When I first saw the video of my friend and colleague, Charles Ramson Jr declaring his intention to contest for the PPP Presidential Candidate, I was very disappointed in the choice of words used to justify his candidacy. But it was his response to the Leader of the Opposition, that certainly gave credence to the idiom that too much education is just as dangerous as too little.
Undoubtedly, Charles is young, ambitious, well-educated and has great potential. It is these very qualities that Bharrat Jagdeo recognized in him, that made him one of the youngest Members of the National Assembly. Without the support of Bharrat Jagdeo, he could not have made it on his own.
So what has changed?
Ramson has a bone to pick with Jagdeo, Anil Nandall and Irfaan Ali. He wanted time-off from Parliament for one year to pursue studies in the United Kingdom in Oil and Gas while retaining his MP status. This request was denied because the PPP could not afford to reduce its voting powers in the National Assembly at a time when the National Budget and vital pieces of legislation were upcoming.
He was subsequently replaced by the young, dynamic Vickram Bharrat.
In an email sent to me on May 21, 2018, Ramson wrote:
“I know the feeling of giving your all in a team and others not pulling their weight and it’s being allowed to happen. Imagine how i felt when as an MP i gave my all to this and when I got a prestigious scholarship to study an area which we need for the country and will be beneficial to the team and asked for leave and so many “leaders” did not support the application. I had support from luncheon and a couple others but anil and bj and irfaan did not support. It’s disheartening and discouraging.”
Every politically astute person in Guyana knows that former PPP Ministers Anil Nandlall and Irfaan Ali are the ones most likely to contest the Party’s Presidential candidacy for the 2020 elections, and so this presents Ramson an opportunity to deny them this nomination in much the same way they denied him. Isn’t this vindictiveness, tit for tat?
In his recent response to Jagdeo, he mentioned having knowledge of persons making public announcements before going through a nomination process for the 2015 election, and disclosed, “But I would like to point out that far worse has happened like persons being involved in corruption and no press conference has ever been held about it or disrespectful and childish comparisons being made.”
As a lawyer and upstanding citizen who wants to be President, did Ramson not feel it was his patriotic duty to report this “corruption” that he saw to the police or better yet, to SOCU?
Now that Charles Ramson is writing for the Kaieteur News, it seems he has discovered the Freddie Kissoon syndrome: Criticize Jagdeo and get your face on the front page.
In his declaration speech, Ramson said Guyana needs young, fresh leadership. “We need credible leadership—leadership with integrity, passion and vision; leadership that puts the people first.” While both Anil Nandall and Irfaan Ali fit the aforementioned description, they both have tremendous success and a well-documented track record in the sectors they were responsible for as Ministers in the previous government. Where is Ramson’s? In the past three years, it was Anil Nandlall, aided sometimes by Priya Manickchand and Adrian Anamayah who defended cash-crop farmers and sugar workers and everyone whose constitutional rights were being violated by this APNU+AFC Administration.
With his 10 years’ experience as a lawyer and Party member, Ramson has never volunteered his expertise to assist Nandlall with one of these cases. Is this the kind of leadership that puts people first?
Editor, behind that baby-face smile is a man whose ego dangerously rivals that of our Prime Minister. In his letter in the Kaieteur News on June 29 captioned `Charles Ramson through the eyes of someone else’, Dr. Mark Devonish sums it up beautifully when he describes Ramson as “too arrogant, obnoxious and petty” to be President. He forgot to mention his bad attitude.
I’m sure with time, Charles Ramson Jr will make a great President of Guyana, but not now, he has some maturing to do.
PPP Member of Parliament