Constitution prevents Jagdeo from becoming Prime Minister – Ramkarran

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By Tracey Khan – Drakes

Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo (left) and Head of State, Donald Ramotar.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran has explained that Guyana’s Constitution prevents former President Bharrat Jagdeo from running as the Prime Ministerial Candidate for the People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) in the upcoming May 11 general and regional elections.

Ramkarran, who is also a former Executive Member of the PPP, told iNews during a telephone interview on Wednesday, February 18 that Article 101 sub section 01 of the Constitution states: a person who is not eligible to be elected as President shall not be eligible for appointment as Prime Minister.

Ramkarran’s comments follow a recent petition which was signed by over 6,000 Berbicians, requesting the PPP to make Jagdeo its Prime Ministerial Candidate.

General Secretary of the PPP, Clement Rohee has since noted that the Party is in receipt of the petition and it is being considered; however Ramkarran said this is not possible.

“The Prime Minister must be qualified to be President and if Mr. Jagdeo is not qualified to be President having already served two terms then he cannot be appointed Prime Minister; I don’t know but like the PPP isn’t aware of that,” the Former Speaker told iNews.

He expressed surprise that the PPP is mulling the petition.

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran.

“I don’t understand how it is that they don’t understand their own Constitution and something as basic as that…how are you going to mull when it is not possible? How can you mull the impossible?” Ramkarran asked.

He is of the view that these tactics are being done by supporters of the PPP and encouraged by “those at the top.”

“Somebody is encouraging these petitions, they are encouraging the case in Court and encouraging the petition…if it is the PPP supporters doing it in Berbice, why the PPP can’t stop it?…it is being encouraged at the hierarchy, or they could just order the people behind this to stop.”

This petition followed a writ which was filed in the High Court, challenging the constitution reform that limits the President to two terms in office.

The petition, a copy of which iNews has acquired, states that the residents want Jagdeo to be the Prime Minister with direct responsibilities for the Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Despite these moves to bring Jagdeo back into the political sphere, the Former President has made it clear that he is not interested in running for any political office.