Secret ballots are the bedrock of democracy

Dear Editor,

A secret ballot is the bedrock of democracy and is used all over the globe in choosing a party’s candidate for office.  So I can’t believe that General Secretary Donald Ramotar, the aspiring presidential candidate of the PPP, and the man President Jagdeo is promoting, is against using secret voting when the Ex Co and Central Committee members meet to select a candidate to replace the termed-out Mr Jagdeo (‘No decision yet on secret ballot for PPP candidate -Ramotar’ SN, Dec 23).  If Mr Ramotar is confident he can win a free and fair vote, then let us use secret ballots.

In the past, in communist societies including the communist PPP, all ‘voting’ was done in public view because no one was allowed to go against the leader, and the communist leadership wanted to see how party members voted.  In today’s world, all voting is done in private, in confidence in secret balloting.  No one knows or should know how a person cast a ballot as that defeats the principle of one man one vote, and the secrecy of the ballot.  PPP members and supporters as well as the Ex Co and CC members should put pressure on Mr Ramotar and President Jagdeo to ensure the balloting is secret, fair and confidential whenever the candidate will be chosen.

On another note, Moses Nagamootoo is right to criticize Guysuco and the PPP leadership on the recent threat to derecognize GAWU.  Obviously, Mr Nagamootoo penned his missive before President Jagdeo made his statement that “GAWU will not be derecognized under his watch,” and I am proud he is standing up for the working class. There is no need to censure Mr Nagamootoo who stands up for sugar workers. Mr Ramotar is a member of the GuySuCo Board and has not done anything to protect or advocate for the sugar workers.  It now takes President Jagdeo to intervene in the dispute to give the workers a one-off 5% increase which will cost $720M.

Yours faithfully,
Rihana Baksh

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