Options are available for any member to voice differences within party structure – PPP General Secretary
General Secretary of the
People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Donald Ramotar said that no grouses
would be held against Central Committee member, Khemraj Ramjattan during any
In a recent interview in response to opinion pieces in the Kaieteur News, Ramotar said that a letter sent to Ramjattan had nothing to do with last Saturday’s events at the party’s Central Committee meeting. He said the letter was sent to Ramjattan before Saturday and that what transpired as it relates to the Ramjattan decision not to participate was purely spontaneous. He noted that Saturday’s meeting was related to other party issues which were subsequently dealt with.
The Party General Secretary said, in relation to what happened Saturday, many of Ramjattan’s colleagues on the Central Committee were not comfortable with his presence in the party, taking into consideration his many attacks on the party in the newspapers and elsewhere. Ramotar added that the attacks go back to the last party’s congress where Ramjattan led a group to propose changes in the party structure. Ramotar said this is a man who claims to be a democrat. He put his positions to the party’s Congress and they were defeated. But he is now attacking the Congress and he is attacking several issues in the party.
Mr. Ramotar said, many of his colleagues felt uncomfortable sitting with him and that they felt that the discussion of the Central Committee would not be confidential.
It was thereafter, Ramotar said, that Ramjattan left on his own accord, having heard the views of several of his colleagues. Based on the spirit of internal confidentiality, the General Secretary chose not get into the details of what was said at the meeting in Ramjattan’s presence. He said, “I don’t want to do what Ramjattan did, that is, talking publicly about internal party matters”. He said all that he is prepared to say at this stage is that all of the Central Committee members of the party, taking into consideration all of his previous attacks on the party in the public and in one on one conversations that has returned to the hearing of the party executive, his colleagues felt uncomfortable with him.
On the issue of allegations in the Kaieteur News that Ramjattan has criticised the Party to officials of the United State Embassy here, Ramotar said that was not raised in the letter or at Saturday’s meeting. He said too that he has never heard of such allegations. He said the burning contention was that some people feel that he has been consistently attacking the party, and he supposed that those who spoke were of the view that the security of the meeting would have been compromised.
The ruling party’s General Secretary said that the PPP is one of the most democratic institutions in Guyana, but the party has certain rules and membership of the PPP is voluntary. Therefore if one cannot adhere to the rules of the party, he is free to leave the party or subject himself to the structures of the party, which include discipline, if necessary.
Mr. Ramotar said it is totally untrue that Ramjattan was disciplined. He was merely criticized by his colleagues at the level of the leadership of the party, because of what they perceive to be consistent attacks by him, the party head noted. Ramotar said many people at the Central Committee level felt that they could not express their views freely in his presence because they were not sure what his position was, taking into consideration all what he was writing and saying.
Ramotar said he could have raised concerns he has expressed in the public domain, inside the party. He said Ramjattan has never raised those concerns at the Central Committee level, neither has he raised them in any other structure of the party. “He could have spoken to me, as General Secretary of the party. I am always open to meet with executives and members of the party”, Ramotar exclaimed. The General Secretary said he has never raised any grouses with him formally.