By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Speaker of the National Assembly and one time Executive Member of the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), Ralph Ramkarran is of the view that no election in Guyana can be rigged.
During his appearance on the popular radio show ‘Hard Talk’ on 90.1 FM today, Sunday, September 07, Ramkarran told the host of the program, Chris Chapwanya that he sat on the Elections Commission for three elections [1992, 1997 and 2001].
“…and no elections can be rigged in this country. No Preliminary List of Electors [PLE] can be padded,” Ramkarran said.
The ruling PPP/C has already stated that the current PLE is padded, more so in areas heavily supported by the main opposition – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).
However, Ramkarran believes that the Opposition has already succeeded in registering a large number of people, something which the PPP has a problem with.
“The PPP knows very well that the Opposition has been working very hard on the ground quietly to have supporters registered. That’s not a secret in PPP circles. So they have made a break through there and the next step is to get their supporters out,” the Former House Speaker said.
He believes that the PPP has a “real problem” with the middle class in this election.
“My sense, and I have no evidence…the Indian middle class came out and support the PPP and I try to show that the middle class vote that the ethic power is not as strong as it is in other groups. The African middle class in 2006 didn’t like Corbin and they clearly, all the evidence suggest that they went with the AFC when Raphael Trotman was the Leader…When Granger came, they migrated to the APNU.”
He further noted, “The middle class in my view will be less affected by the ethnic cleavage…and therefore the Indian middle class can easily this time, leave the PPP and migrate to APNU.”
There is no serious discussion within PPP
Meanwhile, when questioned about these issues being discussed within the PPP, Ramkarran made it clear that such discussions are not encouraged at the Party level.
“These issues can’t be raised within the PPP, they are not discussed there. No serious issues of this nature take place, no serious strategic issues, no serious matters….some of them do…but the frankness and the critical criticism and all this stuff, you don’t get that quality of discussion. That went out with Cheddi Jagan. Under Cheddi’s time you can say anything, you can criticize even him but since he left, the situation has changed,” the Former Executive PPP member said.
His advice to voters at the next general election is to confront their leaders and demand answers on what they will do to end the stalemate in the National Assembly.