Sep 20, 2017
Very few souls in this country would frown on the implementation of a power-sharing blueprint between the Indian-dominated PPP and the African-dominated PNC. What will generate tsunamic waves that will wash away rationality and logic is the format. Power-sharing has to be a complex, philosophical document that will engage the best legal and academic minds Guyana can find.
Simple power-sharing concepts like the PNC inviting the PPP in September 2017 to share half the government are so silly that the side that is in power will not even devote literally a second in looking at the idea. No human in Guyana should be taken seriously if he/she calls on the holder of Government to immediate share half of the power receptacle with the PPP right this minute. It would take several columns to elaborate on the contextual danger and contextual horror show that involves. But let’s start.
Ralph Ramkarran proposed just that over the weekend. It is best to quote him; “There is therefore no obstacle to President Granger now immediately inviting former President Ramotar to be his Prime Minister and inviting the PPP/C to nominate 49 per cent of the members of the cabinet.”
The obvious question is what happens to justice if Ramotar becomes Prime Minister today and the 49 percent membership of the Cabinet from the PPP consists of people who are now under serious criminal investigation? Justice, any philosopher would argue is the clue that holds civilized society together. Not even a dreamy philosopher like Jean Jacques Rousseau would argue that the operationalization of crime and punishment as a societal value is unnecessary.
The man, Ramkarran himself, knows and understands that justice must be dispensed within society. Last month, he issued a libel threat to this columnist and newspaper if certain remarks were not withdrawn. Here are Ramkarran’s own words seeking justice; “the statement is therefore defamatory, malicious, and calculated to besmirch my good reputation and lower my character in the estimation of the public and has so done.”
Ramkarran is simply saying by those words that when you hurt people the victim must get justice. So Ramotar becomes Prime Minister today and the 49 percent of the Cabinet consists of Ramotar’s choices against whom investigations are pending. What happens to justice then? Ramotar as Prime Minister in a power-sharing covenant will have to select his 49 percent of the Cabinet. It is more than likely that if his selections are rejected then he will walk. If his Ministers are approved by the presidency, then what happens to justice?
I have asked that question three times already in this column so it needs explaining. What happens to the forensic audits if in their contents evidence points to criminal wrong-doing of Ministers who are now in the government? If some of these Ministers are charged will the power-sharing arrangement still stand?
What becomes of the Courtney Crum-Ewing assassination investigation?
It was under the Ramotar presidency that the murder took place. Will Prime Minister Ramotar cooperate with the police investigation by handing over information he knows that may implicate former Government officials when the PPP was in power? Which Ministries will the PPP be offered and would agriculture be one of them?
Would a PPP Minister of Agriculture accept that there will no longer be a sugar industry?
If they do not get Agriculture will they accept power-sharing? Who will be the consultant and advisors to the Prime Minister and the PPP Ministers? What becomes of justice if the PPP appoints personnel that the society frowns on?
Will Kwame McCoy work for the Prime Minister? These are paramount questions that will torment both the PNC and the society if the PNC accepts Ramkarran’s formula.
I know of no country in recent memory where former Ministers accused of heinous crimes and extensive corruptions are invited into government even though they didn’t win the elections. The Northern Ireland power-sharing scheme resulted in men on both sides of the religious divide that were involved in sectarian violence becoming Ministers but this is a billion miles away from what Ramkarran is proposing should happen in September 2017.
No Minister in the Northern Irish Government has been accused of serious criminality while serving in the Cabinet.
Around the world, previous Ministers are being pursued and prosecuted. In Guyana, Ramkarran is saying that for the sake of national unity, the country must forget the crimes committed by the PPP when in government and let them share power with the PNC. So what happens to justice?