Editor, recently there has been a lot of speculation in the media about who will be selected by the JOPP to be David Granger’s prime minister. Brigadier Granger has said that his first preference would be a woman, and that is not only good politics but it would be good for the nation. Over the past weekend some media outlets suggested that the JOPP prime minister would be Dr Rupert Roopnaraine – eminent Guyanese scholar, ardent fighter for the working class, eloquent and charismatic on the stump. However, I think that Candidate Granger was on to something when he said he would prefer that position to go to a woman. After 45 years of political independence paying lip service to the women’s liberation movement, it is time for the glass ceiling to be broken in Guyana.
JOPP will have many highly qualified female candidates to choose from, women like Dr Janette Bulkan. Young, brilliant and with a PhD from Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental studies, Dr Bulkan would be a formidable and highly attractive number two on the JOPP slate. She is an anthropologist and has work experience in community development, diplomacy and international relations. Dr Bulkan knows the forestry industry and is an authority on climate change and low carbon development strategy (LCDS). She worked on the Iwokrama programme for rainforest conservation and development in Guyana (2000 to 2003).
This is a woman who is not only well qualified but well prepared for the many challenges that face this nation. She has worked on issues of poor governance, corruption and their negative impact on people, the economy and the ecology. Dr Bulkan as prime minster would be breath of fresh air and bring fresh ideas to the JOPP partnership that is currently being forged.
Another Guyanese that should be considered for a slot should be Mr Stanley Ming. Like Dr Bulkan, Mr Ming would be a fresh new face and a consensus builder. He will attract the fence-sitters and old reformers who might be apathetic and weary. He is a formidable fundraiser and one of the original architects of the Guyana 21 development plan. Editor, these are just two names, but there are many other qualified and able Guyanese women and men who could be part of the dynamic partnership that the JOPP promises to be. The leadership should cast a wide net to include, labour, academia, civil society, and select the best candidate to be our next prime minister, but like Brig Granger, I too would like to see a woman in that position.