Hamilton Green was against free and fair elections in 1992

Dear Editor,

Former PNC strongman Mayor Hamilton Green in his letter, `Proposed rotation of mayorship has to be seen in context of PPP obsession with political control of Georgetown,’ (SN 10-21-13), stated that he was expelled from the PNC because he had a serious disagreement with PNC leader Desmond Hoyte over “the political management of the party machinery.”  I seemed to recall that immediately after the 1992 elections Mr Green went on a campaign to PNC groups telling them that Mr Hoyte was “foolish for holding free and fair elections.” Mr Green was certainly against free and fair elections and did all that he could do to derail the 1992 elections.

At the end of poll that day Mr Green’s supporters went to the Elections Commission building and proceeded to stone it. Riots were fomented in other parts of the Georgetown, all in an effort to sabotage the elections. Fortunately Mr Hoyte would have none of it and ordered the GDF and Police to restore law and order and protect the electoral process. It was his efforts to stop the process of restoring democracy and bad mouthing Mr Hoyte that caused Mr Hoyte to expel him.

Mr Green in his letter also referred to the secret power sharing talks between Burnham and Jagan in the early 1980’s, “… Burnham and Jagan and just a few of us had held secret meetings in an effort to forge a political unity (or a modus vivendi). Things were near fruition when Burnham died, my witness being Elvin Mc David.  After Burnham’s death Hoyte had a strong hostility towards Dr. Jagan, which I did not share.  Hoyte was not aware of the secret Burnham/Jagan talks.  I recall inviting Cheddi Jagan to my home to revive those talks. Hoyte was upset, my witness to this being Dr. Joey Jagan.” I hope PPP supporters, especially the younger ones read and understand this statement.

Here was Mr Green, just after the 1980 rigged elections, holding power sharing talks with Dr Jagan. After the 1985 rigged elections Mr Green summoned Dr Jagan and his son Joey to his home to resume power sharing talks. Mr Hoyte was hostile towards Dr Jagan. Mr Hoyte terminated the power sharing talks. But it was the same Mr Hoyte who held free and fair elections in 1992, although he knew it might gave power to Dr Jagan, and it was the same Mr Green who tried to stop free and fair elections. So Mr Green was willing to hold onto power by rigged elections and share some crumbs with Dr Jagan and Joey. What is the point I am making. That Jagan and Green were peas of the same pod. Mr Hoyte was different. He was committed to restoring democracy even if it meant him losing power. This is a man young people must look to as a role model and try to emulate.

When Mr Green was expelled he was left like the proverbial beggar on the street. The once powerful and feared strongman was suddenly a nobody on the streets. But the PPP soon rescued him, helped him set up his Good and Green Party, and released his associates Rabbi Washington and Errol Butcher who were jailed by Hoyte. The “PPP intellectuals” who usually gathered outside Freedom House on Saturday mornings whispered that Green would split the PNC and give PPP victory in Georgetown in the 1994 local government elections. However Mr Green won the largest bloc of votes and Dr Jagan called him in for “power sharing talks,” but Mr Green off course preferred to eat the whole cake.

Mr Green gave as his excuse, “With my experience of the PPP I knew that the plan would be to support the third year PPP Mayor with Government resources so that their Mayor would look good and therefore influence voters for the next election.” So Mr Green knew he would not get resources to get the job done but he has held on to it for 19 years. I suppose when you depend on politics to earn a living it does not matter whether you get the job done or not. What matters is the paycheck the job gets you.

Yours faithfully,
Malcolm Harripaul

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