a new party.
“The bleakness of Mr Sylvester’s prognosis is shared by many. But his solution, another political party, will not solve the problem.
Third parties or movements worldwide have a short life unless they represent a stable and permanent minority interest. They have not survived in Guyana and appeals to racial unity will continue to fall on deaf ears. Africans and Indians want to support the parties which they perceive are representing them”, Ramkarran, a former two-term Speaker of the National Assembly said.
He said that the country had to confront the reality of the presence of the two major parties. “We need to accept the existence of the PPP and PNC and work to being united politically by way of constitutional reform which both political parties and the diplomatic community in Guyana support. This will not solve all problems but it is the basic pre-requisite for the reduction of discrimination, corruption and the other ills mentioned by Mr Sylvester.
With the developing oil economy and vastly more resources available, these problems will intensify and multiply unless there is a political solution in Guyana. Corruption did not emerge with the PPP. One reason that caused its expansion was the expansion of public spending from $3 billion a year prior to 1992 to $20 billion plus thereafter.
With the oil resources, which will multiply public spending several times over, and one political group in control, imagine what will happen!”, he stated.
While APNU+AFC had promised swift constitutional reform, nearly 29 months after its election, the process is still to be decided on.
Ramkarran, who was a member of the PPP for nearly 50 years before resigning because he thought it was not doing enough to fight corruption, criticised both his former party and the governing coalition.
“The (APNU+AFC) government is silently leaning the economy towards Burnham’s socialist control system, to co-operativism and poverty, where the sugar workers suffer and the private sector has no influence. The past government’s policies favoured drug lords, the criminally inclined and business crooks.
While these two parties are in existence racism will never die in Guyana and the problems outlined above, and more, will never be resolved”, he said, while arguing that constitution reform offered the prospect of a positive change.