TCI Presidential Candidate Rondha-Ann Lam (Photos by Delano Williams ) …political newbies advocated at UG elections debate FIVE of the new political parties that sprung up after the December 2018 No-Confidence Motion, on Thursday, made a passionate call for the electorate to throw their support behind a third force in the March 2 General and Regional Elections – arguing that it was time to bring an end to “54-years of old politics.”
TNM Presidential Candidate, Dr. Asha Kissoon The parties – A New and United Guyana (ANUG), Change Guyana, The Citizenship Initiative (TCI), The New Movement (TNM) and Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) – championed the cause during a political debate organised by the University of Guyana Unions, and Move on Guyana Inc.
In addressing a small group of persons seated in the University of Guyana Education Lecture Theatre, ANUG Presidential Candidate Ralph Ramkarran said the time is ripe for the insertion of third parties in Guyana’s political realm. He said already, there is a growing interest in the small parties that have emerged in recent months. “That is so because people are tired of a situation of political stalemate where it has been known for a very long time to the Guyanese people that a political solution is necessary; and we in A New and United Guyana are offering Guyanese a political solution to the problems of Guyana,” Ramkarran said.
He said should ANUG be elected to the National Assembly, it would push for Constitutional Reform to, among other things, pave way for shared governance –a system through which the main political parties share power equally. “To achieve that, we are campaigning for the people of Guyana to return the two major political parties without either one having an absolute majority,” the ANUG Presidential Candidate said. As such, he said it is important for new parties like ANUG to receive sufficient votes to secure seats in the 65-Member National Assembly. With a third party in the House, the two major parties will be forced to accede to the will of the people of Guyana to change and transform the political system in the country. Ramkarran, a former Speaker of the National Assembly, had been a member of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) for decades.
LJP Presidential Candidate Lenox Shuman TNM Presidential Candidate, Dr. Asha Kissoon, in echoing similar sentiments as that of Ramkarran, said Guyanese are simply fed-up. “Everyone here has a common goal, and that common goal is that we need to get rid of 54 years of old politics. We tired of it and we sit here together, saying that we had enough,” Dr. Kissoon told the small gathering. For her, it is important to break down the political barriers and “old ways of thinking” that continue to stymie the country’s development, and divide its people. Guyanese, she posited, must be the change they want to see.
TNM, Dr, Kissoon, said was birthed out of a need for greater youth involvement at the decision-making table and in national development, and if elected, it would be a breath of fresh air in the country’s political arena.
Lenox Shuman, LJP Presidential Candidate, in agreeing with Ramkarran and Dr. Asha, said the management of the country by the PPP/C, the People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R), and the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) leaves much to be desired as he referenced to the ailing Sugar Industry among other critical areas. “If you look at what happened to the Sugar Industry, it is both the PPP and the PNC that have to be blamed.
Change Guyana Presidential Candidate, Robert Badal If you look at the continuous existence of poverty in Guyana, it is both of these political parties that have to be blamed, because both of them covered Guyana for 54 years,” the LJP Presidential Candidate said. He said at this stage, Guyana is desperately in need of a new paradigm shift in the political arena. Shuman submitted that the five new political parties differ from the old ideologies of the PPP/C and the PNC, which now forms part of the APNU.
Change Guyana Presidential Candidate, Robert Badal, in his remarks, contended that the two major political parties have not done enough to address poverty, joblessness, and the poor supply of electricity that have plagued Guyana for far too long, among other burning issues. According to him, there is a “tale of broken promises and mismanagement throughout post Independent Guyana,” because the system has failed the people.
He said it is time Guyanese take a stand to arrest the situation by bringing about new leadership. “The leaderships of PPP and PNC have failed us significantly, in the management of our resources, [and] in the management of state corporations…,” Badal contended.
ANUG Presidential Candidate Ralph Ramkarran Meanwhile, TCI Presidential Candidate Rondha-Ann Lam said it was important to hold the Government’s feet to the fire, and TCI as a third force, will do just that if it makes its way to the National Assembly. Lam said it was important for Guyanese to benefit from the resources and services of the country, and TCI will ensure that the major political parties are held accountable. The debate was moderated by Director of the Centre for Communication Studies (CCS) at the University of Guyana, Nelsonia Persaud-Budhram, and Veterinarian and UG Lecturer, Dr. Randy Domer.
It was noted that all political parties contesting the General and Regional Elections were approached to participate in the debate, but a response from the PPP/C and the APNU+AFC have not been forthcoming.
LINK ORIGINAL: Guyana Chronicle