By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Alliance For Change (AFC) Executive Member, Moses Nagamootoo and Leader of the governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Donald Ramotar have been endorsed as the likely Presidential Candidates for their respective parties by PPP supporter, Dr. Peter Ramsaroop and AFC supporter, Ruel Johnson.
However, Leader of the APNU, David Granger came in for heavy criticism from Dr Ramsaroop, who opined that the retired Brigadier does not have the skills set and necessary knowledge to lead Guyana.
“Sometimes politicians need to pass the baton on. You don’t need to be a full time politician and die in the seat,” Dr Ramsaroop told Chris Chapwanya, host of the radio programme, ‘Hard Talk’ which was aired on 90.1 Love FM, today Sunday, January 11.
Dr Ramsaroop believes that Granger should make room for the younger people.
“I don’t believe they have groomed anyone. I like the new generation coming up. The James Bonds of the world… APNU has done a poor job in facilitating the leadership…there’s a leadership void in APNU and I believe they will struggle to present a decent ticket for this 2015 elections.”
Johnson, on the other hand, believes that Granger is the fittest Presidential Candidate for the APNU. He endorsed a Granger/Ronald Bulkhan ticket for the 2015 elections.
“I think Granger is useful in that he has not been a career politician…I think the PNC needs somebody who has not been involved in government during the 80s to come and retool the party.”
According to Johnson, “there are talks of Granger/Bulkhan…I think while it fits the ethic formula, it is a sound ticket. Bulkhan has been tenacious in Parliament, he has strong analytical skills.”
Meanwhile, Moses Nagamootoo was endorsed by both men, while Nigel and Cathy Hughes were discussed as the possible Prime Ministerial Candidates for the AFC.
Dr Ramsaroop supports a Nagamootoo/Cathy Hughes ticket, while Johnson is in support of a Nagamootoo/Nigel Hughes Ticket.
“Moses Nagamootoo has been in politics for many years, he understands policies at all levels and he probably presents the best from an AFC perspective and newer folks such as Nigel Hughes or Cathy Hughes in my mind that has a social side…I think could present some alternatives for us to look at on policies, ideology that may look different,” Dr Ramsaroop said.
In his endorsement, Johnson explained, “Moses brings political and Parliamentary experience but he also brings legal experience. It’s hard to argue with Nagamootoo…he is well rounded…Nigel brings both youth and legal strength.”
As it relates to the PPP and the issue of competence, Johnson suggested that former President, Bharrat Jagdeo is the most competent person in the PPP.
In terms of future leadership, he believes that Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Robert Persaud “is one of the few competent people in the PPP, albeit he seems to have been sidelined.”
However, he says Ramotar will more than likely lead the PPP at the next general and regional elections.
During a separate interview with iNews today, Johnson said, “I think Ramotar as presidential candidate is inevitable, but the challenge remains to find a suitable candidate that both gives the appearance of competence and fulfills the ethnic balance imagery that has been typical of Guyanese politics.”
Johnson further told iNews, “My guess would be Ramotar and a competent moderate Afro-Guyanese, perhaps someone like Kwame Gilbert, or some other dark horse candidate. Robeson Benn would probably be apt since he has PPP lineage and no real baggage outside of his attitude.
“All that of course is presuming the PPP will be seeking to cross the racial divide for a majority. I see a strong case being made to rally its Indian support base, and to dominate the Amerindian vote. This would give it a strategic presence in critical mining areas, and so a Carolyn Rodrigues or Pauline Sukhai PM candidacy might not be out of the question as a direct appeal to the Amerindian voter.”
Dr Ramsaroop also believes that Ramotar will lead the PPP; however he explained that room should be made for other PPP members, including Robert Persaud and Irfaan Ali.
In the meantime, the President is yet to announce a date for the holding of the elections, while all political parties are yet to decide on their Presidential and Prime Ministerial Candidates.