Moses for PPP Leader?
by Rakesh Rampertab

Moses Nagamootoo for PPP top post? This is the best news for PPP politics since the 1992 elections. Now, the public is going to see for the first time since the early Jagan-Burnham fistfights for the PPP, the public tug-of-war for this historic but failed party.

Why is this great news? First, parties should not grant lifetime membership to leaders as we do. By having choices, we are promoting democracy and forcing the best candidate to be top choice as opposed to the only candidate. Rotation of candidates is absolutely needed in politics, especially where failed leaders refuse to go into exile. Since the fifties, Jagan’s PPP has had 3 presidential candidates. Three (all basically the same) in about 50 years! The US Democratic party has had about 8.

Secondly, the very core of political ideology in Guyana with the PPP and PNC needs tremendous revamping. Ideally, the almost total dismantling of both parties, as we have known them, is required. But that aside momentarily, the Nagamootoo-Jagdeo contest is a good prelude. It is truly time for the public to see what Mr. Nagamootoo is capable of. As a mere party member, someone of his status is not enough. In fact, it’s nothing.

Now, the PPP leaders will have to scramble to combat in a new front, as if GIHA and ROAR are not enough trouble. The PNC hasn’t been a real threat in common electoral terms since PPP supporters don't vote PPP, but rather, vote against PNC. This makes the Nagamootoo-Jagdeo fight as top bill on the program.

This is not the first time we have seen this fight. When Dr. Jagan died, mourning was not the only thing happening at Freedom House. The ocean was being divided. Moses was ascending and then he fell, like that fictional angel-become-devil. Moses once received the second highest number of votes among PPP delegates at a PPP Congress; yet, he was booted from top positions in the PPP Executive Committee (EC) of 15 members. The Central Committee (CC) ganged up on Moses. This was election rigging, or as the President would have it, power gained via the “backdoor.”

Once again, Moses is facing the ocean with mighty Ramses and his entire army of chariots, soldiers, construction companies, and savvy business folks. Will God help Moses the way Lord Krishna helped Arjuna? Will Moses crumble with humility like Arjuna when he sees his friends on the other side? Time will tell. But it will take more than the hand of God to help Moses lead his supporters from bondage into a promise land. Not even a promise of land from him to his supporters will be enough to bring victory.

Moses will need the help of the PPP rebels, particularly the Section “K” Campbellville Group. This would be a good “staff” for Moses. Top female PPP leaders/members (with one exception) must join Moses and have more women in the CC and EC, with them having voting rights and not mere right to speak (the consolation recently given by the Jagdeo-Jagan team). The PPP must stop being anti-women. It has failed to help women in Guyana. The PPP voter most beaten and violated daily is the women; the victims most violated during the crime blitz were Indian women.

Therefore, women must move away from the Jagdeo administration, even if their husbands vote for Jagdeo. The vote is not about the husband; it is an individual choice. The vote is the women’s right to be a woman. Young women must encourage this by setting the example. This is their time. They are the one most vulnerable than all other Guyanese today. Older women must strop having their sons as mere targets for kidnapping. ROAR and GIHA must receive the respect that the Jagdeo team has tried to deny so vehemently. Moses must know that there will be no room for talks of Indians absorbing pain and such like. No room for the shallowness given to Annandale. Let there be no misunderstanding about this.

The Nagamootoo candidacy may be the only way to implement other critical chances like replacing a “Marxism/Leninism” ideology with a “democratic centralism” one, and bringing transparency and accountability to a party that is like a hidden cave. This is why Freedoms House seems like a scary house closed to the public than one of access and “freedom.” Further, more committee seats must be allocated to Berbice and Essequibo and away from those who reside in G/town-Demerara.

Altogether, in the end, it is the public that must topple President Jagdeo from his formidable corner in the PPP. PPP supporters have allowed PPP leaders to do as they pleased for too long. This happened at the Rose Hall Congress when the Cambellville Group was kicked aside, and when women were denied certain voting rights; this is evident today in the prevalency of race-crime against Indians such as the kidnapping of the taxi driver from Non Pariel who is still to be found. This nonsense with the PPP leadership has to stop. As the Jagdeo team starts to garnish support via promises, the PPP voting public must act up now by asking Nagamootoo for the details of his plan.



November 16, 2003
© 2001