Nagamootoo: Ramotar a manufactured candidate

-accuses PPP of rigging internal elections

Newly-minted AFC member, Moses Nagamootoo yesterday charged that the PPP leaders have betrayed their supporters and he accused a “cabal” of rigging the party’s elections and “manufacturing” the presidential candidate, Donald Ramotar.

In a blistering attack on the PPP’s leadership as he appeared on the AFC’s platform for the first time since signing on, Nagamootoo told a gathering of a few hundred supporters at the party’s first election rally held at Parade Ground, that for years the PPP fought against fraudulent elections and it was bad when it was laid at the feet of former president Forbes Burnham and the PNC. “But our leaders have vindicated the worst fears of decent people. They rigged the internal elections to manufacture a presidential candidate,” charged Nagamootoo.

Moses Nagamootoo speaking on the AFC platform yesterday.

Greeted with loud cheers, Nagamootoo said that the PPP did not allow its members to evaluate the candidates and decide under merit who was more qualified to lead the party into this year’s elections. He had sought to be the PPP presidential candidate earlier this year but withdrew after his plea for the wider membership of the party to have a say in the process was rejected.

“They have betrayed the followers and not only that, every time they went to a congress and they would elect their leaders to the leadership of the party, an internal cabal controlled by (President Bharrat) Jagdeo and financed by Jagdeo and fed by Jagdeo will undo the results of the congress,” Nagamootoo said adding that it was an insult to the members of the party and they ought to be condemned and removed.

“Preach it Moses,” shouted supporters.

The attorney said that the party leaders has defiled “the home I had as my home… they corrupted it” – a reference to the PPP. He said that as a true son who would stand up to any wrong-doing in his house, he decided that he no longer had a place in the desecrated home. He continued to play a role in the party at the 2006 elections but “since they decided to throw me out …then the ship will sink”.

TUF list: TUF leaders (left) hand over their list of candidates to Chief Election Officer Gocool Boodoo.

Nagamootoo said that when he was approached by the AFC leader, Khemraj Ramjattan 2006 to campaign with the AFC, he did not want to be “ungrateful” to the PPP. He referred to the speech he made in support of the PPP at that time and said that the state media has been playing it to its Berbice supporters. He said that the situation reminds him of the movie ‘El Cid’ and “though they want  me dead rather than alive, they are now parading my corpse as commander in chief in a battle, because  they know that without Nagamootoo they will not win the elections, without Nagamootoo cat eat they dinner.” His separation from the party has left its leadership feeling “bitter,” he said.

In noting the roles he served in the PPP including holding several ministerial portfolios, he said that the year in which former president, Cheddi Jagan died, “he announced me as someone to succeed him”. He called on the PPP to dispute this.

Nagamootoo endorsed the AFC saying that he has seen the energy of a new nationalist revolutionary party in it and he was privileged to be there.

Meantime, Ramjattan told the crowd that the party, if elected, will work towards creating jobs and stimulate the economy. Security is an area of concern too, he added. He also spoke on corruption and various accounts stashed at various places. Ramjattan said that the party has been in talks with major Brazilian and Indian investors to reform and develop the sugar industry.

Party leader and prime ministerial candidate, Raphael Trotman referred oftentimes to “the war is over” in relation to the divisions that have plagued the country.

TUF member, Valerie Garrido–Lowe also spoke at the event and she said that while she was sad at what had befallen the leadership of the TUF she was happy that there would be “change”.

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