Guyana Needs a New Political Party: Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

GEORGETOWN, GUYANA (STABROEK NEWS) — Guyana needs a new political party which will seek the support of the groups that the Alliance for Change (AFC) has disappointed, according to commentator Ralph Ramkarran.

In his column which appeared in the recent Sunday Stabroek, Ramkarran cited the failure of the main political groups: PNC/APNU+AFC and the PPP/C to break the ethno-political divide that has gripped the country for decades.

Ramkarran who was a member of the PPP for nearly 50 years before quitting said it appears that for those who believe that the end of the culture of ethno-political dominance is a pre-requisite for Guyana’s progress, that a political struggle would have to be carried out to encourage the political parties to accept such a course. Does such a struggle have a reasonable chance of success? he asked.

“Guyana’s political landscape is changing and new possibilities now exist. The mixed middle class is now 19 per cent and it has within it a large contingent which is opposed to the ‘racial politics’ of the two main parties. It is this group, together with disaffected PPP and PNC supporters which gave the Alliance for Change (AFC) its oxygen. The failure of the AFC to bridge the racial gap in politics as promised, or to influence APNU in any way, much less implementing constitutional reform, has signalled the end of the AFC’s influence in the coalition and its electoral support”, Ramkarran declared.

He said that the new party should have two objectives: “to win the support of the majority of the electorate and if not, to bring the support of both of the main political parties to below 50 per cent. If such a party gains an absolute majority, it will form a national unity government. If not, it will never join a government of either of the main parties and will provide all the necessary guarantees to the public that it will not do so. It will, however, give its support to that party which supports constitutional reform to bring about the end of the culture of ethno-political dominance as well as other economic and social policies that have national consensus”.

Ramkarran, a former two-term Speaker of the National Assembly, said that developments since the AFC’s abandonment of its agenda of bridging the racial gap has proved that there still exists that critical mass of voters who continue to be moved by the desire to eradicate from Guyana’s politics the deleterious effects of the culture of ethno-political domination.