By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Commenting on the Anil Nandlall issue which has dominated the local press over the last two weeks, Former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) member, Moses Nagamootoo says it is his sincere belief that had former President, the late Dr Cheddi Jagan been faced with such a situation, Nandlall would have not escaped discipline.
Attorney General, Anil Nandlall is currently being investigated by the police amid mounting calls for his resignation, after a profanity laced and threatening telephone conversation between himself and a Senior Journalist went public.
In an invited comment, the Alliance for Change (AFC) Executive reminded that he served for some 50 years within the PPP, most of that time with Dr Jagan. He said the well celebrated leader, if faced with rouge elements, would have used his discretion as President or the Party’s Disciplinary Committee to ensure the individual is sanctioned appropriately.
“I believe very sincerely that faced with this situation, Cheddi Jagan would have used his discretion to rein in a Minister who runs around like a duke without a head,” Nagamootoo told reporters; adding that “I would have expected that he be brought up to the Disciplinary Committee of the PPP.”
He recalled the expulsion of Khemraj Ramjattan by that very committee; saying it was done when he committed the most innocent of all offences when he referred to the conduct of former President Bharrat Jagdeo as infantile.
He reminded too that former Local Government Minister, Harripersaud Nokta was investigated by that Committee after allegations of sleaze.
“There is something called a code of conduct in the PPP by which you are judged to the extent that you cause damage to the image of Party… if your conduct while you hold office is bringing disrepute to your organization then those factors are good enough for that you to appear before the Committee,” Nagamootoo explained; adding that “I don’t know why he has not appeared before the Committee.”
He believes the problem lies in that the Party is no longer controlled by those who worked closely with Dr Jagan and shared his ideals.
“The problem is that the PPP is controlled by the non PPP, it is no longer controlled by the Jagan-ite elements; it is being controlled by the Jagdeo elements. This Party is incapable of exercising the discipline required in this situation,” Nagamootoo opined.
He believes what is happening may be part of the new political culture of the PPP, where when an official is under fire, their colleagues tend to give support under the presumption that if “one fall all will fall.”
“Like in the case of Clement Rohee, Ashni Singh, Leslie Ramsammy, Kellawan lLll and now Anil Nandlall; “it is a warp political rationale and that is why no bold attempt is being made to deal with irregular and disgraceful conduct of persons who hold public office.”
He further noted, “A minister is simply an assistant of the President and Ramotar has a constitutional responsibility to discharge whenever one of his assistants steps out of line.”
Meanwhile, in relation to the President’s threat to prorogue Parliament, should the Opposition push ahead with its no confidence motion, Nagamootoo said he can say predictably Dr Jagan would never do such.
“He was quintessentially a democrat and having been associated with PPP for 50 years with Jagan, I can tell you that he would have avoided this constitutional crisis,” the now AFC Executive added.
He said that Dr Jagan would have explored all avenues for compromises, consensus and negotiation.
“I doubt whether Cheddi Jagan would want any of this.”