Guyana will soon qualify as `Kleptocratic Republic’ -Ramkarran

Former PPP stalwart Ralph Ramkarran says the country will soon qualify to be described as `The Kleptocratic Republic of Guyana’ and the ruling PPP/C will do nothing about corruption as it is being supported by three discrete groups which are fuelling this graft.

In his most withering attack to date on the party of which he was a member for nearly 50 years, Ramkarran described one of the groups as follows: “Above all of these is a group of wealthy and influential businessmen who have high political connections. They meet regularly to examine business opportunities and potential deals and map out strategies as to how their plans can go forward, and implement those plans. They have access, through their political connections, to information of the potential opportunities that are likely to emerge in the near to medium term and are in a position to make the investments now so as to cash in on those opportunities down the road.”

This argument about the grip of oligarchs on the PPP/C administration has been made by others before including economist Tarron Khemraj. A series of sectors and decisions have been cited including the apportioning of radio licences, divestment of state assets and the construction of the intended Marriott- managed hotel in Kingston.

In a column to appear in tomorrow’s Sunday Stabroek, Ramkarran identified the two other groups in the triumvirate as contractors for state projects and bureaucrats in the public sector. He hastened to state that there are many amongst them who are honest and doing their job but a key section has been co-opted to participate in the corruption and the enriching of the select few. He described the PPP’s stance as follows:

“The PPP leadership is supported and financed by all of these groups and state decisions are influenced by their interests. The PPP is no longer motivated by working class ideology although it still clings to its historical connections. The reason why the Public Procurement Commission, a vital instrument in the struggle against corruption, will never be established is that the PPP is a political organization that now represents a section of the petit bourgeoisie, those three parts of which are described above, whose interests are antagonistic to those of the working class and conflict with acceptable standards of integrity.”

Ramkarran, quit the party last year after his persistent claims that the PPP/C was not doing anything about corruption, caused a rift. He has since then kept up a barrage of criticisms which analysts say is aimed at trying to produce fundamental change in the party. A key congress of the PPP/C is set for August at which pivotal issues are likely to be on the agenda in the wake of the party’s loss of its parliamentary majority in the 2011 elections.

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